Riled by the Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia, China has cancelled several planned meetings and delegation visits from that country and said that Ulaanbaatar has committed “wrongdoing” by hosting the Tibetan spiritual leader and must take “concrete actions” to normalise ties.
Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia, which is China’s northern neighbour has riled Beijing as it reportedly put off several meetings and delegation visits, including a visit of Mongolia’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Asked about the postponement of the meeting and visits, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said “the wrong doing by Mongolia on this issue diminished political foundation between the two countries and brought negative impact to bilateral relations”.
“We ask the Mongolian side to respect our major concern and take concrete actions to remove the negative impact and bring China-Mongolia relations on to the track of sound development,” Geng said. China regards Dalai Lama, 81, as a separatist and routinely objects his visit to any country.
“Dalai is a political exile under the cloak of religion who has been engaged in anti China activities overseas,” Geng said when asked about the Dalai Lama remarks that he plans to meet make a visit to US to meet President-elect Donald Trump.
“He claims himself as a religious leader. But instead of being in a temple he travels around the world to meet with other foreign leaders trying to undermine relations between China and those countries. We hope relevant countries can see through anti-China nature of the Dalai and properly handle Tibet related issues,” he said.
Dalai Lama was quoted as saying that he had always considered the US as a “leading nation of the free world”.
“I think there are some problems to go to United States, so I will go to see the new president,” he told media in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama four times during his tenure some of them through the backdoor which drew ire from China.
However, the invitation to the Dalai Lama by Mongolia whose resource-centred economy is heavily dependent on China came a surprise as it is reported in negotiations for a $4.2 billion loan from Beijing to help pull it out of a deep recession.
Mongolian Buddhism is closely tied to Tibet’s version of Mahayana Buddhism. The Tibetan monk made the first of his eight visits to Mongolia in 1979.