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China expresses concern over Dalai Lama's activities

Source: PTI
June 06, 2008 01:01 IST
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China on Thursday expressed its concern over the activities of the Dalai Lama and his supporters in India but thanked New Delhi for ensuring a smooth run of the Beijing Olympic torch in the Indian capital.

The Tibet issue was raised by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, during his talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in Beijing.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said China 'naturally' raised the issue of Tibet and talked about their concerns about the activities of Tibetan refugees.

He said Mukherjee explained India's position very clearly.

"Our approach is not to allow any illegal or political activity against China by refugees,  who have to respect the law of the land in India," Menon said.

He said China appreciated India's efforts in ensuring a smooth run for the Olympic torch relay in New Delhi.

Unlike in many Western countries, the Beijing Olympic torch was taken through a 2.3 km stretch in New Delhi on April 17 without any disruption.

The Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, says he wants autonomy, not independence, for Tibet. But China is unconvinced and considers him a separatist.

China has also accused followers of the Dalai Lama of instigating the rioting in Tibet in March.

Mukherjee is the senior most Indian leader to visit China since the outbreak of the anti-government riots in Tibet -- the worst since 1989.

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