Author Topic: India, China, and the Dalai Lama  (Read 799 times)

michaela

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India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« on: April 05, 2017, 09:55:56 PM »
An interesting opinion piece by Jyoti Malhotra. It provides the information that the Prime Minister Narendra Mode has drastically changed his stance on how he used the Dalai Lama and the Tibet card. Back in 2014, he was very conscious about being associated openly with the Dalai Lama, while these days, Modi has been using the Dalai Lama openly to irritate China. Especially when it is not acting in accordance with the India’s wishes. - Recently, China has vetoed the United Nations from including Pakistan’s Masood Azhar from the terrorist list.

We only can wonder until when the game of diplomacy will last?


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Chinese Media Is Right, Modi's Stand On Dalai Lama Is Big Change

By: Jyoti Malhotra

The hotter China gets under the collar over the ongoing visit of the Tibetan holy leader, the Dalai Lama, to Arunachal Pradesh, the wider are the smiles on the faces of Indian officialdom.

As the 82-year-old Dalai Lama insisted on driving eight hours to Bomdila so as not to disappoint the Tibetan Buddhist congregation waiting for hours to receive him - after the authorities forbade him from flying because of rough weather - and prepared to go onwards to Tawang, the Chinese foreign office and media unleashed a barrage of savage criticism.

"We demand the Indian side immediately stop wrong actions, not hype up sensitive issues and take concrete steps to safeguard growth of India-China relations," said Chinese ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying.

By ignoring China's concerns and persisting in arranging the trip, India had "severely damaged China's interests and China-India relations", she added.

"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," the Chinese-run state media pointed out, using only the pejorative first name in the Tibetan leader's title. 

Certainly, much of the Chinese criticism stems from the fact that the Dalai Lama is visiting the remote Tibetan monastery in Tawang district, considered to be disputed territory by the Chinese and doubly sensitive because it was here, in 1683, that the Dalai Lama's ancestor, the sixth incarnation, was born.

Still, the Chinese have definitely caught on to New Delhi's changed thinking on the Dalai Lama. For years, Indian diplomats who worked in China, or those seconded to the China desk in Delhi, including Foreign Secretaries who spoke Chinese and knew China well, tried hard to resurrect the so-called "Tibet card" in their dealings with Beijing.

But they always met with a great wall of resistance by the Indian leadership. Meet the Dalai Lama, exchange private courtesies and greetings, but don't do anything that may irritate the growing power of the dragon, the diplomats were told.

The Modi government, on the other hand, seems to have adopted a diametrically different approach. Conscious that the 82-year-old Tibetan holy leader is not growing any younger, New Delhi seems to have decided to make full use of its "asset", as the Dalai Lama is sometimes vulgarly described, in the ongoing battle of wits with Beijing.

So if China was going to stab India in the eye by refusing it the courtesy of acceding to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, or by being the only country at the UN to hold up sanctions against Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar, then Delhi was certainly not going to sit quietly and turn the other cheek.

In recent months then, Delhi's fury against Beijing was slowly sharpened until it found the perfect outlet. The Tibetan leader was allowed, nay actively encouraged, to undertake activities which may have seemed to be par for the course for a top Buddhist leader, but were in fact not-so-subtle provocations against Beijing.

His meeting with president Pranab Mukherjee in Rashtrapati Bhavan in January, his participation at the Buddhist conference in Nalanda last month, as well as the ongoing visit to Arunachal Pradesh are all part of the same strategy - that of needling the Chinese.

Interestingly, the Chinese have fallen right into Modi's trap. They got increasingly hot and bothered each time the Dalai Lama came into the public eye. As he prepares to travel to Tawang from Bomdila, Beijing has even threatened a downgrading of the bilateral India-China relationship.

China's reactions are surprising, not least because the Chinese are an ancient civilization. Moreover, they have complete control over Tibet, notwithstanding the occasional dribble of people who continue to escape from there. Beijing's gradual encirclement of India in South Asia - whether through Pakistan, Nepal or even Sri Lanka or Myanmar - is a message to Delhi that it must learn to kowtow to the superior Asian power.

