Beijing: After India slammed China for criticizing The Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a state-owned Chinese media said on Wednesday that Indian was playing the Tibet card and that Beijing will not allow it to have a free ride on its economic growth.
"New Delhi is dissatisfied with Beijing's stance over its membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and its request to name Masood Azhar, head of Pakistani militant group, to a UN Security Council blacklist. Therefore, Delhi attempts to play the Tibet card against Beijing," said Global Times
in an editorial
The editorial comes as the Dalai Lama entered Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday. It said New Delhi inviting the Tibetan spiritual leader to the "sensitive region" would "gravely damage" India-China relations.
A top Chinese Communist Party official, Zhu Weiqun, backing the editorial's view said that India was losing its dignity as a big power and warned of repercussions, suggesting that if China chose to it could also 'interfere' in the Kashmir issue.
The comments came after the Global Times editorial hinted at the same - “With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India's peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India's turbulent northern state borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?”
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chinese daily said, "Unlike his predecessors, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have taken a different stance on the Dalai issue, raising public engagements with the monk and challenging Beijing's bottom line."
"Amid Beijing-New Delhi conflicts, the Dalai Lama is now openly used by India as a diplomatic tool to win more leverage," it added.
China keeping an eye on Dalai Lama's visit, warned India to avoid damaging bilateral relations between the two nations and adhere to political pledges, or else face the consequences.
"Therefore, we have asked India to earnestly honour its political pledges and avoid damaging China-India relations. Otherwise, India only stands to get hurt," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang's told a press conference on Friday.
Another state-run media, China Daily also launched a staunching attack on India. "New Delhi not only allowed the 14th Dalai Lama to visit Southern Tibet, a historical Chinese territory India has illicitly occupied and refers to as 'Arunachal Pradesh', but the spiritual leader of 'Tibetan independence' was also escorted on the trip by India's junior minister of home affairs," it said in its editorial.
Commenting on the remarks of Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju who said Arunchal is "an inseparable part of India", China Daily said "Rijiju might think himself cute in borrowing a line from Beijing's diplomatic representations, but he has ignored the fundamental distinction here: Like Taiwan and any other part of China, Tibet is a part of the Chinese territory no matter whether New Delhi agrees or not."
The India-China diplomatic tensions rose afresh over Dalai Lama's visit, with New Delhi asserting on Tuesday that no political motive should be attributed to the visit and asked Beijing not to interfere in its internal affairs.
Beijing has earlier slammed the Dalai Lama as an "anti-China separatist" and attacked India indirectly for its support to the Tibetan leader.
Arunachal Pradesh holds a special significance for the Tibetan leader, as it was the first territory - then called the North East Frontier Region -- in India he entered while fleeing Chinese troops in 1959 before moving to Dharamsala, where he now resides.