Chinese official says U.S. should stop using Dalai Lama to stir up trouble

Reuters Feb 4, 2017 Japan Times

The United States should stop using the Dalai Lama to create trouble for China, a senior Chinese official in charge of Tibet affairs told an influential state-run newspaper.

The U.S. is damaging ties with China, said Zhu Weiqun, head of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the top advisory body to China’s parliament, according to the Global Times.

The Global Times, a tabloid known for writing strongly worded, hawkish and nationalist editorials, is published by the Communist Party’s flagship paper.

China says the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, is a violent separatist. The Dalai Lama denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.

In response to recent written questions from the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave an affirmative answer when asked if he would commit to receiving and meeting the Dalai Lama. Tillerson also said he would continue to encourage dialogue between Beijing and representatives of the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Dalai Lama, India-based news service reported on Thursday.

It is impossible for the Chinese government to “have a dialogue” with the illegal group that is aiming to split China, and Tillerson’s remarks show he is a “complete amateur” on Tibet-related questions, Zhu told the Global Times.

China will not change its policy to support the development of the Tibetan society, nor will it stop protecting its sovereignty over the region, he said.

Beijing does not recognize the Tibetan government-in-exile, which is based in India’s Himalayan town of Dharamsala.

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