Beijing: Chinese media on Thursday said that India, in a “clumsy and rude move”, is using the Dalai Lama “as a diplomatic tool to put pressure on China” and that Beijing could in turn interfere in “turbulent” Kashmir.
China claims Aksai Chin area of Kashmir as its territory, which it annexed during the 1962 war. It also claims large parts of Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet.
An editorial in the state-run Global Times flaunted China’s military power and wondered if India would be able to overcome it in a ‘geopolitical game’.
“With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India’s peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India’s turbulent northern state borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?” the editorial read.
It stated that China should not hesitate to answer “blows with blows” if India chooses to play dirty by allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh.
Two English newspapers – China Daily and Global Times – have launched a scathing attack on India after Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that Arunachal Pradesh – which China claims as part of Southern Tibet — is “an inseparable part of India”.
Taking exception to Rijiju’s remarks, the papers said India is using the Dalai Lama as a “diplomatic tool” against China for its “vice like veto” against India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and UN ban on Jaish-e- Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.
“New Delhi not only allowed the 14th Dalai Lama to visit Southern Tibet, a historical Chinese territory India has illicitly occupied and refers to as ‘Arunachal Pradesh’, but the spiritual leader of ‘Tibetan independence’ was also escorted on the trip by India’s junior minister of home affairs,” the state-run China Daily said in its editorial.
“Despite the historical dispute, the China-India border area has by and large remained peaceful recently, particularly since Beijing and New Delhi began to get serious about border talks,” it said.
“If New Delhi chooses to play dirty, however, Beijing should not hesitate to answer blows with blows,” the paper said.
The aggressive editorials came after China yesterday lodged a protest with Indian Ambassador Vijay Gokhale here over the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit to the area. The Dalai Lama is currently on a nine-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
When China raised the concern over the visit, Rijiju commented that China shouldn’t intervene in their ‘internal affairs’,” it said.
“New Delhi probably overestimates its leverage in the bilateral ties with China. The two countries in recent years have continuously strived to improve their relationship and the peace on the border area has been maintained,” it said.
“India has benefited from the good momentum of bilateral relationship as much as China. If New Delhi ruins the Sino- India ties and the two countries turn into open rivals, can India afford the consequence?,” the tabloid, known for striking aggressive nationalistic postures, said.
“China considers India as a friendly neighbour and partner. China has never provoked bilateral disputes or made any pressing demand on India over the Dalai Lama. New Delhi should respond to Beijing’s goodwill with goodwill,” it said.
Stating that India is dissatisfied with China over the NSG and Azhar issues, it said some Indians also called for boycott of Chinese goods.
“The Dalai’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh this time is seen as New Delhi using the monk as a diplomatic tool to put pressure on China,” it said. “China’s proposal to blacklist some terrorist group had also been refused. However, as dissatisfied as China was, it didn’t make an issue of them,” it said.