Contain Tibetan groups, don’t damage ties with China: Chinese experts

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Beijing, July 11 (IANS) Chinese experts have warned India not to further damage ties with China by encouraging Tibetan separatists because of the border row.

“India should properly manage ‘Tibet independence’ forces on its soil and avoid using them as a bargaining chip with China,” the state-run Global Times quoted unnamed Chinese experts as saying.

The warning came after the head of the Tibetan “government in exile”, Lobsang Sangay, hoisted a “Tibetan flag”, which China sees as a symbol of “Tibet independence”, beside Pangong Lake in Ladakh.

The Chinese daily said: “India has previously discouraged such ‘political activities’ by Tibetan separatists.”

“Sangay’s behaviour is likely to have the Indian government’s permission or blessings,” Qian Feng, an expert at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, told the Global Times.

Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, added that this action by Tibetans “might worsen the situation and further damage Sino-Indian relations”.

Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations, said: “We hope India will not ease its restraints on ‘Tibet independence’ groups and not use ‘Tibet independence’ as a bargaining chip with China.”

The daily said that while border frictions or even conflicts may be politically manageable, “the sovereignty over Tibet is not something negotiable”.

Additionally, the “Tibet independence” group might also want to use the Indian government and the current tensions to strengthen their influence and create trouble, Hu said.

“The Indian government should not let the ‘Tibet independence’ group worsen the situation and further damage bilateral ties with China,” Chu said.

Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a stand-off on their border in an area known as Sikkim sector.

–IANS

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