Indian policemen detain a lone Tibetan protestor staging a protest against Chinese Premier Li Keqiang outside the Chinese embassy, in New Delhi, India on May 19, 2013.(Photo/Associated Press/Tsering Topgyal).
DHARAMSHALA, May 19: In the run up to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s maiden visit to India, security presence around Tibetan residential areas in New Delhi has been drastically increased and local authorities have rejected a request for public protest by Tibetan NGOs.
The Tibetan Youth Hostel in Rohini, where a large number of Tibetan college students reside, has been slapped a notice by the Delhi Police stating that the hostel will remain shut during Li’s stay in the capital. The popular Tibetan residential area of Aruna Nagar is also under a heavy security presence, where sleuths are reportedly on the look out for local Tibetan activists.
Moreover, local authorities have rejected a request for a public protest against Li’s visit at Jantar Mantar by Tibetan NGOs. Initially, the request by the regional chapters of the Tibetan youth, women’s, and students’ groups was accepted but local authorities, at the eleventh hour, had a change of mind.
China’s second-ranked leader, soon after landing in the Indian capital for a three-day visit (May 19-21) met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sunday afternoon.
Li’s visit comes in the wake of the recent border stand-off between India and China. On April 15, Chinese troops had set up camp nearly 10km inside Indian territory in the Depsang valley in eastern Ladakh and refused to vacate despite hectic military and diplomatic negotiations. The 20-day border stand-off finally ended on May 5 with China moving back to its initial position.
According to reports, PM Singh, during his meeting with Li, raised India's boundary concerns in a "firm, upfront and constructive" manner and said it is essential to maintain peace and tranquility at the border.
Dr Singh, according to government sources, said that without maintaining peace at the border, the relationship between the two countries will suffer.
It is also being reported that China, meanwhile, raised the Tibet issue. India responded by saying that the Dalai Lama is “a respected spiritual and religious leader and Tibetans are not allowed to conduct any political activity.”
The two leaders will hold delegation-level talks on Monday during which India is likely to propose an exchange of maps on the contested western and eastern sectors across the LAC. According to government sources, the Indian side will "proactively" raise the importance of greater information-sharing on trans-border rivers such as the Brahmaputra-Yarlung Tsangpo, and hope China, as an upper riparian state, will fulfil its responsibilities.
On Tuesday, Li will travel to Mumbai accompanied by a business delegation comprising more than 100 executives from some of China’s biggest companies.
Bilateral trade between India and China went down to $66.5 billion in 2012 from $74 billion in 2011, a setback to the targeted goal of reaching $100 billion by 2015. According to Chinese figures, India also faces an increasing trade deficit with China that totaled $29 billion in 2012.