In a move which can irk China along with inviting more criticism from the country, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Arunachal Pradesh by early 2017.
The Indian government has cleared his visit, despite protests by the dragon after the recent hosting of US envoy.
Reports claim that the invitation to Dalai Lama was extended on October 9 as Arunachal prepares to welcome the spiritual leader.
He will be in the state for a fortnight and visit Tawang, Itanagar and other eastern parts of Arunachal.
US envoy Richard Verma’s October 21 visit to Arunachal had witnessed huge criticism from China, but the Ministry of External Affairs had dismissed it by claiming that the northeastern state is an integral part of India.
On the other hand, China claimed that it is a disputed region between the two nations.
This move will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers in Beijing as China is not expected to sit quietly.
China had also protested in 2009 when Dalai Lama had planned to visit Arunachal Pradesh for the Tawang festival.
A leading journal reported that the visit is not related to any religious occasion. However, the spiritual leader has a ‘special connection’ with Tawang as that is the route which he used to flee to India in 1959.
Interestingly, Yang Jiechi the state councillor for China is set to visit India soon, and it is expected that he will take up the issue with the Indian government.