China has expressed its disapproval over the United States’ willingness to meet the Dalai Lama, according to a report by Reuters.
Zhu Weiqun, head of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the top advisory body to China’s parliament, has stated that welcoming the Dalai Lama would only risk the deterioration of Sino-U.S. ties.
This statement comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s positive answers to questions from the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Tillerson has stated that he is open to receiving and meeting the Dalai Lama should there be a request from the latter.
Tillerson even goes so far as to explain that he would continue encouraging open communication between Beijing and the representatives of the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Dalai Lama.
Impossible Dialogue with Separatists
For Zhu, Tillerson’s latest remarks go to show that he is an amateur when it comes to issues concerning Tibet. He further explains that China will not change its policy towards Tibet and that it will exert every effort to assert sovereignty over the region.
China still maintains its position that the Dalai Lama is part of a larger separatist group that aims to foster division in China and that it is impossible to start a dialogue with them.
“The U.S. government had used the Dalai Lama to create problems for China's unity and stability, which has brought no benefit to Washington while it caused damage to Sino-U.S. relations," Zhu said.
According to China, the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. For his part, the Dalai Lama has emphasized that he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet and its people.
“The new U.S. government should carefully study the policy and that its attention to the Tibet question will only bring endless trouble and burden for the U.S.,” Zhu added.