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China warns Botswana against Dalai Lama’s visit

Beijing: China on Friday warned Botswana against the scheduled visit of the Dalai Lama, saying it hoped the African country understands Beijing`s “concerns” about the Tibetan “separatist”.

According to news reports, the Tibetan spiritual leader will attend a three-day human rights conference in Gaborone from August 17. He will also meet Botswana`s President.

“The Dalai Lama 14th is a political exile who is engaged in anti-China activities and wants to separate Tibet from China on the pretext of religion,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said here.

“China firmly opposes his contact in any form with officials of any countries. China`s position is clear cut. Hope relevant countries and accommodate the concerns and interests of China.”

China calls the Dalai Lama a “wolf in sheep`s clothing” and accuses him of secessionist activities in Tibet.

In 1959, after a failed uprising in Tibet, the Dalai Lama fled to India and has lived in self-imposed exile since then.

China slams any country which hosts or keeps any contact with the spiritual leader.

It also resorts other measures and tactics to show its anger. In the case of neighbouring Mongolia, it imposed a kind of economic blockade, crippling the economy of the poor country.

Following his April visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as its own, Beijing had retaliated by changing the name of six cities in the northeastern Indian state.

—PTI