China protests UK Parliament’s meeting with exiled Tibetan PM Lobsang Sangay
Indian Express, 4 November 2016
China on Friday lashed out at Britain for allowing a meeting between the Prime Minister of Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay and the UK House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, saying it should avoid taking actions that damage bilateral ties.
“China is opposed to this act by the Speaker of UK House of Commons which imperils China’s core interests,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here while answering a question on Sangay’s meeting with Bercow.
The meeting took place on November 1.
“The so called Tibetan government in exile was formed by fleeing separatists after a failed coup in 1959 and has no legitimacy or international recognition,” she said.
“China strongly opposes Lobsang Sangay and other people’s separatist acts in any capacity in any country and will strongly oppose their contact with foreign officials,” Hua said.
“We urge the UK to honour their promise and avoid causing damage to China-UK relations,” she said.
China routinely protests foreign dignitaries meetings with Tibetan Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and his associates.
During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he currently lives. He has since travelled the world, advocating the welfare of Tibetans.
China has ruled Tibet since the 1950s, but several Buddhist Tibetans accuse Beijing of often repressing their religion and culture. China denies the charges.
* UK House of Commons Speaker John Bercow recently hosted Tibetan political leader, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay at the Parliament House and expressed that it was a “privilege and honour” to welcome “the Sikyong (or) Prime Minister of Tibetan Government in exile”. The meeting took place on 1 November 2016, during Sikyong’s strategic visit to UK to urge firmer support and awareness on the Tibetan issue.