China on Wednesday fumed over the Dalai Lama’s planned visit to Botswana, warning the African country not to “harm” Beijing’s “core interest”.
Beijing opposes countries keeping contact or hosting the Tibetan spiritual leader, who it calls “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and accuses him of secessionist activities in Tibet.
“China has stated its position clearly on the Dalai Lama’s visit to the relevant countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.
“We require relevant countries to earnestly respect China’s core interests.
“China will not interfere in other countries internal affairs. We will not accept other countries to do things that will harm the core interests of China.”
The Dalai Lama will attend a three-day human rights conference at Gaborone in Botswana from August 17.
China is Africa’s largest trade partner. China’s state-run companies have the contract of building key infrastructure projects in Botswana.
In 1959, after a failed uprising in Tibet, the Dalai Lama fled to India and has lived in self-imposed exile since then.
China uses various tactics to settle scores if any country invites him.
In the case of neighbouring Mongolia, it imposed a kind of economic blockade, crippling the economy of the poor country.
Following his April visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as its own, Beijing had retaliated by changing the name of six cities in the northeastern Indian state.