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Chinese envoy slams ‘Dalai clique’

The Chinese envoy urges India not to believe the rumours about the crackdown in Tibet being spread by the Dalai Lama, reports Nilova Roy Chaudhury.
Hindustan Times | By Nilova Roy Chaudhury, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 17, 2008 11:48 PM IST

The Chinese Ambassador to India, Zhang Yan urged Indians on Monday not to believe the rumours about the crackdown in Tibet being spread by the Dalai Lama and his supporters.

Addressing a select group of journalists on Monday, Zhang refused however to be drawn into any discussion on the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs express “distress” at the “unsettled situation and violence” in which “innocent lives” were taken. Instead he squarely blamed the “evil motive” of the “Dalai clique” for the events that had occurred.

Denying that the protests were “non-violent” in nature, Zhang said he had no reports of any likely influx of Tibetans into India once the deadline for pro-Tibetan protesters expires at midnight tonight. Instead, he registered his “appreciation” of the Indian government and law enforcement authorities for providing good “security” to his Embassy.

Though he has not met with senior officials in the Indian government since the protests erupted — “because they are all busy” — the Indian government has been kept informed about the situation, both in Beijing and New Delhi, Zhang said, as he emphasised the “harmonious character” of Sino-Indian relations.

“There is now a very unique opportunity to build our countries and make them economically strong,” he said.

Clearly worried by the negative fallout of the anti-China protests on the forthcoming Olympic Games (and, more immediately, the passage of the Olympic torch), Zhang admitted he had been “instructed” by his government to set the record straight.

While registering his “appreciation” of the Indian government and law and order forces for providing security to his country’s mission, Zhang took the opportunity to remind New Delhi of Tibet’s history and maintained that his government “is fully capable of maintaining the social stability of the Tibetan”.

“Forty-nine years ago,” Zhang said, “democratic reform was carried out in Tibet and tens of thousands of serfs were emancipated. The freedom of religion and the rights of education, health care, sanitation, and culture of the Tibetan people are fully guaranteed”.

India offered sanctuary to the Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of Tibetans who fled to India after the uprising of 1959, but does not permit them to “engage in political activities” against China. The Dalai Lama’s presence in India is also widely seen by analysts as its most “potent leverage” against Beijing. However, the Indian government, which has publicly supported the “One China” policy, has not used this lever in trying to enforce a border settlement or in enhancing bilateral relations.

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