China reasserts opposition to Dalai Lama's travels
BEIJING (Reuters) - China said Tuesday it will continue to oppose the Dalai Lama's trips to other countries after South Africa denied the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader entry, causing a stir among fellow Nobel Prize winners.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he would boycott a conference for Nobel Prize laureates Friday after South Africa denied a visa to the Buddhist monk China brands a separatist. South African media said the denial was due to Chinese pressure.
"Regarding the Dalai Lama's overseas activities, we resolutely oppose any country's government having official contact with the Dalai Lama or enabling or offering a platform for his splittist activities," Qin Gang told reporters.
"We also resolutely oppose any foreign country using the Tibet issue to interfere in China's internal affairs ... We express our appreciation to any country that respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, supports the 'One China' principle and opposes Tibetan independence."
The Dalai Lama says he seeks greater rights, including religious freedom, and true autonomy for Tibetans. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
Beijing calls the Dalai Lama a reactionary who seeks to split off nearly a quarter of the land mass of the People's Republic of China. It has been using its diplomatic clout to try to block the pro-Tibetan message.
Taiwan's Minister of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs commission, Kao Su-po, told Taiwanese lawmakers that "the time is not opportune" for the Dalai Lama to visit the island, after the Association of Taiwan Journalists invited him, the mainland's state-run China Daily said Tuesday.
In 1997 and 2001, the Dalai Lama visited self-ruled Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway province to be unified with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Last week, the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Hong Kong said the Chinese Foreign Ministry had asked it to cancel a scheduled talk by a representative of the International Campaign for Tibet.
The talk was postponed so the Chinese government could find a speaker to represent its view, the FCC said in a note on its website.
China last year cancelled a summit with the European Union after French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he planned to meet the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama, together with tens of thousands of exiled Tibetans, has lived in India since he fled Lhasa after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
(Reporting by Lucy Hornby; Editing by Nick Macfie)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this