India's Tibet stand same: Sinha
Has India sold Tibet down the river? Apprehensions about the reference to Tibet in the joint declaration signed on Monday between India and China in Beijing have centred around any possible change in the Indian position.
In Beijing on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha sought to allay these apprehensions. He argued that the language of the joint declaration only echoes previous statements issued by the two countries.
Further, he stated, there would be no change in the freedoms accorded to the Dalai Lama by India.
The clarifications are important because the official Chinese news agency has claimed that "the Indian government has, for the first time, recognised explicitly the Tibet Autonomous Region as part of Chinese territory". The Chinese also claimed that India had recognised that Tibet was "an inalienable part of China". However, the language of the declaration does not include the word 'inalienable' and marks no difference from previous usage.
The Indian Foreign Ministry has released this list of previous references to Tibet in India-China documents.
Tibet position down the ages
1954: The Agreement between India and China on Trade And Intercourse between Tibet Region of China and India
“Being desirous of promoting trade and cultural intercourse between Tibet Region of China and India and of facilitating pilgrimage and travel by the peoples of China and India.”
1958: Notes sent by the Ministry of External Affairs to the embassy of China in India
“The Government of india recognise that the Tibetan region is part of the People’s Republic of China.”
1988: India-China Joint Press Communique
“The Chinese side expressed concern over anti-China activities by some Tibetan elements in India. The Indian side reiterated the longstanding and consistent policy of the Government of India that Tibet is an autonomous region of China and that anti-China political activities by Tibetan elements are not permitted on Indian soil.”
1991: India-China Joint Communique
“The Chinese side expressed concern about the continued activities in India by some Tibetans against their motherland and reiterated that Tibet was an inalienable part of Chinese territory ad that it was firmly opposed to any attempt and action aimed at splitting China and bringing about “Independence of Tibet”. The Indian side reiterated its long-standing and consistent position that Tibet is an autonomous region of China and that it does not allow Tibetans to engage in anti-China political activities in India.”
2003: Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China
“The Indian side recognizes that the Tibet Autonomous Region is part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China and reiterates that it does not allow Tibetans to engage in anti-China political activities in India. The Chinese side expresses its appreciation for the Indian position and reiterates that it is firmly opposed to any attempt and action aimed at splitting China and bringing about “independence of Tibet”.