BEIJING, China, 28 May 2019
China on Tuesday told the US to stop interfering in Tibet after the American envoy advised Beijing to hold talks with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama who is living in India.
In a rare visit to Tibet last week, US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad advised the Chinese government officials to hold talks with the spiritual leader and slammed Beijing for cracking down on religious freedom in the restive region.
China, which sees the 14th Dalai Lama as a secessionist, reacted angrily on expected lines.
“US Ambassador recently visited the Tibet autonomous region and officials there also met him. He also met the local community, educational and cultural institutes as well as religious venues,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Lu Kang said.
“China briefed the US side about its religious and ethnic policies and also about socio-economic development in Tibet… China made clear its policy on dialogue and contact with the Dalai Lama as well as foreigners’ access to Tibet. Finally, it was also stressed that China firmly opposes any foreign interference in Tibet,” Lu added.
Branstad was the first US envoy to visit Tibet since 2015. Last year, Washington enacted a law to deny visas to the Chinese officials who denied officials and journalists access to Tibet.
Tibet is China’s troubled region that is almost off-limits to foreign journalists and diplomats.
Beijing sees the Dalai Lama a “trouble maker” in Tibet who fled to India after a failed revolt in 1959.
The spiritual leader, who has been living in India ever since, rejects Beijing’s charges and says he seeks autonomy in Tibet where human rights violations have been reported.
China scorns any foreign leader or country that maintains contact with the Dalai Lama.