India Tries to Placate Both China and Tibet

Home of exiled Dalai Lama plays delicate balancing act
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 7:48 AM CDT
Tibetan carry the Tibet Independence torch in New Delhi, India, Sunday, March 30, 2008. Dozens of Tibetan exiles burned an effigy of Chinese President Hu Jintao as they reached the Indian capital Sunday.   (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)
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(Newser) – India enjoys a trade relationship with China, its fellow powerhouse economy, that experts value at around $40 billion this year. But it also hosts the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan government in exile, and about 100,000 Tibetans who live in the country. As tensions in Tibet continue, writes the Washington Post, India is treading a narrow path to please both sides.

Yesterday the Indian foreign minister reiterated that the Dalai Lama was a "respected guest" who would continue to enjoy Indian hospitality. But only last month the government called off a meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader. As India and China continue to deepen their economic and diplomatic ties, said one professor, New Delhi needs "to separate the spiritual and political dimensions of the Tibetan issue."