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Dalai by no means a religious figure, but a political one: FM

The Dalai Lama is "by no means a religious figure, but a political figure," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in Beijing today.

The Dalai Lama and his followers insist to establish the so-called "Greater Tibet" on one quarter of the Chinese territory. They want to drive away the Chinese armed forces deployed on its own territory, and all the Chinese people of other ethnic groups who have been living in Tibet for generations, Yang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.

"Do you call such a person a religious figure?" he asked.

Cause for the postponed meeting between China and European leaders last year was not on the Chinese side, he said,

"Shall German, France or any other country accept the separation of one quarter of their territory," asked Yang.

"Please keep in mind that China had supported the reunification of German (after the cold war)."

The difference between China and Dalai Lama has nothing to do with religion, human rights, ethnic relations and culture. It is an issue of whether to defend China's unity against attempts to separate Tibet from China, he said.


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