China’s Foreign Ministry has filed a formal protest to the Mongolian government over a visit to the country from the Dalai Lama. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the protest was in keeping with China’s consistent opposition to any country that gives a platform to the Dalai Lama. Beijing says the Dalai Lama is focused on splitting Tibet from China, a charge the Peace Prize laureate denies.
Hong said “a solemn representation” has been made to Mongolia, a landlocked nation squeezed between Russia and China whose people traditionally follow the Tibetan school of Buddhism.
“China is always opposed to any country providing a platform for the Dalai Lama’s anti-China splittist activities,” Hong said.
The Dalai Lama, who has visited Mongolia at least half a dozen times, was making what was described as a religious visit. He is scheduled to give a lecture and meet Mongolian Buddhists before leaving Thursday.
On Monday, the Dalai Lama visited Japan and met with lawmakers and government officials there, which China also protested, the Mainishi Daily News reports. While in Japan, the Dalai Lama said that the self-immolation of Buddhist monks and nuns in Tibetan areas were the result of “cultural genocide.” From VOA :
Speaking Monday in Japan, the Dalai Lama said even Chinese visitors who come to Tibet recognize that things there are terrible. He said some kind of cultural genocide is taking place.
The exiled spiritual leader also said hardline Chinese officials have been sent to govern Tibetan areas over the past 10 to 15 years. He said that accounts for the desperate acts of the monks and nuns.