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China flouts protocol; emails Indian leaders who attended Tibetan event in Delhi

These days, China either seems to be lacking diplomatic etiquettes or chooses to willfully ignore them. 

China flouts protocol; emails Indian leaders who attended Tibetan event in Delhi
New Delhi, First Published Dec 31, 2021, 3:35 PM IST
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These days, China either seems to be lacking diplomatic etiquettes or chooses to willfully ignore them. That is, perhaps, why Indian lawmakers have been fuming about a Chinese government communique that reached them but not through proper channels. At the centre of this controversy is the Chinese objection to Indian MPs attending a Tibetan programme in New Delhi on December 22.

The communique on e-mail, which was sent by the Chinese Embassy Political Counsellor Zhou Yongsheng said it had come to their notice that the Indian leaders had taken part in an activity held by the so-called All-Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet. The Chinese expressed concern that the leaders interacted with some members of the so-called Tibetan Parliament in Exile.

The mail further said the so-called Tibetan Government-in-exile is an illegal organization completely in violation of China’s Constitution and laws, and an out-and-out separatist political group that is not recognized by any country in the world. The communique noted that Tibet has been an inseparable part of China since ancient times and that Tibet-related affairs are purely China’s internal affairs in which there can be no foreign interference.

The MPs who attended the meeting on December 22 included senior Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Manish Tewari, Pratibha Singh, Biju Janata Dal MP Sujit Kumar, BJP MPs Maneka Gandhi and KC Ramamurthy and Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Talking to Asianet Newsable, BJD MP Sujit Kumar said, "It is not surprising. I have received 3-4 letters in past too because I have been raising the issue of Tibetans cause. The meeting which was held about a week back in Delhi was about enhancing the relationship between the people of India and Tibet. The letter should have come through our Ministry of External Affairs. We will take up this issue."

The Chinese political counsellor further added that the Indian government had recognized that the Tibet Autonomous Region is part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China, which meant that NEw Delhi will not let Tibetans carry out anti-China political activities.  

'China firmly opposes any anti-China separatist activities conducted by Tibetan independence forces in any capacity or name in any country and opposes any forms of contact by officials of any country with them,' the mail reads. 

China flouts protocol; emails Indian leaders who attended Tibetan event in Delhi

However, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari denied receiving any letter. Reacting to a report published in an English Newspaper on Friday, the Congress leader said he had neither received any letter nor will he demean himself by responding to such imbecile missives. Tewari, however, said that had Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi written to him, he would have considered responding.

In his letter, Zhou Yongsheng also raised the issues of India-China bilateral relations and asked the lawmakers to refrain from providing support to the Tibetan independence forces, and advised them to contribute to China-India bilateral relations.   

Central Tibetan Administration spokesperson Tenzin Lekshay lashed out at China and said, "China calling out Central Tibetan Administration as a separatist political group will not help resolve the Sino-Tibetan Conflict. It is well known that Middle Way Policy is not about separation rather it aspires for genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese Constitution."

In July this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had talked to the Dalai Lama for the first time since he assume the post in 2014 on his 86th birthday. In 2018, the government had ordered to cancel all events regarding the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s arrival in India. The decision was taken amidst the meeting between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan.

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