Beijing criticizes visit by American parliamentarians to the Dalai Lama

Beijing criticizes visit by American parliamentarians to the Dalai Lama
Beijing criticizes visit by American parliamentarians to the Dalai Lama

(New Delhi) A group of American parliamentarians, including former Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, met Wednesday in India with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile, drawing criticism from Beijing.

Posted at 7:29 a.m.

The bipartisan group, led by Mme Pelosi and Republican congressman Michael McCaul visited the 88-year-old Buddhist spiritual leader at his home in Dharamsala, northern India.

Meeting the Dalai Lama is “truly a blessing” and an “honor,” Pelosi in a speech delivered to a crowd of Tibetans and broadcast by the government-in-exile channel Tibet TV.

The US Congress recently adopted a text encouraging Beijing to resume talks, interrupted in 2010, with Tibetan leaders.

This text should be “soon signed” by US President Joe Biden, said Pelosi said it was “a message to the Chinese government that our thinking and understanding on the issue of Tibetan freedom is clear.”

Beijing, which maintains that Tibet is part of its territory, denounced “external interference” and declared that questions relating to the Himalayan territory were “China’s internal affairs”.

“We urge the United States to fully recognize the anti-Chinese separatist nature of the group” of the Dalai Lama, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian, asking Joe Biden “not to sign ” the text.

The Chinese embassy in New Delhi also criticized the visit, saying the Dalai Lama is “not a mere religious figure, but a political exile engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the guise of religion.”

“We are the same human beings, we all have the same rights and this world belongs to humanity,” the Dalai Lama declared to American parliamentarians, dressed in a red tunic and draped in a yellow scarf.

He added in a video released by the Tibetan government in exile that “people all over the world should be peaceful and happy.”

China annexed Tibet in 1950. Many Tibetan exiles fear seeing Beijing appoint a successor to the Dalai Lama in order to ensure its total control over the Himalayan territory.

The Dalai Lama, who fled his country in 1959, ended his political powers in 2011 in favor of a democratically elected Tibetan government in exile.



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