China today warned that it would consider as a "major offence" if any country or foreign leader hosts or meets the Dalai Lama as it deems the Tibetan spiritual leader a "separatist" trying to split Tibet from it.
China routinely protests world leaders meeting the Dalai Lama. It also makes it mandatory for all the foreign governments to recognise Tibet as part of China to have diplomatic relations with Beijing.
It also protested that when the Tibetan spiritual leader was permitted by India to visit various areas in the north- east, including Arunachal Pradesh, this year.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland. He has been living in India in exile since then.
"Any country or any organisation of anyone to accept to meet with the Dalai Lama in our view is a major offence to the sentiment of the Chinese people," said Zhang Yijiong, Executive Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
"Also, since they have committed to recognising China as a sole legitimate government representing China it contravenes their attempt, because it is a serious commitment," Zhang said on the sidelines of the once-in-a-five-year congress of the CPC.
Zhang said China would not accept the arguments of foreign countries and leaders to meet the 82-year-old Dalai Lama as a religious leader.
"I want to make it clear that the 14th Dalai Lama, the living Buddha handed down by history is a political figure under the cloak of religion," he said.
Without naming India, he said Dalai Lama fled to the "other country" in 1959 "betraying his motherland and setup his so called government in exile".
That "so called government" has the mission of a separatist agenda to split Tibet from China, he said.
"For decades, the group with 14th Dalai Lama as the leader never stopped to achieve that political agenda," he said.
There is no legitimate government that that has recognised the Dalai Lama group, he said, adding that fewer countries and leaders are hosting him.
Some countries may say the Dalai Lama is not a political figure but a religious figure and their officials meet him not in his political capacity.
"But that is not true and not right because every official represent their government and they are political figures," Zhang said.
"So we urge all to exercise caution and prudence to bear in mind the respect for China's sovereignty and for their relations and friendship with China," he said.
Zhang also claimed that Tibetan Buddhism is originated from China.
"It is a special form of religion that originated within China. In the process of development of Tibetan Buddhism, it was influenced by other religions and other cultures, that is true but is not acquired religion," he said.
Zhang said in Tibet, China is encouraging Tibetan Buddhism to reclaim its Chinese orientation.
"It is mainly about introducing or incorporating fine results of Chinese culture in the teaching of Tibetan religion," he said.
"Chinese culture can nurture teachings and tenants of Tibetan Buddhism, so that its teaching can take in the latest fine results of Chinese culture. It is also needed for the development of Chinese Buddhism itself," he said.
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