China warned on Wednesday that it will take “necessary measures” to defend its territorial sovereignty and interests after India “obstinately” allowed the Dalai Lama to visit the “disputed” parts of Arunachal Pradesh, causing “serious damage” to the bilateral ties.
“India, in disregard to China’s concerns, obstinately arranged the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed part of the eastern part of the China-India border, causing serious damage to China’s interests and China-India relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.
“China firmly opposes this move and will lodge representations with the Indian side,” she said.
“China’s stand on the eastern part of the borders is consistent and clear. India is keenly aware of the role played by the 14th Dalai Lama. Arranging his visit to those sensitive and disputed areas not only runs counter to the Indian side’s commitment to the issues related to Tibet but also escalate disputes over the border area,” she said.
“It goes against the momentum of the sound growth of bilateral relations and will not benefit India in anyway,” she said.
“China will firmly take necessary measures to defend its territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests. We demand the Indian side immediately stop its actions using the Dalai Lama to undermine China’s interests and not hype up sensitive issues between the two countries, not artificially damage the foundation of the talks between the two countries on the border issues and bilateral legislations and take concrete actions to safeguard the China-India relations,” she said.
The 81-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader reached Bomdila in West Kameng district on Tuesday, starting his nine-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
China claims parts of Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet and had warned that if India allowed the visit of the Dalai Lama, whom it calls an “ant-China separatist”, it would cause “serious damage” to the ties.
China is sensitive to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang region in Arunachal, which happens to be the birthplace in 1683 of the sixth Dalai Lama and is at the centre of Tibetan Buddhism.
On Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that when India has never interfered in Beijing’s affairs, and has respected the “One China” policy, China should not interfere in India’s internal affairs or object to the Dalai Lama’s visit. .
“There is no political angle behind his holiness’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. It is completely religious,” he said.