By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 21: Beijing on Tuesday said it lodged a diplomatic protest over the appointment of Robert Destro as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues and his meeting with Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the head of the Tibetan government in exile known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration.
Dr. Sangay with with Assistant Secretary Destro last week following the latter’s appointment to the position, at the US State Department’s Harry S. Truman building in Washington DC, a first for a Tibetan official.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing, “Xizang’s (Tibet’s) affairs (are) purely China’s internal affairs. No external forces shall interfere in them”.
“Appointing the so-called special coordinator for Tibetan issues is a political move to interfere in China’s internal affairs and sabotage Xizang’s stability. It is China”s consistent position we firmly oppose that and we will not acknowledge that. We have lodged stern representation to the US side.”
Zhao added, “the so-called Tibetan government in exile is a separatist political organisation chasing a wild dream of Tibetan independence. It violates China’s constitution and law and it is not recognised by any nation worldwide”.
“Lobsang Sangay as its head is out and out anti-China separatist. China firmly opposes him engaging in anti-China separatist activities in whatever status and whatever pretext in any country. We firmly oppose officials of other countries having any kind of contact with him,” he said in alignment with Beijing’s long-held stance that discourages and even threatens nations who engage with the Dalai Lama and Exile-Tibet leadership.
The exile Tibetan government has made repeated declaration that it is not seeking independence and that it is seeking genuine autonomy under the framework of the Chinese constitution through what it calls the “Middle Way Approach”. That proposal has been shot down by Beijing.