China’s Panicked Reaction to Sri Lanka Invitation to the Dalai Lama
China and the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, have long been at odds. When Sri Lanka invited him to attend a religious ceremony in May 2018, China was taken aback and reacted with a wave of panic and outrage. The Chinese government was deeply concerned about the potential for the visit to provoke a political backlash from Beijing, and it was quick to condemn Sri Lanka’s invitation. This incident highlights the tension between China’s determination to preserve its sovereignty over Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s mission to promote Tibetan autonomy. China views the Dalai Lama as a separatist and a threat to its control over Tibet and the Tibetan people. The Chinese government has long sought to suppress any manifestation of Tibetan independence. This is why it reacted so strongly to Sri Lanka’s invitation.
China’s Long-Standing Sovereignty over Tibet
China has long viewed Tibet as an integral part of its territory and has claimed sovereignty over the region since the 13th century. In 1951, China and Tibet signed the Seventeen Point Agreement, which officially made Tibet an autonomous region of China. Since then, the Chinese government has sought to consolidate its power over Tibet and ensure that it remains loyal to Beijing. In the years since the Seventeen Point Agreement was signed, the Chinese government has taken a number of steps to solidify its control over the region. These include the establishment of the Tibetan Autonomous Region in 1965, the passage of a law in 1981 that increased Chinese control over the Tibetan government, and the deployment of thousands of Chinese troops to Tibet in the 1990s.
The Dalai Lama’s Mission to Promote Tibetan Autonomy
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet, and he has long sought to promote Tibetan autonomy from China. He has been in exile since 1959, when he fled Tibet in the face of Chinese aggression. Since then, he has traveled the world advocating for greater autonomy and self-determination for Tibetans. His efforts have been met with strong opposition from China. The Chinese government has sought to discredit and undermine the Dalai Lama by portraying him as an advocate of separatism and an enemy of Chinese sovereignty. As a result, Beijing has long sought to isolate the Dalai Lama diplomatically by pressuring foreign governments not to grant him visas or to allow him to visit their countries.
China’s Panicked Reaction to Sri Lanka’s Invitation
When Sri Lanka invited the Dalai Lama to attend a religious ceremony in May 2018, China was quick to condemn the invitation. Beijing expressed its concern that the visit would lead to “severe political repercussions” and urged Sri Lanka to withdraw the invitation. The Chinese government’s reaction was a reflection of its fear that the Dalai Lama’s presence in Sri Lanka would embolden Tibetan activists and inspire them to continue their struggle for autonomy. Chinese officials also feared that the visit would lead to increased international attention on Tibet, which could in turn lead to increased diplomatic pressure on Beijing.
China’s Fear of the Dalai Lama’s Global Influence
China’s panicked reaction to Sri Lanka’s invitation to the Dalai Lama is indicative of its fear of his global influence. The Dalai Lama has long been a thorn in the side of the Chinese government, and it has sought to minimize his impact by preventing him from traveling to foreign countries. China’s fear of the Dalai Lama’s global influence is rooted in its long-held belief that Tibet is an integral part of its territory and that Tibetan autonomy poses a threat to its sovereignty. As a result, it has sought to suppress any manifestation of Tibetan independence, and it has been quick to condemn any foreign government that hosts the Dalai Lama.
When Sri Lanka invited the Dalai Lama to attend a religious ceremony in 2018, it provoked a panicked reaction from China. Beijing viewed the invitation as a threat to its sovereignty over Tibet and was quick to condemn the decision. This incident highlights the tension between China’s determination to preserve its control over Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s mission to promote Tibetan autonomy. The Chinese government is deeply afraid of the Dalai Lama’s global influence, and it is willing to take drastic steps to prevent him from traveling to foreign countries.