China says Dalai Lama’s Mon­go­lia visit could harm ties

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEI­JING: China urged Mon­go­lia yes­ter­day to take steps to pro­tect the two coun­tries’ re­la­tions af­ter the Dalai Lama vis­ited the cen­tral Asian coun­try at the week­end, de­spite Bei­jing re­peat­edly voic­ing its op­po­si­tion.

The ex­iled Ti­betan spir­i­tual leader ar­rived in Mon­go­lia on Fri­day to meet Mon­go­lian Buddhist lead­ers, ac­cord­ing to his web­site. Chi­nese for­eign min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang, in a state­ment, said Mon­go­lia should “adopt ef­fec­tive mea­sures to elim­i­nate the neg­a­tive ef­fects of the Dalai Lama’s visit, in order to prevent the dis­rup­tion of the healthy de­vel­op­ment of China-Mon­go­lia re­la­tions.”

Mon­go­lia had re­peat­edly ig­nored China’s cau­tions against al­low­ing the visit, much to Bei­jing’s dis­sat­is­fac­tion, the state­ment said. Bei­jing fre­quently ex­presses its anger with coun­tries that host the 81-year old No­bel Peace Prize win­ner, who fled to In­dia in 1959 fol­low­ing a failed up­ris­ing against the Chi­nese.

Af­ter the Dalai Lama vis­ited Mon­go­lia in 2006, China can­celled flights be­tween Bei­jing and Ulaanbaatar.

Flights later re­sumed. China re­gards the Dalai Lama as a sep­a­ratist, though he says he merely seeks gen­uine au­ton­omy for his Hi­malayan home­land Ti­bet, which Com­mu­nist Chi­nese troops “peace­fully lib­er­ated” in 1950. Rights groups and ex­iles ac­cuse China of tram­pling on the re­li­gious and cul­tural rights of the Ti­betan peo­ple, charges strongly de­nied by Bei­jing, which says its rule has brought pros­per­ity to a once back­ward re­gion.

—AFP

ULAN BATAR, Mon­go­lia: Dalai Lama speaks to wor­ship­pers dur­ing cer­e­monies at the Buyant Ukhaa sports sta­dium yes­ter­day.

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