By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, March 4: Despite China warning India of serious repercussions to their bilateral ties if the latter allows the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, India has reaffirmed that the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit to the country’s north eastern state will take place as scheduled.
Answering to queries regarding China’s objection, Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said, “New Delhi has become more assertive” and described it as a “behavioral change.”
“There is no reason to stop the Dalai Lama from visiting Arunachal Pradesh in April,” the minister concluded.
Beijing has warned New Delhi on Friday that the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit to the contested Arunachal Pradesh would cause “serious damage” to bilateral ties and peace in the disputed border region, according to various media outlets.
“China is strongly opposed to the Dalai visiting disputed areas. India is fully aware of the seriousness of the Dalai issue and the sensitivity of China-India border question,” Deccan Chronical quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang Geng as saying in its report.
“Under such a background if India invites the Dalai to visit to the mentioned territory, it will cause serious damage to peace and stability of border region and China-India relations,” the report added.
Gravely concerned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to the disputed region, China has accused India of disregarding its concerns by hosting the Tibetan noble laureate whom Beijing has repeatedly accused of being a splittist long engaged in anti-china ‘separatist’ activities.