New Delhi – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met representatives of the Dalai Lama, a Buddhist monk and Tibetan leader, in New Delhi. As expected, China has reacted. China has accused the United States of sending the wrong message to Tibetan leaders with this visit. The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticised that the United States, which has acknowledged that Tibet is part of China, has violated agreements with China with this visit. At the same time, the consensus reached between the Indian Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State on promoting common interests and democracy in the Indo-Pacific region seems to have not gone down well with China.
Developments in Afghanistan and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region were the critical issues discussed during the US Secretary of State’s visit to India. Earlier, US Secretary of State Blinken had a telephonic conversation with the Dalai Lama on his birthday. He also met with Dalai Lama’s envoy Ngodup Dongchung in New Delhi. Representatives of Tibetans also participated in Blinken’s discussions with civil rights activists. The Prime Minister of India also greeted the Dalai Lama over the phone. Thus, China had expressed strong resentment over this.
Chinese state media and analysts have expressed concern that India and the United States will jointly use the ‘Tibet Card’ to increase pressure on China. Against that background, China objected to Secretary of State Blinken’s discussions with Tibetan representatives. Zhao Lijian, the spokesman of the Chinese foreign ministry, blamed the United States for violating the agreement. Any official contact between the United States and the Dalai Lama breaches the US-China agreement because Tibet is part of China. The United States has also agreed to that, Lijian said at a press conference.
The United States should not support those trying to separate Tibet from China. Lijian warned that China would not fail to take the necessary action against this.’ However, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman avoided mentioning India in his warning. During his India visit, the US Secretary of State had said that India and the United States are two great democracies. Blinken also claimed that the two democracy-promoting countries have similar interests in the Indo-Pacific region. China has reacted to that too. So, Zhao Lijian warned, ‘No one country can have monopolistic rights over democracy.’