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No strain in ties with China over Dalai Lama trip: India

November 8, 2009

India Times
November 4, 2009

NEW DELHI (IANS) -- Denying any strain in
bilateral ties due to the Dalai Lama's visit to
Arunachal Pradesh, India on Wednesday said Sino-Indian ties were

set to acquire "more substance and relevance" in days to come.

"There is no strain in bilateral ties," foreign
secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters here when
asked whether the Dalai Lama's scheduled visit to
Arunachal Pradesh Nov 8 had strained ties between the two countries.

"Our position is very clear," Rao said while
alluding to New Delhi's stance that the Dalai
Lama, who has been living in exile in the hill
resort of Dharamsala for the last five decades,
can go anywhere in India provided he does not indulge in political activities.

Describing the relationship with China as
"complex", Rao said the rise of India and China
was "a source of dynamism" in the region and the world.

Speaking at a seminar on South Asia organised by
the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
(IDSA), Rao stressed that despite "outstanding
issues", India-China ties were set to acquire
"greater dynamism and relevance" in days to come.

Rao pointed out that the resolution of
outstanding issues like the border dispute would
take some time and entail greater political will on part of both countries.

Rejecting Beijing's objections to the Tibetan
leader's visit to India's northeastern state,
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last week
after meeting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that the
Dalai Lama was "an honoured guest" of India.

"(But) we do not allow Tibetan refugees to
indulge in political activities. As a proof of
that, last year we took resolute action at the
time of Olympics when there were reports that
some Tibetan refugees might disrupt (the Olympic torch relay)," he had said.

In a subtle shift of stance, China on Tuesday
accused the Dalai Lama of trying to "wreck"
Sino-Indian ties by his proposed trip to
Arunachal Pradesh, over which Beijing claims
sovereignty, but refrained from condemning New Delhi for allowing the visit.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu
on Tuesday flayed the Dalai Lama for his
"separatist" activities. "The Dalai Lama often
lies and often engages in acts to sabotage
China's relations with other countries," said Ma.
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