As China becomes the world's dominant power, it should hardly be bothered by the soft smile of the world's gentlest man, the Dalai Lama, leave alone his teachings of the Buddha.

But the truth is that it is. The Chinese are insecure about the Dalai Lama because they know in their heart of hearts that they have wronged the Tibetans - their own people.

The Chinese feel the Dalai Lama causes them to lose face, in front of the rest of the world. He is a living reminder not only of 1950, of the takeover of Tibet, but also of 1959, when he escaped from under their noses to India.

Ironically, none other than Narendra Modi had a terrible meeting with the Dalai Lama, his only one as Prime Minister, on the eve of Chinese president Xi Jinping's visit to India in August 2014. According to a source who was witness, the Tibetan holy leader was taken in an unmarked car and darkened windows to the Prime Minister's residence on Race Course Road in the heart of Delhi and given the diplomatic version of a dressing-down. 

The Dalai Lama is said to have been deeply upset with the Prime Minister.It seems that Modi at the time, somewhat erroneously, believed that the Dalai Lama was trying to send messages to the Xi Jinping establishment for some sort of a deal that would allow him to return honourably to Tibet.

When I asked the Dalai Lama about this meeting some months later, in an interview at the time for India Today, the Tibetan holy leader refused comment. But the meeting seemed to have clearly left a mark. 

But over the last year or so, something seems to have happened to have changed the Prime Minister's heart and mind completely. To give credit its due, Modi - along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval - seem to have led from the front in overhauling official Delhi's treatment of the honoured Tibetan holy leader.

From beyond the pale, the government has pulled the Dalai Lama back into the lakshman rekha and allowed him to carry out religious and socio-cultural activities - enough to make the Chinese sit up and take notice.

Certainly, the new Indian strategy's goal is to rile Beijing, to pay it back for its actions on Masood Azhar and its refusal to allow India into the NSG.

Remember it was none other than Modi who asked Xi Jinping in Tashkent last year to let India become a fellow member of the NSG - but President XI just smiled and shook his head.

The Dalai Lama's travels to Arunachal Pradesh will soon be over. Beijing has said it will soon teach Delhi a lesson. But at the moment at least, Delhi feels it has achieved a minor victory by doing exactly what the Chinese don't like. In the long, historical battle of wits between the two Asian powers, India seems to have won this particular round - and it has the Dalai Lama to thank for it.

(Jyoti Malhotra has been a journalist for several years and retains an especial passion for dialogue and debate across South Asia.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/chinese-proved-today-they-have-fallen-right-into-modis-trap-1677620

grandmapele

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 08:21:38 AM »
Another case of the Dalai Lama being a pawn in the on-going subtle maneuverings between India and China. The Dalai Lama has long since been a pawn of the CIA, so another case does not matter so long as he gets the attention.

In the long run, it the Tibetans and the practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism/Vajrayana that will be caught in this sort of political moves. So sad to see a very spiritual practice made into political pawn.

Ringo Starr

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 10:18:56 AM »


The poster from PM Modi says it all. He's a Hindu Nationalist. Hindu and India comes first. Doesn't seem like a leader of all India does it? Horrible trend for India. His Holiness Dalai Lama becomes another one of PM Modi's pawns.

Ringo Starr

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 10:59:02 AM »
Indian politician defends mob of 'cow vigilantes' who killed a Muslim cattle farmer for transporting them

'Blame lies with both sides, says minister, after hundreds of angry Hindus turn on men over 'sacred' animals

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/indian-politician-gulad-chand-kataria-cow-vigilantes-mob-kill-muslim-cattle-farmer-transport-alwar-a7668426.html

michaela

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 06:39:32 PM »
Another case of the Dalai Lama being a pawn in the on-going subtle maneuverings between India and China. The Dalai Lama has long since been a pawn of the CIA, so another case does not matter so long as he gets the attention.

In the long run, it the Tibetans and the practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism/Vajrayana that will be caught in this sort of political moves. So sad to see a very spiritual practice made into political pawn.

