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Strongly Dissatisfied with India Over Dalai Lama Visit

November 11, 2009

Outlook (India)
November 10, 2009

Beijing, Nov. 10 -- Angry China today said it was "strongly
dissatisfied" with the Dalai Lama being allowed to visit "disputed"
Arunachal Pradesh but India refused to join issue with it and hoped
the "rhetoric" will end with the culmination of the Tibetan leader's trip.

At the same time, India termed as "silly" the comments by an
anonymous Chinese scholar in a state-owned newspaper reminding about
the 1962 war defeat and said, "history does not repeat itself that easily".

The Dalai Lama, who had slammed China for objecting to his visit,
also appeared dismissive about the Chinese protests, saying it is
nothing unusual.

On the third day of the 74-year-old Nobel laureate's visit to Tawang
in Arunachal, China said it "firmly" opposed the trip which was
"separatist" in nature.

"The Indian side allowed the Dalai Lama to visit the disputed eastern
section of the China-India border regardless of China's grave
concerns, and China is strongly dissatisfied with this," Foreign
Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a news briefing in Beijing,
according to official Xinhua agency.

"We firmly oppose the Dalai Lama's visit to the region," Qin said
while alleging that the trip "fully exposes the Dalai Lama's
separatist nature" and "his attempt will not succeed."

In New Delhi, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor
declined to make any direct comment on the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.

"I am sure our Ministry (of External Affairs) will respond more
officially.. I don't wish therefore to personally increase the
temperature on this one," Tharoor told reporters when asked to
comment on the Chinese statement.

"As far as we are concerned, we have made our view very clear.
Arunachal is a sovereign territory of India. India's territorial
integrity is not negotiable... We are anxious to move on from this
and hope that as the visit is coming to a close, so will the
conversation and rhetoric on the subject," he said..

China, which lays claim over entire Arunachal, has been strongly
objecting to the Dalai Lama's visit since it was announced in September.

The Dalai Lama, who is on a week-long visit to Arunachal since
Sunday, has characterised his "emotional" trip as non-political.
"Actually this (visit) is usual but this time it is too much
publicised," he said.

On Chinese objections, the spiritual leader said, "It is sad. I am
simply a Buddhist monk and all my conduct, wherever I go, is
basically non-political."

India has made it clear that Arunachal Pradesh is its integral part
and the Dalai Lama is an honoured guest who is free to travel
anywhere in the country.
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