Thousands of Buddhist monks and supporters have welcomed the Dalai Lama to a remote Indian region, in what is being seen as an act of provocation by Beijing.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was visiting a monastery in Tawang in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Himalayan region, which Beijing considers as being part of Southern Tibet, is hotly disputed between India and China. Recent reports of border incursions have only raised tensions between the two Asian giants, whose relations have remained prickly since a brief border war in 1962. Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama of deliberately undermining Chinese territorial integrity and stirring tensions with New Delhi. However the 74-year-old religious leader has insisted his week-long visit is non-political. Arunachal Pradesh was the Dalai Lama’s first stopping off point when he fled Tibet in 1959.