China accuses India of 'fuelling tensions'

Makes veiled reference at Kashmir, Monk consecrates monastery in Dirang
Report by: 
Agencies
Beijing/Dirang
6 Apr 2017

China said today that it has lodged protests with India both in Beijing and New Delhi over the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh and accused it of "fuelling tensions" by allowing the Tibetan spiritual leader in the "disputed areas".

"I can confirm (that) China has lodged protest in Beijing and Delhi," yesterday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here. The protest was lodged in Beijing with Indian Ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale. In Delhi, the protest was lodged with the competent officials of the external affairs ministry, Hua said. Asked whether Beijing views India's permission to the 81-year-old Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh as amounting to questioning the 'One China' policy, Hua said: "I want to re-emphasise that on issues concerning China's major concern and core interests, territorial and sovereignty, China's position is consistent."  "By inviting and approving (the) Dalai Lama to (visit) disputed areas between China and India, India has damaged our interests and the India-China relationship and it has fuelled tensions," she said.

"We oppose the visit to relevant areas and oppose attempts by relevant countries to arrange a platform for (the) Dalai (Lama) to conduct anti-China activities. We urge relevant country to stop such erroneous actions and stop undermining Chinese interests," the Chinese spokesperson said. Asked about assertions in the Chinese media that India's move was aimed at pressuring Beijing over the issues relating to China blocking India's Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership bid, Hua said, "China will not make any assumptions on India's intentions." She said the Dalai Lama's visit has caused damage to India-China relations. The Chinese media today also warned India today that China with its superior military could engage in a "geopolitical game" as India's "turbulent northern state" borders the country, a veiled reference to Kashmir.

"With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India's peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India's turbulent northern state borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?", state-run Global Times said in a stinging editorial. The reference -- "India's turbulent northern state borders China" -- was seen as a hint to Kashmir as China shares a significant section of that border ceded to it by Pakistan as part of the 1963 border agreement. Under the agreement sovereignty over hundreds of square kilometers of land in northern Kashmir and Ladakh was ceded to China.

Meanwhile, the Tibetan spiritual leader today consecrated the Thupsing Dhargye monastery here through an elaborate Buddhist ritual. The foundation stone of the monastery was laid by former chief minister Dorjee Khandu in 2007. The ceremony was conducted in the presence of Governor PB Acharya, his wife, chief minister Pema Khandu, state Assembly Speaker T N Thongdok, chief secretary Shakuntala Gamlin and other dignitaries. Thousands of devotees clad in yellow robes thronged the venue to witness the consecration ceremony by their living god. (PTI)