Tibetan Exiles Protest China’s Top Diplomat in India

Posted March 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am (UTC-5)
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Indian police dragged away a group of Tibetan exiles as they demonstrated Thursday in New Delhi outside a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Indian counterpart.

The protesters were demanding that China withdraw from disputed China-India border land high in the Himalayas, where both sides have backed their competing territorial claims in a military face-off for more than five decades. The demonstrators were also demanding freedom for Tibet, where more than 20 Buddhist monks, nuns and their supporters have set themselves on fire in the past year, protesting harsh Chinese rule and demanding the return of the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan spiritual leader has lived in Dharamsala, India, since fleeing his homeland after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. His presence in India upsets Beijing, which is also at odds with New Delhi over the northeastern Indian region of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as its territory.

China was angered by a recent visit to the region by Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony.

Yang Jiechi is in New Delhi for talks with Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. The two delegations will discuss the summit of BRICS nations later this month in New Delhi, which will bring together the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.