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China in jitters over US-Dalai Lama meet

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Strap: China says Dalai Lama must correct his political propositions for talks; asks US to respect its sensitivities over Tibet


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BEIJING, June 20: China on Thursday asked the Dalai Lama to thoroughly reflect and completely correct his political propositions for it to hold talks with him and asked the US to respect its sensitivity and importance to Tibet-related issues as Washington is set to pass a tough Tibet policy law.

On the central government’s contact and talks with the 14th Dalai Lama China’s policy is consistent and clear, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian told a media briefing.

The key is that the 14th Dalai Lama must thoroughly reflect on and completely correct his political propositions, he said, without elaborating.

China watched warily the high-powered US Congressional delegation’s visit to Dharamsala and its meeting with the 88-year-old Dalai Lama besides the strong remarks made by its leading members US House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Michael McCaul and former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi questioning China’s policy towards Tibet and their call to Beijing to hold talks with the Dalai Lama.

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Their visit came as US President Joe Biden was set to sign the Tibet policy bill adopted by both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill awaits Biden’s signature to make it into law.

The bill seeks to counter China’s narrative about its control over Tibet and promote dialogue between the Chinese government and the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who is based in India since he fled the Himalayan region in 1959.

On Tuesday, Beijing urged Biden not to sign the Tibet policy bill, warning of “resolute measures”.

On the US delegation’s visit to Dharamsala and its talks with the Dalai Lama, Lin said, “We urge the US to clearly see the sensitivity and importance of Xizang-related issues and earnestly respect China’s core interests on its comments on Xizang, refrain from any forms with the Dalai group and stop sending out to the world wrong signals.”

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He also criticised the reported remarks by the Tibet government-in-exile that it is going to use the new Tibet legislation passed by the US Senate and Congress to try to force China to come to the negotiating table and urge other countries to put pressure on Beijing to hold talks with it.

“The so-called Tibet government-in-exile is an out-and-out separatist political group and an illegal organisation in total violation of China’s constitution and laws. It is not recognised by any country,” Lin said.

After the US Congressional talks with the Dalai Lama, McCaul said on Wednesday that the Tibetans have the right to self-determination and should be allowed to practise their religion freely.

At a felicitation ceremony held after the seven US Congress members met the Tibetan leader, McCaul said the delegation had defied a warning from the Chinese Communist Party.

“The Tibetan people possess a distant religion, culture and historic identity and they should have a say in their own future. You should be able to freely practise your religion and that is why we are here today in defiance of the CCP (Communist Party of China) warning,” he said.

“Our delegation received a letter from the CCP warning us not to come here. They repeated their false claim that Tibet is part of China since the 13th century but we did not let the CCP intimidate us and we are here today,” he said at the event organised by the Dharamsala-based Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

He added that the Dalai Lama, the people of Tibet and the US know that Tibet is not part of China.

The US delegation included Mariannette Miller, Gregory Meeks, Nicole Malliotakis, Jim McGovern and Ami Bera.

At his residence, the Dalai Lama told them that he wanted the people of the world to be happy and peaceful.

Referring to the Tibet policy bill, McCaul said at the later event that the timing of the visit could not be better. The bill also required aggressively challenging the CCP propaganda on Tibet, he added.

“I presented the Dalai Lama with a wind chime, which will remind him of our support,” he said.

“Like many of you, I wish that this meeting was happening in your homeland of Tibet, but 65 years ago you were forced to flee after the Chinese Communist Party annexed Tibet and slaughtered tens of thousands of Tibetan people,” he said.

The delegation leader claimed that the CCP was determined to eliminate Tibetan culture and forcibly bring the Tibetan people under its control.

Thanks to the kindness of the Indian people, the Tibetans who fled their homeland are able to live freely in this country and practise their religion without fear of persecution.

“It is still my hope that one day His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his people will return to Tibet in peace,” McCaul said.

He said the CCP continued to threaten the freedom of the Tibetan people decades later, and accused China of interfering with the process of finding a successor to the Dalai Lama. (PTI)





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