News Brief

Former US House Speaker Pelosi’s India Visit To Meet Dalai Lama Rattles China — Here's All You Need To Know

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 19, 2024, 09:26 AM | Updated 10:00 AM IST

Former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Picture courtesy: Store norske leksikon)
Former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Picture courtesy: Store norske leksikon)

Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, arrived at Kangra Airport in Himachal Pradesh on Monday (18 June).

Pelosi is part of a six-member delegation from the United States, which includes Gregory W Meeks, Jim McGovern, Ami Bera, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Nicole Malliotakis.

The delegation is scheduled to meet the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, in Dharamshala.

Upon her arrival, Pelosi expressed her enthusiasm, stating, "It is very exciting to be here."

The delegation was received by officials of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

This visit comes just before the Dalai Lama's planned medical trip to the United States for knee treatment.

The nature of his engagements in the US remains uncertain.

During their stay in India, from 18 to 19 June, the US delegation will engage with Indian officials and meet with representatives of US businesses operating in India, according to a statement from the US Foreign Affairs Committee.

In a statement, US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, who is leading the delegation, said, “I look forward to meeting with government officials and the American business community to learn how we can continue to strengthen our relationship with India"

"I am also honored to have the opportunity to meet with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Tibetans are a democracy-loving people who wish to practice their religion freely. This visit should highlight the bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress for Tibet to have a say in their own future," McCaul added.

China, which claims Tibet as it territory, has reacted sharply to this development.

"It’s known by all that the 14th Dalai Lama is not a pure religious figure, but a political exile engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion. We are gravely concerned over the relevant reports and urge the US side to fully recognize the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai group, honor the commitments the US has made to China on issues related to Xizang (Chinese official name for Tibet), have no contact with the Dalai group in any form, and stop sending the wrong signal to the world," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said on Tuesday (19 June).

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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