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China warns Botswana against Dalai Lama visit

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

today warned Botswana against hosting Tibetan spiritual leader the and facilitate a meeting with its President next month, saying the African nation should "respect" Beijing's core concerns. The 82-year-old exiled Tibetan leader is due to make a public address at the three-day "Mind and Life Dialogue" conference in Gaborone on August 19 and is set to meet Botswana President Ian Khama. "The is in political exile and long engaged in ant-separatist activities and attempt to separate Xizang (Chinese name for Tibet) from under the pretext of religion," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang told a media briefing here. "Chinese side firmly opposes the engaging in anti-separatist activities in any capacity or any name. firmly opposes him keeping any contact with officials of any country," he said. Apparently referring to Botswana's defiance to invite the Tibetan spiritual leader disregarding the warnings by Beijing, Geng said "hope the relevant country would respect the core interests and concerns of China". Meanwhile, reports from Gaborone said Botswana is going ahead with the visit of the next month despite opposition from Botswanan officials also said President Khama will meet him. Last year, South Africa declined to issue visa following pressure from has lodged protest with India in April this year over the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which considers as part of Chinese troops entered in October 1950 overcoming the resistance from the Tibetan army and later the Chinese control over the area was formalised in 1951. The fled from in 1959 and lived in India in exile since then.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 14 2017. 18:23 IST