• Thursday, Sep 16, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:59 pm

Risking China's anger, Blinken meets representative of Dalai Lama in India

  • Published at 02:40 pm July 28th, 2021
File photo US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken Reuters
File photo of US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken Reuters

Blinken also met his Indian counterpart, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with a representative of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in New Delhi on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson said, a move that is likely to provoke anger in China.

Blinken met briefly with Ngodup Dongchung, who serves as a representative of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also known as the Tibetan government in exile, the spokesperson said.

Chinese troops seized Tibet in 1950 in what Beijing calls a "peaceful liberation". In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

The CTA and Tibetan advocacy groups have received a boost in international support in recent months amid rising criticism of China's human rights record, particularly from the United States.

In November, Lobsang Sangay, the former head of the Tibetan government in exile, visited the White House, the first such visit in six decades.

A month later, the US Congress passed the Tibet Policy and Support Act, which calls for the right of Tibetans to choose the successor to the Dalai Lama, and the establishment of a US consulate in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

Blinken's meeting with Dongchung is the most significant contact with the Tibetan leadership since the Dalai Lama met then-president Barack Obama in Washington in 2016.

China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Beijing says Tibet is a part of China and has labelled the Dalai Lama a dangerous separatist.

India ties

In his first visit to India since joining US President Joe Biden's administration, Blinken also met his Indian counterpart, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and other officials on Wednesday before heading to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two sides are expected to discuss supplies of Covid-19 vaccines, the security situation in Afghanistan, and India's human rights record.

Speaking to a group of civil society leaders at a New Delhi hotel, Blinken said that the relationship between the United States and India was "one of the most important in the world."

"The Indian people and the American people believe in human dignity and equality of opportunity, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms including freedom of religion and belief . . . these are the fundamental tenets of democracies like ours," he said.

Indian foreign ministry sources said ahead of Blinken's visit that the country was proud of its pluralistic traditions and happy to discuss the issue with him.

Modi's government has faced allegations of suppressing dissent, pursuing divisive policies to appeal to its Hindu nationalist base and alienating Muslims, the country's biggest minority.

51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail