China today took strong exception to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama's meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan during a children's summit, saying India must respect China's "core interests" to avoid "any disturbance" to the bilateral ties.
Exiled Tibetans in Dharamsala strongly condemned China's dissatisfaction over a meeting between their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
For several months, China has kept asking the Indian government to drop plans to invite the Dalai Lama to a function scheduled for next spring in Tawang, considered by China as disputed territory. MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup described the Dalai Lama as a respected spiritual leader and said India's position on the matter had been consistent.
In October this year china had also raised objections on the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh in March 2017, Beijing had said that his visit will damage India's relationship with China and India will only damage the Peace and stability of the relationship between China and India, Chinese foreign Ministry said by Lu Kang.
"China is strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed to this", he said, adding that the Dalai Lama used the guise of religion to engage in separatist activities and China opposed any form of official contacts with him. An activist of Students For a Free Tibet (SFT), a non-profit fighting for human rights of Tibetans, Ringzin Chodon said it was high time China learnt that it could not always dictate terms.
Beijing accuses the 14th Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959, of secessionist activities in Tibet.
Earlier, Chinese government spokespersons objected to the Dalai Lama's visits to Arunachal Pradesh, Mongolia and the US, as well as the government's permission to the Karmapa Lama to travel to Arunachal as well.
Later, China informally communicated its unease to India after the Indian ambassador in Mongolia T. Suresh Babu hosted a lunch for the Dalai Lama when he visited Ulaanbaatar recently despite Beijing's opposition.
New Delhi would have expected a strong reaction from Beijing.