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

Beijing also said it has no contact with the 'Dalai group', apparently referring to the Tibet government-in-exile based in Dharamsala and asked Washington not to send the 'wrong signal' to the world

PTI Beijing Published 20.06.24, 07:37 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture.

China on Thursday asked the Dalai Lama to have a "complete reflection" and "thoroughly 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.

Beijing also said it has no contact with the "Dalai group", apparently referring to the Tibet government-in-exile based in Dharamsala and asked Washington not to send the "wrong signal" to the world.

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"When it comes to the contact and talks between the Chinese Central Government and the 14th Dalai Lama, our policy is consistent and clear," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian told a media briefing here.

"The key is that the 14th Dalai Lama must have a complete reflection on and thoroughly correct its political propositions," he said, without elaborating.

Lin was replying to a question on reported remarks by Penpa Tsering, Sikyong (leader) of the Tibetan government-in-exile, that his administration will try to use the new Tibet policy law being brought about by the US to pressure China to come to the negotiating table.

"The so-called 'Tibetan government-in-exile' is entirely a separatist political group. It is an illegal organisation that violates China's Constitution and laws. No country in the world recognises it," Lin said.

He also urged the US not to have any "contact with the Dalai group in any form, and stop sending the wrong signal to the world".

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.

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, "the Chinese government’s position on Xizang-related issues is consistent and clear". China officially refers to Tibet as Xizang.

"Xizang’s affairs are China’s internal affairs, which brook no external interference," he said.

"We urge the US to fully recognise the importance and high sensitivity of Xizang-related issues, earnestly respect the core interests of China, abide by the commitments it has made to China on Xizang-related issues, have no contact with the Dalai group in any form, and stop sending the wrong signal to the world," he 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 can 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.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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