- Dalai Lama's Arunachal Pradesh visit objected to by China
- Stay out of India's internal affairs: New Delhi's response
- PM Modi enabling Dalai Lama's public engagements: Chinese media
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as "South Tibet"; India has repeatedly said the border state is an integral part of its territory. India yesterday made it clear that China is creating "an artificial controversy" over the Dalai Lama's week-long visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which began yesterday.
Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju, who is from the state, said, "Arunachal Pradesh is an inseparable part of India, and China should not object to his visit and interfere in India's internal affairs."
India has stressed that the Dalai Lama's visit to the state is religious, not political. China considers the Dalai Lama a dangerous "separatist" who wants to free Tibet from China. The spiritual leader told NDTV today, "Tibet is a part of China but needs more development."
The Global Times, a state-run newspaper in Beijing known for its nationalistic posturing, warned, "New Delhi may have underestimated Beijing's determination to safeguard its core interests...China doesn't allow India to free ride on its economic growth while jeopardising Beijing's core interests."
The Dalai Lama, who is 81, will offer teachings at the remote Tawang monastery among other places.
As a young monk, he fled Tibet in 1959 in fear of his life, after China poured troops into the region to crush an uprising. He entered India through Arunachal Pradesh after a 13-day trek through the Himalayas, disguised as a soldier to evade detection by Chinese troops who had marched into Tibet. India offered him a base in the hill town of Dharamsala, where he was allowed to set up a government-in-exile. "I am India's longest-standing guest," he joked today, describing Tibet as "culturally a part of India." A few days ago he had also said, "Physically and mentally I am an Indian".
The Global Times said that India is upset over being kept out, partly as a result of China's efforts, of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, and over Beijing repeatedly blocking India's attempt to have Pakistani terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar blacklisted by the UN Security Council, which would lead to an international travel ban on the terrorist and freeze all his assets.
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