After Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama paid Mongolia a visit in November, China-Mongolia relations have chilled, Reuters reported.
The Dalai Lama is a highly regarded spiritual leader in Mongolia, a predominantly Buddhist nation. In China, however, the Dalai Lama is considered by the government as a separatist leader with dangerous intentions.
Before the Dalai Lama landed in Mongolia, the Chinese government has already warned its Mongolian government that there could be adverse affects to their relations.
"The Dalai Lama's furtive visit to Mongolia brought a negative impact to China-Mongolia relations," Wang Yi, Chinese foreign minister, told Tsend Munkh-Orgil, Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a telephone conversation, according to Reuters.
"We hope that Mongolia has taken this lesson to heart," Wang said.
In addition, the Chinese government has issued a public statement on Tuesday, January 24, on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's official website. China also hopes that Mongolia would "scrupulously abide by its promise" of not inviting the Dalai Lama for a visit in the country again.
Although Minister Tsend Munkh-Orgil was unavailable to provide any comment, the Chinese ministry said that Mongolia deeply regrets the visit and the negative impact it has caused on China-Mongolia relations. Mongolia has also reiterated its commitment not to invite the Dalai Lama for another visit, Reuters reported.
"Mongolia firmly supports the one China policy, consistently holds that Tibet is a separable part of China, that the Tibet issue is China's internal affair," the Mongolian minister was quoted.
The Dalai Lama fled from his home country Tibet during an uprising against Chinese control in 1959. According to the spiritual leader, he promotes peace and genuine autonomy for Tibet. China, however, views him as "splittist."
In the recent months, Mongolia has been hard at work to bolster its national economy by improving its relationship with China, its southern neighbor. Mongolia hopes that through Chinese expertise in investment, mining, and infrastructure, it can grow into a developed nation.