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China 'firmly opposes' Tibetan monk attending Blinken's India event

ASIA
By Standard Reporter | August 7th 2021

Tibetan Buddhist monk Geshe Dorji Damdul. [Courtesy]

China on Thursday opposed contact between foreign officials and the Dalai Lama after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with a Tibetan Buddhist monk during his India visit.

US top diplomat met on Wednesday Geshe Dorji Damdul, current director of Tibet House in New Delhi, what was seen as a big political message to China.

Damdul, the former interpreter of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, was a part of a group of civil society leaders who met US Secretary of State during his two-day visit to India. Damdul is a director of Tibet House, which was founded in 1965 by the Dalai Lama to preserve and disseminate the unique cultural heritage of Tibet.

During a presser on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the contact between the US side and the Dalai clique goes against the US promise to recognising Tibet as being part of China.

Antony Blinken and U.S. Ambassador to India Atul Keshap deliver remarks to civil society organization rat the Leela Palace Hotel, New Delhi. [Reuters]

"China firmly opposes any form of contact between foreign officials and the Dalai Lama. Any form of contact between the US side and the Dalai clique is a violation of the US commitment to acknowledging Tibet being part of China, to not supporting 'Tibetan Independence', and to not supporting attempts to separate China," Lijian said.

The spokesperson further said that the US side should "stop meddling" in China's internal affairs under the pretext of Tibetan affairs, and offer no support to the "Tibetan independence" forces.

The meet is expectedly irked Beijing, which considers Tibet as an integral part of China. The meeting took place in the backdrop of strained Beijing and Washington ties.

Meanwhile, Blinken after the meeting civil society leaders, including the Tibetan monk, said that US-India share a commitment to democratic values, which is the bedrock of their relationship.

"I was pleased to meet civil society leaders today. The US and India share a commitment to democratic values; this is part of the bedrock of our relationship and reflective of India's pluralistic society and history of harmony. Civil society helps advance these values," Blinken had tweeted.

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