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India to host Dalai Lama in AP

India to host Dalai Lama in AP

New Delhi has made it very clear time and again that the Dalai Lama is an honoured guest of India who is free to travel anywhere in the country but can not undertake any political activity.

The Dalai Lama's visit will cause "serious damage" to China-India ties, foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing. "Under such a background if India invites the Dalai Lama to visit the mentioned territory, it will cause serious damage to peace and stability of the border region and China-India relations", he said.

Dalai Lama's trip could bring strain in ties with China as the latter takes him as a separatist and it would rise tension between the two nations.

Indian officials say there is no question of allowing a foreign country to determine whether it should allow anyone to visit any part of India. China claims the partly ethnically Tibetan Himalayan state as its own territory and the frontier between the two nuclear-armed Asian giants remains tense more than 50 years after they fought a brief but bloody border war high in the peaks. A settlement between the two will include the 38,000 sq km China holds in Aksai Chin and the 90,000 sq km China believes India holds in Arunachal Pradesh. China had also aired similar concerns in October previous year when India granted permission to the Tibetan spiritual leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh at the invitation of the State Government. The Dalai Lama will be visiting Tawang Monastery, one of the biggest in Asia, from April 4 to 13 on the invitation of State Chief Minister Pema Khandu.

People familiar with the matter said he was referring to some areas in Aksai Chin in eastern Jammu and Kashmir, which China "illegally" occupied.

On Friday, Chinese foreign ministry said it has urged India to "stick to its political commitments" about refraining from taking actions that might complicate the boundary issue and "not provide a platform to the Dalai clique".

China had strongly protested against the Dalai Lama's meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in December, saying it opposes any form of contact between the Tibetan leader and officials of other countries. He described Tawang as an "inalienable" part of Tibet region of China.

Mr. Dai highlighted that an Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question, that was signed in 2005 has been "fundamental" in advancing the boundary talks.

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