A bristling China on Friday, for the second time in a month, warned India of "serious damage" to bilateral ties if it allows the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh and asked New Delhi to honour its "political pledges" on the Tibet issue.
In strong language, the foreign ministry said bilateral relations are built on certain foundations but such visits will cause “deep damage” to them.
"We are seriously concerned about the news. On the eastern section of the China-India border, China's position is clear and consistent," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told media in Beijing today, responding to a question on the Dalai Lama's upcoming visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet.
"The Dalai clique has long been engaging in separatist activities with inglorious record. India should be very clear with the true nature of the Dalai clique," Mr Lu said.
"But despite this India still invited the Dalai Lama to visit the region. This will have serious damage on bilateral relations," Mr Lu said.
The Dalai Lama is set to begin a nine-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh – which China claims as part of south Tibet —from April 4 after spending three days in Assam. He will spend two days in Tawang, an important seat of Tibetan Buddhism, and also visit Itanagar and Bomdila.
India has made it clear the visit will go ahead, with junior home minister Kiren Rijiju - who is from Arunachal Pradesh - saying there is “no reason to stop him”.
China has protested to India last year also when New Delhi cleared his visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
Last year, China also protested the visit of then American Ambassador to India Richard Verma to the area. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC).
While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covered Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.