His Holiness the Dalai Lama was born on 6 July 1935 into a small Tibetan farming family. While being instated as the 14th incarnation of Thupten Gyatso, the previous Dalai Lama, he was given the position of ‘spiritual leader of Tibet.’ However, due to strife breaking out between China and Tibet, he was exiled from the country after China’s full military takeover, and has since been living in Dharamsala in India. He has been in a state of exile since 1959.
Recently, the Tibetan spiritual leader made a visit to the Northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which has angered Chinese authorities on an unfathomable scale. Arunachal Pradesh has been a topic of wide dispute between the two countries who also fought a war in 1962. The Nobel Laureate reached Bodila in the West Kameng district of Arunchal Pradesh, which also happens to be the holiest places for Tibetan Buddhism. It is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama who was born in 1683.
As confirmed by the statements of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying India had inflicted serious damage on China-India relations by allowing the Tibetan spiritual leader- who Beijing considers a separatist, to visit Arunachal Pradesh. “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,” Hua was quoted as saying. “China firmly opposes this move and will lodge representations with the Indian side,” she said.
Hua added by saying that, “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. It goes against the momentum of the sound growth of bilateral relations and will not benefit India in anyway.”
In response to the comments made by Hua, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said India is fully respectful of China’s ‘One China’ policy and would never interfere in their internal affairs of governance. Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay added to that by requesting no ‘artificial controversy’ to be developed from the incident, which now stands on the brink of a serious diplomatic issue with China.
This incident ripe with its potential to stir both pots comes at a highly volatile time where the two countries are locked into disputes over India’s desire to be included in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and China’s hesitance to include them. Beijing has also blocked the attempts of India in the United Nations (repeatedly) to get Pakistan-based terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar declared a terrorist. However, we must assume that more pragmatic voices will eventually arise and resolve this issue between two countries that lead the global economic growth charge.
Source: toi, hindustan times
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