Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is ‘a part’ of China and India’s ‘unfriendly’ move to allow the Dalai Lama to visit the town will negatively impact bilateral ties as it involves ‘sensitive issues’ related to the border dispute, a prominent Tibetan scholar said on Thursday. “Tawang is a part of Tibet and Tibet is a part of China. So Tawang is a part of China. There is not much problem here,” Lian Xiangmin, Director of contemporary research of the Beijing-based China Tibetology Research Centre, told the media in Beijing reiterating China’s claim over Tawang.
In a rare interaction with the foreign media, he said the Dalai Lama’s planned visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as part of south Tibet, is an ‘unfriendly’ move on the part of India. Elaborating China’s claim over Tawang, Lian said the Tawang Buddhist Monastery is part of the three main Buddhist temples of Tibet where monks of Tawang studied Buddhist ‘sutras’. Referring to the Dalai Lama’s planned visit to Arunachal Pradesh, he said in recent years the Indian government supported or made arrangements for the Dalai Lama to visit Tawang region.
“It seems to us that it is not so friendly,” he said. During his previous visit to Tawang, “the Dalai Lama said Tawang part of India. This is against the facts. It is not true. It undermines the friendly relations between China and India,” he said.
“I hope to see friendly relations between India and China. We don’t want to see such a thing happening time and again. This time around the Indian government once again allowed the Dalai Lama to go to Tawang. This will only hurt the friendly relations between the two countries,” he said.
The Tibetan leader is expected to visit Tawang early next month. “We all know that between India and China there is the boundary question. What we should do is not to touch the sensitive areas but such a visit by the Dalai Lama will touch the sensitive issue. This will undoubtedly negatively affect friendly relations. We do hope history and facts are respected by both the parties,” Lian said.