Prudently handle Tibet issue: China to India

Beijing hopes India would not let Tibetans engage in anti-China activities.

Updated: Aug 24, 2010, 11:52 AM IST

Beijing: China Tuesday said it hopes India
would abide by its commitment of not letting Tibetans to
engage in anti-China activities and "prudently handle" the
issue so as not to "disrupt" the overall bilateral ties.

Commenting for the first time on the recent meeting
between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Dalai Lama, the
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said here that
Beijing`s opposition to any foreign leaders meeting the
Tibetan spiritual leader has been conveyed to India.

"China opposes foreign political leaders meeting the
Dalai Lama and we have made our position clear to the Indian
side," the spokesperson office said replying to a query on the
recent meeting between Singh and the exiled Tibetan leader.

"The Indian government has on many occasions expressed
that it recognised Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the
territory of the People`s Republic of China and it will not
allow Tibetans to engage in anti-China political activities in
India," it said.

"China hopes that the Indian side observes its
commitments to Tibet related issues and prudently handle
relevant issues so as to refrain from (causing) any disruption
to the overall relationship between China and India," it said.

The spokesperson`s reactions made no direct reference
to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna`s clarification on
the issue stating that India considers the Tibetan leader an
"honoured guest" but it does not "encourage" him to engage in
political activities.

Seeking to downplay the issue, Krishna said India
considers Tibetan Autonomous Region as part of China and his
clarification "should bring down curtains on any controversy".

Krishna said, "India`s position (on Tibet and the
Dalai Lama) has been stated repeatedly, unequivocally and
categorically", that the Nobel Laureate is an "honoured guest"
of India and a "spiritual leader" respected by millions of
people in the country.

China`s reaction to Singh`s meeting with the Dalai
Lama was in sharp contrast to that of the last month`s meeting
of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao with the Tibetan leader.

Beijing did not directly react to that meeting and
commented on it only when the question was asked in a press
briefing, where in the spokesperson hoped India would abide by
its comments to not to allow its soil to be used by Tibetans
to carry out anti-China political activities.

Rao`s meeting with the Dalai Lama took place in the
immediate aftermath of the visit of National Security Advisor
Shivshankar Menon who held talks with the Chinese leaders as
Singh`s Special Envoy.

China considers the 75-year-old Dalai Lama as a
separatist who is trying to split Tibet from China.