China ‘thanks’ SA over Dalai Lama visa

2014-09-05 13:20

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China has reportedly praised South Africa for apparently denying His Holiness The Dalai Lama a visa.

International relations department spokesperson Clayson Monyela yesterday said the Tibetan spiritual leader had cancelled his trip to South Africa and his visa application was “a closed matter”.

This comes after the Cape Times yesterday reported that the spiritual leader had again been refused entry to the country, this time for the 14th world summit of Nobel peace laureates.

“China highly appreciates the support offered by the South African government on issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” foreign ministry spokesperson Qin Gang was quoted by news agency AFP as saying.

“We also believe that South Africa will continue to uphold this correct position and continue to support China in this regard.”

The Dalai Lama’s aide, Nangsa Choedon, reportedly told AFP that Pretoria had “conveyed by phone to me they will not be able to grant the visa for the reason that it would disturb relations between China and South Africa”.

China has accused the Dalai Lama of secretly seeking Tibet’s independence.

“The Dalai Lama is a political exile who has long been engaged in activities sabotaging China’s sovereignty and integrity under the cloak of religion,” Gang reportedly said.

“The Chinese government is firmly opposed to the Dalai’s anti-China separatist activities in foreign countries.”

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