Dear Grandma Pele

Thank you for your comment. I do agree with you that the fact the Dalai Lama is being used as a pawn against China first by CIA and later by India would not serve the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in the long run. They should focus on building rapport and good relationship with China and not allow their leader to be used as a pawn against China.

How can the Tibetan government in exile continuously saying in the media that they want autonomy from China and is ready for negotiation, but their actions don't show any goodwill? I don't really understand what kind of diplomatic manoeuvre that they are playing.


Pema8

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 07:43:44 AM »
All these political games will never bring peace. There is always someone who wants to win and who will use others for his own benefits.

I hope that the CTA will soon make up his mind and improve their relations with China. Many Tibetans are still in Tibet and they need their government to help them and find solutions and peace with the Chinese government.  So much pain has been endured and there is no hope left for the Tibetans to gain back their country. So, the only thing left is to make peace and friends with China no matter how hard it appears.

The CTA should take responsibility and go back to Tibet and be the leadership that the Tibetans need. After all the time that has been lost, it is time to end the fight and insults but to work to make the life of ALL the Tibetans better. In my eyes, this is the role of the Tibetan leadership after all ...

michaela

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 03:13:43 AM »
The aftermath of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, China renamed six places in that territory to stake it’s claim on the disputed area. China is calling India to never again use the Dalai Lama to undermine China’s core interest. It will be interesting to see whether India will continue to use the Dalai Lama to irritate China or whether China would do more manoeuvre to make a stronger statement to India that he is not happy.

— 

China and India renew war of words over Tibet

India calls Arunachal an ‘integral’ part of its country after Beijing adjusts place names

China and India have renewed a war of words over the north-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, a Tibetan Himalayan region claimed by Beijing, after China said it would “standardise” six place names in the territory.

The announcement of the new romanised spellings for three towns and three mountain passes by China’s ministry of civil affairs is the country’s latest move to stake its claim over an area that came under formal Indian control in a series of 19th-century boundary agreements between the Manchu Qing empire and the British government in India.  India responded on Thursday by insisting that Arunachal Pradesh was an integral part of India. Nothing can change that, the foreign ministry in New Delhi said. We have an established bilateral mechanism to discuss the boundary question with China and it has made progress. We seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question. Beijing’s current claims over Arunachal Pradesh which it calls South Tibet — rest on its control over the rest of Tibet, the vast mountain territory it invaded and seized in 1950. The decision to release new names follows a dispute over a visit to a Buddhist monastery in Arunachal this month by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who lives in exile in India. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the “standardisation” was in line with Chinese regulations on the management of geographical names: These names reflect from another angle that China’s territorial claim over South Tibet is supported by clear evidence in terms of history, culture and administration. Earlier this week Mr Lu said India-China relations had been damaged for some time. What is imperative now is for the Indian side to take concrete actions to honour its solemn promises on Tibet-related issues, he said, calling on New Delhi to never again use the 14th Dalai Lama to undermine China’s core interests. The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since 1959 when he fled Lhasa following a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. The influential leader is reviled by Beijing, which views him as a threat to China’s control of Tibet.

After a previous visit to the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh by the Dalai Lama in 2009, China stopped recognising the Indian passports of people born in the state. Rather than normal visas, it issued travel permits stapled into their passports. The dispute escalated as both countries included maps in newly issued passports showing the conflicting claims. The ageing Dalai Lama has resisted attempts by Beijing to put forward its own candidate for his reincarnated successor. He has said the reincarnated spiritual leader will not be born in Chinese territory.  An alternative option of identifying his successor in Mongolia — which the Dalai Lama visited late last year seems to be ruled out by China’s growing political and economic influence over its landlocked neighbour. The place name “standardisation” adheres to a playbook China has followed in the case of other border territories it claims, for instance the uninhabited Tokyo-controlled islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, and atolls in the South China Sea. According to the process, a first step is to have the territory in question recognised as “disputed” by an international audience. “The motivation might be to show historical claim and historical ownership of the disputed territory, said Jian Zhang, associate professor at the University of New South Wales. “Naming does carry significance in terms of a country’s claim to a disputed territory. Additional reporting by Emily Feng in Beijing

