Tibetan leader at Modi’s swearing in irks China

By Indrani Bagchi, TNN | June 5, 2014

NEW DELHI: China has protested the presence of the political head of the Tibetan government in exile at the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet last week.

The Chinese government sent a demarche to India protesting against the invitation to Lobsang Sangay, who was a special guest at Modi’s swearing in. His Facebook page later said, “Honorable Sikyong (political leader) attended the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an honored guest of the Bharatiya Janata Party.”

Interestingly, even the Taiwan trade representative was present at the ceremony, sitting with the other ambassadors. Given India’s one-China policy, India doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but both exchange trade representatives.

Modi had his first conversation with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on May 29, though the Chinese government sent an official message after his swearing in. It is believed Chinese President Xi Jinping may make his first trip to India in September.

This weekend, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi will make his first trip to India to meet the new government. He will be coming in his capacity as special envoy of the Chinese president. He will have meetings with foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and may call on the prime minister.

A statement from the foreign ministry said, “The objective of the visit is to establish contact with the new government of India. The visit is an important element of the Year of India-China Friendly Exchanges and will provide further momentum to the India-China strategic and cooperative partnership.”



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