Dalai Lama's Arunachal visit will 'gravely harm' ties: Chinese media

Beijing, April 5: Angry over the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the Chinese state-run media on Wednesday said New Delhi's inviting the Tibetan spiritual leader to the "sensitive region" would "gravely damage" India-China relations.

The Global Times, in a belligerent editorial, also said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi "unlike his predecessors" was taking a different stance on the Dalai Lama issue by "raising public engagements with the monk and challenging 

Beijing's bottom line" on Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing considers disputed and a part of south Tibet.

The editorial comes as the Dalai Lama entered Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday by road, en-route to Tawang where he is to attend an important Buddhist event.

On Tuesday as he entered Bomdila, in Arunachal Pradesh, the Dalai Lama was received by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, and members of the Tibetan community.

The Global Times said: "The Dalai Lama was received by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in December, and invited by Pema Khandu, "chief minister" of "Arunachal Pradesh," to Tawang this month. "It's a behavioral change you are seeing. India is more assertive," Rijiju openly said in an interview with Reuters earlier.

"Amid Beijing-New Delhi conflicts, the Dalai Lama is now openly used by India as a diplomatic tool to win more leverage," it commented.

According to the Global Times, India is trying to play the Tibet card against China as "New Delhi is dissatisfied with Beijing's stance over its membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and its request to name Masood Azhar, head of Pakistani militant group, to a UN Security Council blacklist". 

It says that "China has never thought of making trouble for India, and is handling these issues in accordance with international practices and UN regulations".

It said that India is also exploring the option of linking the strategic border district of Tawang with a railway network, and termed it "another provocation against Beijing". 

India has also invited a "parliamentary" delegation from Taiwan in February. 

It went on to say that "New Delhi may have underestimated Beijing's determination to safeguard its core interests".