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China hopes India will abide by commitment on Tibet

July 15, 2010

Express India
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Beijing China on Tuesday gave a guarded response
to Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's recent
meeting with the Dalai Lama, saying it hopes
India will abide by its commitment not to allow
exiled Tibetans to conduct anti-China activities.

"China has expressed its position clearly to the
Indian side over this (Tibet) issue," Foreign
Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a media briefing
here when asked about Rao's July 10 meeting with the Dalai Lama at Dharamshala.

"The Indian government has expressed on many
occasions to China that it recognises Tibet
Autonomous Region as part of the PRC (People's
Republic of China) and it would not allow exiled
Tibetans in India to conduct anti-China political
activities. So we hope India could abide by its
commitments on Tibet-related issues and properly
handle all the issues," he said.

Qin's comments were regarded as mild by observers
here as normally China reacts strongly to top
officials of any country meeting the Tibetan Nobel laureate.

US President Barack Obama's recent meeting with
the Dalai in Washington drew a strong
condemnation from Beijing which asserted that it
amounted to interference in China's sovereign affairs.

Rao's meeting, which came close on the heels of
National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon's
visit here as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's
Special Envoy from July 3 to 6 during which he
held talks with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, sparked off
speculation that China may have sent a message
for Dalai, who recently turned 75.

Though critical of the Dalai, Chinese officials
have been holding talks with his representatives,
the last of which were held here early this year.

For his part, the exiled Tibetan leader
acknowledges that Tibet is part of China but
wants more autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.

China has granted substantial autonomy to Hong
Kong and Macau though the two regions are part of
the mainland, but is averse to according the same status to Tibet.

The Dalai has also been proposing the concept of
'Greater Tibet' incorporating some of the Tibetan
majority prefectures likes his native Qinghai,
which suffered a devastating earthquake this year.

China in recent months has stepped up attacks on
the Dalai Lama, specially targeting him on his
comments that he was also son of India and on his Greater Tibet concept.

Also this year, China has raised the profile of
11th Panchen Lama, the 20-year-old Chinese
government-appointed monk who is being projected
as a successor to the Dalai Lama. The Panchen
Lama was also made a member of the Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The Panchen Lama, regarded as second-in-command
in Tibetan spiritual affairs, recently went on a
prolonged visit to Tibet and made a political
debut of sorts, taking charge of the Monastery at
Xigatse which is exclusively devoted to Panchen Lamas.
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