The political leader of Tibetans in exile on Monday urged India to take a more prominent role in resolving the Tibetan issue with China, an appeal that could further inflame tensions between the two Asian giants.
India and China are locked in their most serious political crisis in years after a deadly clash between soldiers on their disputed Himalayan border which has reignited long-standing differences between the world’s two most populous countries.
China has long reviled the Tibetans’ spiritual leader the Dalai Lama -- who lives in India in exile -- as a dangerous separatist and his activities in India have been a source of friction.
But Lobsang Sangay, president of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala, said China’s expansionist policy had resulted in renewed focus on the Tibetans’ struggle for autonomy and India had a unique role to play.
An Indian laborer carries a sandbag for a construction at the India-China trade route at Nathu-La. (Reuters)
Sangay said Tibet, which historically served as a buffer between India and China, is just as important for India as it is for China’s security.
“India for various reasons has a lot at stake, it should intervene and take up the leadership in solving the issue of Tibet,” Sangay said.