China decries Tibetan “government-in-exile,” calls for Dalai Lama to correct political stance

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian denounced the Tibetan “government-in-exile” as an illegal separatist entity.

In a strong statement from Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian condemned the Tibetan “government-in-exile,” describing it as an illegitimate separatist entity that violates China’s Constitution and laws.

“The so-called Tibetan ‘government-in-exile’ is an outright separatist political group and an illegal organization,” Lin stated. “It completely violates China’s Constitution and laws. No country in the world recognizes it, and it has no legitimacy in the international community.”

The Tibetan “government-in-exile,” established in 1959 after the Dalai Lama fled Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule, is based in Dharamshala, India. It functions as the Central Tibetan Administration, claiming to represent the interests of Tibetans both in exile and within Tibet. However, it has never been recognized by any country or major international body, a point Beijing frequently highlights to discredit its legitimacy.

Lin’s remarks come amid ongoing tensions between China and the Tibetan exile community. The Chinese government has consistently opposed any activities or organizations it perceives as threatening its sovereignty over Tibet, a region it regards as an integral part of the country. Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan “government-in-exile” of advocating for Tibetan independence, a charge both entities deny, insisting their goal is genuine autonomy under Chinese rule.

Regarding potential dialogues between the Chinese government and the 14th Dalai Lama, Lin reiterated China’s firm policy stance. “China’s policy is consistent and clear. The key point is that the 14th Dalai Lama must fundamentally rethink and thoroughly correct his political stance,” Lin asserted. “There can be no discussions or contact unless he abandons his separatist activities and stops attempting to divide the country.”

The Dalai Lama, now 88, has lived in exile in India since fleeing Tibet. While he has long advocated for greater autonomy and religious freedom for Tibetans, he has consistently denied seeking full independence from China. The Dalai Lama has called for meaningful autonomy under the framework of the People’s Republic of China, a position known as the Middle Way Approach. This approach aims to achieve self-governance for Tibetans while acknowledging Chinese sovereignty.

Despite this, the Chinese government continues to view the Dalai Lama with suspicion, accusing him of engaging in separatist activities and undermining national unity. Lin’s comments highlight Beijing’s uncompromising stance and its demand that the Dalai Lama abandon any actions or rhetoric that could be interpreted as separatist.

The situation in Tibet remains a sensitive issue for China, which regards it as a matter of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Beijing’s policies in the region have been widely criticized by human rights organizations and governments around the world, who accuse China of suppressing Tibetan culture and religious freedom, and of implementing repressive measures against the local population.

Internationally, the Tibetan cause has garnered significant sympathy, particularly in Western countries, where the Dalai Lama is revered as a symbol of peace and spiritual leadership. However, Beijing’s economic and political influence has largely stymied formal recognition or substantial support for the Tibetan “government-in-exile.”