China criticizes ‘anti-China separatist’ Dalai Lama for Arunachal visit

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Beijing, April 4 (IANS) Beijing on Tuesday criticised Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for his visit to Arunachal Pradesh, calling him an “anti-China separatist”, but stopped short of directly denouncing New Delhi.

“The 14th Dalai Lama is an anti-China separatist who has long lived in exile following a failed armed rebellion by the reactionary group of high-ranking feudal serf owners in Tibet in March 1959,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry told Efe news.

“The Chinese government is resolutely opposed to any country’s support and facilitation for the 14th Dalai group’s anti-China separatist activities,” read the statement without alluding directly to India.

Tensions between the two Asian giants have been raised by the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as part of south Tibet.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday that the Tibetan leader had been to Arunachal on six previous occasions, and rejected any controversy that may have been caused due to this visit.

Inclement weather conditions in the area have forced the Dalai Lama to change his itinerary, and the March 5-7 visit to the important Buddhist centre of Tawang has been delayed.

Arunachal Pradesh holds a special significance for the Tibetan leader, as it was the first territory in India he entered while fleeing Chinese troops in 1959 before moving to Dharamsala, where he now resides. He is to attend a major Buddhist event in Tawang.

–IANS

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