Reacting strongly to the Indian government's tough stand on the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Chinese state-run media on Wednesday said that unlike his predecessors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to have taken a different stance on the Dalai Lama issue.
It further said that the Indian Prime Minister is doing this because 'New Delhi is dissatisfied with Beijing's stance over its membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and its request to name Masood Azhar, head of Pakistani militant group, to a UN Security Council blacklist'. "Therefore, New Delhi attempts to play the Tibet card against Beijing," the Chinese media said.
Interestingly, the article justified China's stand on India's request to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council. It said: "China has never thought of making trouble for India, and is handling these issues in accordance with international practices and UN regulations."
The latest round of fiery exchange between India and China started earlier this month when Chinese Foreign Ministry warned India of "serious damage" to bilateral ties if it allows Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh. It asked asked India to make a "choice".
However, India refused to come under Chinese pressure and said no "artificial controversy" should be created around the visit. Calling it a purely religious visit, India said: "No additional colour should be ascribed to his (Dalai Lama) religious and spiritual activities and visits to various states of India."
Making India's position clear on Arunchal Pradesh, Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju said: "Arunachal Pradesh is an inseparable part of India and China should not object to his visit and interfere in India's internal affairs." China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet.
Despite India's firm reply to China, the State-run media said that the Dalai Lama has long been active in anti-China separatist activities under the guise of religion. "New Delhi inviting the Dalai Lama to sensitive region gravely damages the China-India relationship," the state-run Global Times said.
It reminded India that many countries have pledged not to extend invitations to the Dalai Lama. "New Delhi should overcome its suspicions against Beijing. China doesn't allow India to free ride on its economic growth while jeopardizing Beijing's core interests," the Global Times said.
The response from the Chinese media is not in isolation as it recently admitted that China would have to deal with a bolder India if Modi won the next general elections and dealing with New Delhi on border disputes could become difficult.
The article was published soon after the BJP recorded unprecedented victory in assembly elections that were believed to be a referendum on the Prime Minister's economic policies undertaken in his first half.
"If Modi wins the next election, India's current firm and tough manner is bound to continue. It will be without question good news for the country's own development. Nevertheless, it will likely mean more difficulties in making compromises in rows with other countries," the article had said.