China hopes India will abide by promise on Tibet

China on Tuesday gave a guarded response to Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao`s recent meeting with the Dalai Lama.

Last Updated: Jul 13, 2010, 18:01 PM IST

Beijing: China on Tuesday gave a guarded response
to Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao`s recent meeting with the
Dalai Lama, saying it hopes India will abide by its commitment
not to allow exiled Tibetans to conduct anti-China activities.

"China has expressed its position clearly to the Indian
side over this (Tibet) issue," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin
Gang told a media briefing here when asked about Rao`s July 10
meeting with the Dalai Lama at Dharamshala.

"The Indian government has expressed on many occasions to
China that it recognises Tibet Autonomous Region as part of
the PRC (People`s Republic of China) and it would not allow
exiled Tibetans in India to conduct anti-China political
activities. So we hope India could abide by its commitments on
Tibet-related issues and properly handle all the issues," he
said.

Qin`s comments were regarded as mild by observers here as
normally China reacts strongly to top officials of any
country meeting the Tibetan Nobel laureate.

US President Barack Obama`s recent meeting with the Dalai
in Washington drew a strong condemnation from Beijing which
asserted that it amounted to interference in China`s sovereign
affairs.

Rao`s meeting, which came close on the heels of National
Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon`s visit here as Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh`s Special Envoy from July 3 to 6
during which he held talks with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, sparked off speculation that
China may have sent a message for Dalai, who recently turned
75.

Though critical of the Dalai, Chinese officials have been
holding talks with his representatives, the last of which were
held here early this year.
For his part, the exiled Tibetan leader acknowledges that
Tibet is part of China but wants more autonomy for his
Himalayan homeland.

China has granted substantial autonomy to Hong Kong
and Macau though the two regions are part of the mainland, but
is averse to according the same status to Tibet.

The Dalai has also been proposing the concept of
`Greater Tibet` incorporating some of the Tibetan majority
prefectures likes his native Qinghai, which suffered a
devastating earthquake this year.

China in recent months has stepped up attacks on the
Dalai Lama, specially targeting him on his comments that he
was also son of India and on his Greater Tibet concept.

Also this year, China has raised the profile of 11th
Panchen Lama, the 20-year-old Chinese government-appointed
monk who is being projected as a successor to the Dalai Lama.

The Panchen Lama was also made a member of the Chinese
People`s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The Panchen Lama, regarded as second-in-command in
Tibetan spiritual affairs, recently went on a prolonged visit
to Tibet and made a political debut of sorts, taking charge of
the Monastery at Xigatse which is exclusively devoted to
Panchen Lamas.

PTI