China conciliatory despite anger over Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

(, Mar07, 2017) – Despite the ongoing tussle over a range of intractable issues, including most recently over the planned visit of Tibet’s exile spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to Arunachal Pradesh, in April, China has struck a conciliatory note on Mar 4, saying the two sides should carry on cooperation despite any differences. “We cannot settle some problems for the moment, but we should not stop stepping forward just because of the problems,” the official Mar 4 quoted Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the coming annual session of China’s plenary national legislature, as saying.

She was reported to have made the remarks during a press conference for the annual session of the National People’s Congress on Mar 4 morning. The rubber-stamp parliament began its session on Mar 5 to mainly hear the Government Work Report and endorse communist party decision.

The spokeswoman has called on the two countries to boost mutual understanding, while mentioning that there had been some disagreements existing between the two countries for years. “I believe that, for China-India relations, we should take both certain trees and the whole forest in sight,” she was quoted as saying.

She has indicated that there had been a significant leap forward in relations between the two countries in the recent past. She has pointed out that in the past, it was difficult to travel to India from China because there were few flights linking the two countries; but now around 40 flights commute between China and India each week. She has added that leaders of both countries have also been meeting frequently in recent years.

The Chinese and Indian militaries visit each other annually, and the two sides have established a cooperative mechanism to fight cross-border crimes and counter terrorism, she has pointed out.

The day before, China said it had formally expressed serious concern to India regarding the Dalai Lama’s planned visit to what it called “disputed areas along the China-India border”. Cautioning the “severe damage” it could do to bilateral ties, another report Mar 4 quoted foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as telling a daily media briefing in Beijing, “China’s position on the eastern section of the China-India border is clear and consistent. The Dalai clique has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities. Its record on the China-India boundary question is not that glorious.”

Geng has said China was firmly opposed to the Dalai Lama’s trip to the “disputed territory” and had expressed its concerns to India many times. “We, once again, urge India to adhere to its commitments on Tibet-related issues, follow the important consensus between the two sides on the boundary question, refrain from further complicating the question and providing a stage for the Dalai clique to carry out anti-China separatist activities so as to maintain the sound and stable development of China-India relations.”


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