Why China is so annoyed over Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh

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New Delhi | Updated: April 6, 2017 12:16:44 PM

In an editorial, China's English newspaper has threatened that Beijing may interfere in Kashmir while asking -- Can India afford the consequence?

china, india, dalai lama, tawang, arunachal pradesh. china india, india china, india china dalai lama, southern tibetTibetan spiritual leader Dalai during a religious discourse at Thubchog Gatsel Ling Monastery, Bomdila in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

Not happy with Tibetan spiritual guru Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Chinese state media has launched a scathing attack on India. In an editorial, China’s English newspaper Global Times has even threatened that Beijing may interfere in Kashmir while asking — Can India afford the consequence?

The Dalai Lama, who engages himself only in religious and spiritual activities, is on a nine-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which hosts Tawang –the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama in 1683 and a centre of Tibetan Buddhism. China considers Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet and part of its territory. It has been over five decades since the Dalai Lama made India his home, after facing repression from the Chinese forces at his real home — Tibet. But China continues to feel threatened with the monk and Nobel Peace Prize winner and even considers him a “dangerous separatist.”

The Chinese media response to the Tibetan guru’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh is, however, not surprising but a part of the same arm-twisting tactics China has been applying vis-a-vis India on every possible platform to stop the rise of New Delhi as a global power — be it India’s bid to enter the Nuclear Supplier Group or force Pakistan to act against terrorists operating from its own territory against India. China does so even as India reaches out to the world with the message of peace and a thought process that considers entire world as a family (Vashudhaiva Kutumbakam).

The Chinese state media, or for that matter the authoritarian leadership of the country, however, doesn’t seem capable of understanding India’s genuine intentions of letting all countries in its neighbourhood prosper. China considers India a threat and the Chinese state media has just reflected this.

The editorial even accused India of using Dalai Lama as a “diplomatic tool” against China. It cited two explanations for this: “India has been strongly dissatisfied with China for not supporting its membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Its request to name Masood Azhar, head of Pakistani militant group, to a UN Security Council blacklist was disapproved by China, resulting in some Indians calling for a boycott of Chinese goods.”

The editorial said India made a “clumsy and rude move” by sending the Tibetan monk to Arunachal Pradesh. One wonders, how can a country as big and powerful as China be so insecure of itself that it gets rattled by the visit of a monk to one of the centres of the religion he practises?

The tone of the editorial hints China is either a frustrated country, trying to rule with iron hands, or probably still not mature enough to feel confident of its own powers.

ALSO READ: China, Dalai Lama and India: It is time to understand — one-sided relations do not last long

On Kashmir, the editorial said: “With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India’s peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India’s turbulent northern state (Jammu and Kashmir) borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?” This threat comes even as it has been suspected that China is already helping Pakistan and the separatists in Kashmir to pursue their agenda against India. Several Chinese flags have been recovered from terror outfits in Kashmir by Indian forces in the last few months.

Moreover, the editorial threatened to interfere in Kashmir probably in response to Indian Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju’s response to China on Dalai Lama’s visit. Rijiju had said, Chins should not interfere in India’s internal matters.

The editorial, however, ended on a good note saying, “China considers India as a friendly neighbour and partner.” But then, can threats help both countries continue with the friendship?

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