Dalai Lama visit hurts China-EU ties

Bei­jing says na­tion’s ‘core in­ter­ests’ ig­nored, par­lia­men­tary ac­tions deemed ‘ir­re­spon­si­ble’

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - ByWANG QINGYUN wangqingyun@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

China said the re­cent meet­ing of lead­ers of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment with the Dalai Lama has dam­aged China’s core in­ter­ests and se­verely im­paired the po­lit­i­cal ba­sis of in­ter­par­lia­men­tary ex­changes be­tween China and the Euro­pean Union.

For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang made the re­marks onMon­day, af­ter the Dalai Lama vis­ited the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and met with its pres­i­dent, Martin Schulz, and its for­eign af­fairs com­mit­tee chair, El­mar Brok, on Thurs­day.

“China res­o­lutely op­poses the wrong be­hav­ior by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment. It’s im­pos­si­ble China will stay un­moved over such be­hav­ior,” Lu said at a daily news con­fer­ence, re­spond­ing to a re­quest to con­firm re­ports that China has post­poned a visit by Euro­pean Par­lia­ment mem­bers to the coun­try af­ter the in­ci­dent.

That Schulz and Brok in­sisted on the meet­ing “re­gard­less of China’s strong op­po­si­tion” has breached the Euro­pean Union’s stance on is­sues con­cern­ing the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion as well as prom­ises it has made to China, Lu said.

Lu did not com­ment specif­i­cally on the verac­ity of a re­port from Politico, quot­ing Par­lia­ment spokesman Jaume Duch Guil­lot as say­ing the visit had been post­poned.

Af­ter flee­ing to In­dia in 1959 af­ter a failed riot, the Dalai Lama has been seek­ing to split Ti­bet from China, in­clud­ing by at­tract­ing in­ter­na­tional in­ter­ven­tion.

“The Chi­nese govern­ment res­o­lutely stands against na­tional split­tism. It res­o­lutely op­poses ring­leaders of the Dalai Lama clique en­gag­ing in anti-China ac­tiv­i­ties and ac­tiv­i­ties aim­ing to split China in any coun­try or or­ga­ni­za­tion un­der any iden­tity or name. It also op­poses of­fi­cials of any coun­try or or­ga­ni­za­tion con­duct­ing any form of con­tact with them,” Lu said.

In­ter­par­lia­men­tary ex­changes be­tween the two were en­joy­ing good mo­men­tum as ties be­tween China and the EU are en­ter­ing a phase of rapid de­vel­op­ment, he said, adding that China hopes Europe and the peo­ple con­cerned will change course and take ef­fec­tive mea­sures to elim­i­nate neg­a­tive in­flu­ences im­posed by the in­ci­dent.

Cui Hongjian, di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment for Euro­pean Stud­ies at the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said the meet­ing with the Dalai Lama is “ir­re­spon­si­ble” and goes against the prin­ci­ples of China-EU ex­changes, which are to stick to the oneChina pol­icy and to re­spect each other’s core in­ter­ests.

The meet­ing shows that China-EU ties “are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some twists and turns” this year, Cui said, cit­ing the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment’s res­o­lu­tion on China’s mar­ket econ­omy sta­tus ear­lier this year as an­other ex­am­ple. The Par­lia­ment adopted a res­o­lu­tion ask­ing the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion not to grant mar­ket econ­omy sta­tus to China.

Wang Yi­wei, an ex­pert on Euro­pean stud­ies at Ren­min Uni­ver­sity of China, said the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment lead­er­ship’s meet­ing falls out of line with the good mo­men­tum of China-EU ties in re­cent years.

“It’s cer­tain that we will have a re­ac­tion over this in­ci­dent. We will not tol­er­ate this wrong act just be­cause China-EU ties are de­vel­op­ing,” Wang said.

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