https://www.ft.com/content/e5d141b0-2584-11e7-8691-d5f7e0cd0a16

Richardlaktam

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 05:44:22 PM »
With China's current economy status and world recognized strong country, being enemy with China is really not wise. Not to say that we do not bow to strong country, if that country is economically strong, and strong in every field, maybe they can say like that. But not India. Sometimes I really wonder, one country making enemy with other country, in this case is India and China, is it the President personal interest? But as a president, he should think for his country. The country's economy is already bad, still want to make enemy with strong countries? What is in their mind? As for Dalai Lama and China, yes, in politics, there's no win win. One must take the lose side. But why until now the Dalai Lama still reluctant to have conversation with China? Don't even need to talk about CTA here, which is selfish and useless to their people. But I believe if Dalai Lama start to have conversation with China and start going back to Tibet, CTA has no choice. Unless they choose to go against Dalai Lama, then all the thing they said before like support Dalai Lama, support Tibetan cause will be irrelevant. It is because obviously, CTA only thinks and do things for their own benefit. Not the people.

michaela

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2017, 01:00:56 AM »
Dear Richardlaktam

Thank you for your comment. The Dalai Lama has expressed on several occasions that he would like to go back to Tibet and talk to China. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay also expressed the same wish. However, there is a lack of trust between China and the Dalai Lama/ CTA and therefore, China has not been willing to talk to either the Dalai Lama or the CTA representatives. There are several factors that lead to the current situation:
•   The CTA has allowed the Dalai Lama to be used as Indian political pawn to irritate China. Whether people like it or not, the Dalai Lama is the symbol of Tibetan government in exile, and the CTA has not been very effective in taking over the Dalai Lama secular role.
•   Both the Dalai Lama and the CTA have not spoken against self-immolation that have been carried out by almost 150 Tibetans.
•   China is suspicious of the fact that the Dalai Lama is traveling around the world to meet with political leaders.  For years now, the political leader around the world has met the Dalai Lama to show that they are not afraid of China. However, we can see that the trend is changing recently.



Matibhadra

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2017, 06:07:28 AM »
Quoted from the Financial Times, in reference to China's South Tibet, India's “Arunachal Pradesh”:

Quote
an area that came under formal Indian control in a series of 19th-century boundary agreements between the Manchu Qing empire and the British government in India

Looks like the FT's propagandists' idiocy level reached a new low. Indeed,
  • the Simla Accord, which conceded China's South Tibet to the British Empire, happened in 1913-1914, not in the “19th century”;
  • at such time the “Manchu Qing empire” did not exist anymore, as it had been replaced by the Republic of China since 1912;
  • at such time China's South Tibet could not have come “under formal Indian control” because India did not exist as an independent country until 1950; and last, but not least,
  • the Republic of China did not agree with the concession of China's South Tibet to the British Empire, but rather China's representative walked out of the meeting in disapproval.

samayakeeper

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Re: India, China, and the Dalai Lama
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 11:41:04 AM »
I think it is better the CTA stay where they are, nestled comfortably in Dharamsala. No good would come out of it if they were to lead and govern the people in Tibet, China. CTA have done not much for Tibetans outside of China and they would make things worse for the people in Tibet IF they were allowed by China to govern. And that is a big IF.


All these political games will never bring peace. There is always someone who wants to win and who will use others for his own benefits.

I hope that the CTA will soon make up his mind and improve their relations with China. Many Tibetans are still in Tibet and they need their government to help them and find solutions and peace with the Chinese government.  So much pain has been endured and there is no hope left for the Tibetans to gain back their country. So, the only thing left is to make peace and friends with China no matter how hard it appears.

The CTA should take responsibility and go back to Tibet and be the leadership that the Tibetans need. After all the time that has been lost, it is time to end the fight and insults but to work to make the life of ALL the Tibetans better. In my eyes, this is the role of the Tibetan leadership after all ...