• Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
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Dalai Lama blames parochial Chinese officials for controversy with India

  • Published at 12:38 pm April 5th, 2017
Dalai Lama blames parochial Chinese officials for controversy with India

The Dalai Lama on Wednesday accused Chinese politicians of narrow-mindedness for the controversy between India and China over his visit to a northeastern Indian state disputed by New Delhi and Beijing.

He insisted that his visit to Arunachal Pradesh was purely religious, not political.

"They consider me to be a demon, though I don't think anybody really thinks I am a demon," said the smiling Dalai Lama, Tensing Gyatso, in statements during a press conference on the second day of his visit to the state.

The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, awarded for his peaceful pursuit for Tibetan independence, said many Chinese people love India, but it was the narrow-minded Chinese politicians who have been accusing Indian authorities of using him against Beijing.

The Dalai Lama's visit to India was criticised by China, who claimed it could affect bilateral relations, something rejected by New Delhi, who recalled that he had already visited the region six times in the past.

He said Wednesday that China did not need to worry about his visit nor over his aspirations regarding Tibet, as his goal was not necessarily independence, but rather increased sovereignty.

He highlighted that he always admired the European Union's spirit: individual sovereign nations bound by a common interest.

He also insisted that Tibet aspired for self-governance and autonomy within China.

The Buddhist leader was in Bomdila, a town that suffered through one of the final phases of the brief 1962 war between India and China over the sovereignty of Arunachal Pradesh, disputed by both powers since the creation of the Indian state in the mid-20th century.

The Dalai Lama recalled Wednesday that it held a special biographical value, as it was the first Indian territory he stepped on as he escaped from Chinese troops in 1959 to go into exile.

Expressing his thanks to India, which houses the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala in the northeastern part of the country, the Dalai Lama said he was "the longest guest of the Indian government."

India and China are in regular contact to address issues and pending claims on their bilateral agenda in order to ease tensions, although there are frequent mutual accusations of military incursions into the border area.

While India governs Arunachal Pradesh, with China claiming an 80,000sqkm area of the state, the communist regime is the de facto administrator of Aksai Chin, bordering both countries to the west.

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