Allowing Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal will cause 'serious damage' to ties: China warns India

Concession on Tawang can resolve border dispute; says ex-Chinese diplomat, India dismisses
Report by: 
Agencies
Beijing
3 Mar 2017

China today warned India against allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, saying it would cause "serious damage" to the bilateral ties and peace in the disputed border region.

"China is gravely concerned over information that India has granted permission to the Dalai to visit Arunachal Pradesh," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media here. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet and routinely objects to any visits by top leaders, officials and diplomats to the area. China had also aired similar concerns in October last year when India granted permission to the Tibetan spiritual leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh at the invitation of the state government. The visit is expected to take place this year. "China is strongly opposed to the Dalai visiting disputed areas," Geng said.

"China's position on the eastern section of China-India border dispute is consistent and clear. The Dalai clique has long been engaging in anti-China separatist activities and its record on the border question is not that good," he said. Geng said China expressed its concern to India through formal channels. "India is fully aware of the seriousness of the Dalai issue and the sensitivity of China-India border question," he said.
"Under such a background if India invites the Dalai to visit to the mentioned territory, it will cause serious damage to peace and stability of border region and China-India relations," he said.

Meanwhile, a top former Chinese diplomat today gave an impression that the border dispute between China and India can be resolved if New Delhi accepts Beijing's claim over strategically vital Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh. However , Indian officials dismissed it as neither practical nor possible. Dai Bingguo, who served as the China's boundary negotiator with India from 2003 to 2013, told Chinese media, "If the Indian side takes care of China's concerns in the eastern sector of their border, the Chinese side will respond accordingly and address India's concerns elsewhere."

Elaborating China's stand, Dai who conducted border talks with five Indian Special Representatives starting with Brajesh Mishra in 2003 said: "The disputed territory in the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, including Tawang, is inalienable from China's Tibet in terms of cultural background and administrative jurisdiction."