China: Meeting Dalai Lama a 'major offence'

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 22, 2017

This week's Party Congress in Beijing occasioned a press conference on Saturday in which the head of the Communist Party's Tibet working group further elucidated the party line on Tibetan spiritual leader-in-exile the Dalai Lama.

China considers the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, to be a risky separatist.

"Although some people say, the Dalai is a religious figure, our government didn't put in an appearance, it was just individual officials, this is incorrect", said Zhang, who is also a vice minister at the United Front Work Department, which has led failed talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives. "Also, since they have committed to recognising China as a sole legitimate government representing China, it contravenes their attempt, because it is a serious commitment", Zhang added.

In August it appeared that Botswana would become the next country heavily reliant on Chinese investment to risk the stability of its relationship to China by hosting the Dalai Lama.

"I want to make it clear that the 14th Dalai Lama, the living Buddha handed down by history is a political figure under the cloak of religion", he said.

Last year, after the Dalai Lama spent six days in Ulaanbaatar, China shuttered a strategic border crossing and suspended talks about extending a $4.2 billion loan to Mongolia.

"The Chinese government opposes governments and organizations in any country in the world to receive the Dalai Lama in any name", said the official.

It also protested that when the Tibetan spiritual leader was permitted by India to visit various areas in the north- east, including Arunachal Pradesh, this year.

"As head of the group, the 14th Dalai Lama has never stopped his activities in this regard over the past decades", Zhang said.

China resorts to different tactics if any country hosts the Dalai Lama.

"Officials, in their capacity as officials, attending all foreign-related activities represent their governments", he went on, according to Reuters. He has been fighting for an autonomous Tibet but China claims that the Himalayan region has been part of their country for centuries and that Tibetan Buddhism is a part of Chinese Buddhism.

"It is mainly about introducing or incorporating fine results of Chinese culture in the teaching of Tibetan religion", he said. "So I hope governments around the world speak and act with caution and give full consideration to their friendship with China and their respect for China's sovereignty", Zhang added.

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