Amid the Sino-India verbal spat over Arunachal Pradesh, China on Tuesday said it was "greatly concerned" by the Dalai Lama's planned visit to the state even as it rapped the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader for indulging in "anti-China separatism."
China is "firmly opposed" to a planned visit to Arunachal Pradesh by the Dalai Lama, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in Beijing.
"China's position on so-called Arunachal Pradesh is consistent and clear and we firmly oppose the Dalai Lama's visit to the region," Ma said, indicating Beijing's stand that Arunachal Pradesh is a disputed area.
"China is greatly concerned over the news. We believe this further exposes the Dalai Lama's nature of anti-China separatism, as is known to all," he said when asked to comment on the Tibetan Nobel laureate's planned visit to Arunachal Pradesh next month.
The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after China crushed an uprising in Tibet, is denounced by Beijing as a "splittist" despite his calls for genuine autonomy rather than full independence for his Himalayan homeland.
India has said that the Dalai Lama is free to visit any part of the country.
Ma's statement on China's opposition to Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh comes a week after Beijing strongly protested over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the state on October 3.