(TibetanReview.net, Oct22, 2017) – China has expressed glee over the fact that less and less government officials had met with the 14th Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, in recent years, but warned that no excuses would satisfy it if any such meeting took place, reported Reuters Oct 21.
Foreign leaders can’t think they can get away with meeting the Dalai Lama just because they are doing it in a personal capacity, Zhang Yijiong, executive vice-minister of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and who heads the department’s Tibet working group, was cited as saying at a news conference on sidelines of the ongoing five-yearly 19th national congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.
China insists that the Dalai Lama, who in 2011 devolved all his historical political and administrative powers to a democratically elected Tibetan leadership in exile, seeks to secede Tibet from China. It calls his decades-old public pronouncements about seeking only autonomy for his homeland an exercise in subterfuge, insisting that the real goal still remains independence.
After fleeing China in 1959, he established a so-called government-in-exile, whose goal and core agenda is the independence of Tibet and to separate China, alleged China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Oct 21. For decades, the group headed by the 14th Dalai Lama, the “so-called government-in-exile”, has never stopped such attempts, it cited Zhang as saying.
Zhang has made it clear that not recognizing the government in exile would not exonerate governments and officials who meet with the Dalai Lama or allow his visit. He has said China was opposed to any foreign government or organization receiving the 14th Dalai Lama in all circumstances, and that “such behavior hurts the feelings of the Chinese people and shows disrespects to China’s sovereignty”.
He wanted governments around the world to speak and act with caution and give full consideration to their friendship with China and their respect for China’s sovereignty.