India Plays Tibetan Card to Assuage Angry China
India on Friday clarified that there is no change in its stance on the vexed Tibetan issue, asserting that it considers the Himalayan region to be an integral part of the Republic of China. The clarification comes barely weeks after the Dalai Lama concluded his first visit to the disputed region of Arunachal Pradesh since 2009.
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However, India has maintained that it will continue to seek a solution to the contagious border issue which will satisfy both the parties.
"Let me make it absolutely clear that there is no change whatsoever in the Government of India's policy towards the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China," India's External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said. "Similarly, our approach to seeking a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question remains unchanged."
The contentious issues of Arunachal Pradesh and the Dalai Lama have come to the fore once again in recent weeks after the Indian government allowed the controversial spiritual leader to the visit the disputed region despite a stern warning from Beijing.
The Chinese government categorically warned that the visit would seriously harm the bilateral relationship between both nations. However, New Delhi chose to invite Beijing's wrath by going ahead with the scheduled visit, including a planned trip to Tawang, which China specifically considers to be part of Southern Tibet.
The Dalai Lama had tried to pacify China during the controversial visit by stating that he is merely fighting for autonomy and not independence for Tibet. But the olive branch did not help in softening China's position on the exile Buddhist leader, whom China considers a dangerous insurgent leader.
The Dalai Lama eloped from China in 1959 after leading a failed uprising against the Chinese government over the Tibetan issue. Since then he has been living in political asylum in India's northern state of Dharamshala.