Sikyong, the President of Central Tibetan Administration aka Tibetan government in exile has embarked on a maiden visit to South Africa on February 5 starting from Johannesburg. However, the Chinese embassy in Pretoria has strongly protested against the South African government for allowing the visit from the Tibetan leader.
In a strongly protested statement from the Chinese embassy, it accused the South African government of disregarding the long-standing commitment at ‘One China Policy’ from the host country.
“It has sent a wrong political signal to the world community, and has undermined the political mutual trust between China and South Africa. It runs against the common interest of SA-China relations, and will undoubtedly discourage Chinese investors’ confidence in South Africa, undermine SA’s efforts for poverty reduction, and cause grave harm for the interest of South Africa and the South African people.”said the statement according to the Daily Maverick on Thursday.
Though the South African government has not yet issued any official statement yet, it is evidently furious at the Chinese embassy’s statement. The Chinese embassy also told that due to fierce protests by outraged South African locals and members of the Chinese community in South Africa, the Tibetan leader had to cancel his talk at the Law Faculty of the University of Stellenbosch on Thursday.
However, the government officials said that they do nothing to stop Dr. Sangay’s visit as he travels on US passport that does not require a visa and had been invited to South Africa by the Inkatha Freedom Party. His Holiness the Dalai Lama had been denied entry to the country on several occasions at Chinese pressure.
The Tibetan political leader had told that in some ways he is in the country to remind the South African government of the principles and values on which their Constitution and country was founded. He told that because of friends around the world, because of support from the international community, South Africa has gained its democracy. So it’s natural for him to come and say, hey, we need your support now as well.
President Sangay met with many South African parliamentarians and raised the issue of Tibet while at the same time warning against the growing Chinese influence in South Africa.