Chinese officials said foreign minister Wang Yi could not confirm his participation in the New Delhi meeting with his Indian and Russian counterparts due to scheduling problems.
China on Friday denied links between the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh tour and foreign minister Wang Yi putting off his visit to New Delhi to attend the scheduled Russia-India-China meeting last month.
“About the meeting that was to be held last month, as far as I know the reason is not China,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing when asked about Beijing’s reported refusal to the attend the trilateral meeting.
“We have actively participated in the meeting of foreign ministers and also other activities under the framework,” Geng said. “According to my information, the three countries are now talking about the schedule of the next foreign ministers meeting. They are maintaining communication and consultation,” he said.
Chinese officials said Wang could not confirm his participation in the meeting due to scheduling problems.
When asked to comment on reports that Beijing asked US President Donald Trump to not meet the Dalai Lama, Geng said China objects to foreign leaders meeting the Tibetan spiritual leader.
“The 14th Dalai Lama is not a simple religious figure, but has long engaged in anti-China separatist activities. He is a political exile. We firmly oppose any foreign countries allow him to visit them or any foreign official having any official exchange with him,” he said.
Beijing says Arunachal Pradesh is part of South Tibet and was furious that India allowed the Dalai Lama to tour the state for nine days. Even a day after the Dalai Lama left the state, Beijing continued to criticise the visit as the region is “disputed”.
“The Indian government made solemn commitments on the Tibet-related issue and boundary question. We have lessons to learn from history. The Indian-side violated commitments on the relevant issue and insisted on arranging the Dalai’s activities in the disputed section of the China-India border and indulged in provocative political statements ,” spokesperson Lu Kang had then said
“We have made our solemn representations (to the Indian government) and it will of course have negative impact on bilateral relations.”