Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Diplomats express 'frustration' to Blinken over Havana syndrome skepticism: report Biden's post-Afghanistan focus on China is mostly positive so far MORE on Wednesday met with a representative of the Dalai Lama during a trip to India.
Blinken met briefly with Ngodup Dongchung, a representative of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), in New Delhi, according to a State Department spokesperson.
The CTA, according to Reuters, is considered the Tibetan government in exile.
The meeting could potentially spark anger in China, as Beijing has referred to the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist, Reuters reported. Beijing has also contended that Tibet is part of China.
Chinese troops captured Tibet in 1950 in an incident that Beijing labeled a “peaceful liberation,” according to Reuters. Nine years later, the Dalai Lama went into exile in India.
International support for the CTA and Tibetan advocacy groups has been bolstered in recent months as criticism of China’s human rights record increases, especially from the United States, according to the news wire.
Lobsang Sangay, the former head of the CTA, visited the White House in November, the first visit of its kind in six decades, which was followed by the passage of the Tibet Policy and Support Act in Congress one month later, Reuters noted.
Blinken’s meeting with Dongchung on Wednesday is reportedly the most significant interaction with the Tibetan leadership since the Dalai Lama himself met with then-President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDems punch back over GOP holdup of Biden SBA nominee Biden congratulates Trudeau for winning third term as Canadian prime minister Republicans have moral and financial reasons to oppose raising the debt ceiling MORE in Washington in 2016.
The secretary’s brief meeting with Dongchung was part of his trip to India and Kuwait this week, which includes meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Prime Minister S. Jaishankar.
Blinken was scheduled to participate in discussions surrounding the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and global issues concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.