By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, March 3: A former Chinese minister yesterday at a conference in the Indian capital accused the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama of being a “political monk” and trying to “divide his homeland”, a tagline used by China on many occasions.
Responding to a question at the ‘Raisina Dialouge 2016’ on why the Chinese government had reservations in having dialogue with the Tibetan leader, former Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing who served form 2003-07 said, “Your friend Dalai Lama is not head of a country. He is only a political monk trying to divide his own motherland,”
He further added that Tibet had become a part of China many centuries ago. “You should understand that for a country, sovereignty is above everything,” Li said at the geopolitics and geo-economics platform.
Speaking to Phayul, Tenzin Tsetan, a Research fellow focusing on Chinese leadership at the exile Tibetan government’s think tank Tibet Policy Institute, says that Li may be trotting on the party policy line. “Although judging from the current developments, dialogue between the two concerned seems an unlikely possibility, yet what Li said is not reflective of the existing politburo’s policy and it is inaccurate to take his word as substantial on an official level.”
The Sino-Tibetan dialogue stalled back in 2010 after nine rounds of talks between the Representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese officials from 2002 to 2010. The Dalai Lama has maintained that he does not seek separation and endorses ‘meaningful autonomy’. On the Tibetan Uprising day in 2002, he said, “I remain committed to the process of dialogue. As soon as there is a positive signal from Beijing, my designated representatives stand ready to meet with officials of the Chinese government anywhere, anytime.”
The recent debate for the highest office of the Tibetan polity also saw Sikyong candidates deliberating on the issue which is both sensitive and vital to making inroads for a solution between Tibet and China.