Beijing: China warned world leaders on Saturday that meeting With Dalai Lama a major offence. Foreign leaders can’t think they can get away with meeting the exiled leader just because they are doing it in a personal capacity, as they still represent their government, a senior Chinese official said.
China considers the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, to be a dangerous separatist. The Nobel Peace Prize winning monk says he simply seeks genuine autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.
“Any country or any organisation of anyone to accept to meet with the Dalai Lama in our view is a major offence to the sentiment of the Chinese people,” said Zhang Yijiong, executive vice minister of the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
China routinely protests world leaders meeting the Dalai Lama. It also makes it mandatory for all the foreign governments to recognise Tibet as part of China to have diplomatic relations with Beijing.
It protested when the Tibetan spiritual leader was permitted by India to visit various areas in the north- east, including Arunachal Pradesh, this year.
Visits by the Dalai Lama to foreign countries infuriate China, and fewer and fewer national leaders are willing to meet him, fearing the consequences of Chinese anger, though some have tried to placate Beijing by saying they are meeting him in a personal not official capacity.