China dismisses Dalai Lama's wish to visit Tibet

China insisted that Dalai Lama should first give up his attempt to split the country

Beijing: China on Tuesday spurned the Dalai Lama's wish to visit Tibet, insisting that he should first genuinely give up his attempt to split the country and stop undertaking separatist activities to ensure his "personal future".

"Our policy on the 14th Dalai Lama is consistent and clear. Instead of talking about returning to Tibet, he should genuinely give up his attempt to split China and stop undertaking separatist activities," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing.

"That is what he should do right now, and only that will be helpful to his personal future," Hong said in a modified version of his reply sent to here.

Earlier, the translator quoted Hong as saying that the Dalai Lama should "give up his position and conduct of splitting China and this will do good for him".

Hong was reacting to a question on reports that the 79-year old Tibetan spiritual leader was in informal talks with China to make a historic pilgrimage to Tibet after more than half a century in exile.

He had also expressed his wish to visit Wutai Shan, a mountain in northern China considered sacred by the country's Buddhists.

In recent media interviews in Dharmsala, the Dalai Lama who fled from Tibet after a failed uprising in 1959, reportedly said that he had "made clear" his desire to undertake the pilgrimage to a sacred mountain in his homeland to contacts in China, including retired Communist Party officials.

"It's not finalised, not yet, but the idea is there," the Tibetan spiritual leader had said. "Not formally or seriously, but informally...I express, this is my desire, and some of my friends, they are also showing their genuine interest or concern," the Dalai Lama said.

Though he made it clear that he regard Tibet as part of China and he wanted a solution within united China, Beijing objected to his demand for "greater Tibet", which it says encompasses nearly one fourth of China.

Chinese officials say that the "middle way" policy advocated by him is still seeking the "independence" of Tibet but in a "disguised form".

( Source : PTI )
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