China accused India of being obstinate after Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal. China said this will cause serious damage to India-China relations. China also dismissed India's suggestion of the visit being religious.

Suggesting it wanted India to stop the nine-day visit of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said: "We demand India stop using the Dalai Lama to do anything that undermines China's interests and we also demand the Indian side not hype up sensitive issues between India and China".

China also called in Indian Ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale to lodge a protest this afternoon.

"India in disregard of China's concerns obstinately arranged the Dalai [Lama]'s visit to the eastern part of the India China border causing serious damage to China's interests and to India China relations," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.

"The Chinese side firmly opposes this move and will lodge firm= representations with the Indian side". Hua did not say how those representations would be lodged, but officials said this would likely be done in Beijing and New Delhi.


Hua also dismissed India's suggestion of the visit to Arunachal being "religious" without a political message, saying those were "empty words".

"We have noted the statement form officials of the Indian side," Hua said. "Can you tell me honestly do you seriously believe the Dalai [Lama] is only a religious leader? The answer is known to all. He is not just a religious figure. Therefore his visit to this place will not be of a purely religious purpose. So using these empty words to define this arrangement is not reasonable".

China's strong statement comes as State media in Beijing on Wednesday accused India of trying to "play the Tibet card" in response to recent strains in ties, such as China's investments in PoK and its opposition to India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.


The view in Beijing is that the current visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, which is at the centre of Beijing's territorial claims in the eastern sector, is of a higher profile than in 2009, with the Tibetan spiritual leader being accompanied by MoS Home Kiren Rijiju.

Hua said the visit ran "counter" to the "good momentum" in ties. "We hope we can work together to maintain the growth of relations," Hua said. "We know India and China are two close neighbours and countries in Asia. Cooperation between us will serve interests of the region. We hope to maintain good momentum of growth but this move runs counter to this wish, so we hope India stops doing things that undermine our interests."

Hua said the Dalai Lama issue, however, "goes beyond internal affairs". "The role played by the Dalai Lama is clear to all. The issues concerning Tibet have a bearing on China's core interests. India in disregard of China's concerns obstinately arranged the visit. This will for sure trigger China's dissatisfaction. And this will not bring any benefit to India".