16:27 GMT28 February 2020
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    The unfurling of a Tibetan flag by a Tibetan government-in-exile representative on the shores of Pangong Lake (Bangong in China) in India’s Ladakh, close to the Line of Actual Control, has irked China again, with its media criticizing the move and warning India to not play the “Tibet card”.

    Tibetans graze their yak in the grasslands of the high Tibetan plateau in the county of Naqu, Tibet, China in this Thursday July 6, 2006 photo.
    © AP Photo / Elizabeth Dalziel, File
    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Lobsang Sangay, the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, hoisted a flag on the banks of the Pangong lake in Ladakh last Wednesday, a day ahead of the 82nd birthday of The Dalai Lama. The flag is being referred as the flag of Tibet and it is the first time, it has happened on Indian soil amid rising tensions between India and China in the tri-junction area near Sikkim.

    “This is the first visit by the CTA president to Ladakh and, therefore, the first time that the national flag has been unfurled near the lake. As you know, half the lake is in India, and half in Tibet,” The Wire quoted Sonam Norbu Dagpo, the spokesman of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), as saying.

    There remains lack of clarity over the status of the flag and who unfurled it. The Wire report added the CTA information secretary Dhardon Sharling later confirmed that the flag was not hoisted by Sangay and, instead belongs to a Tibetan settled near the lake since the 1980s. Sangay, who’s been clicked near the flag, was just paying his respects to the flag, the report added.

    Indian experts are of the view that with tension rising between the two side and Chinese media going all guns blazing, including questioning Sikkim’s inclusion in India or bringing in Pakistan and Kashmir angle, it is one of the cards India can use.

    “A Tibetan flag coming on the shores of Pangong lake without the knowledge of the Indian government is difficult to believe. Given the current standoff going in the trijunction area and Chinese media, which is controlled by the party saying all things, it was just a matter of time Tibet was going to be used as a bargaining chip. China has been insensitive to Indian concerns like by not admitting Hafiz Saeed as a terrorist or blocking India’s membership bid in the NSG,” Dr Rajeswari P. Rajagopalan, senior fellow at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, told Sputnik.

    India and China are engaged in a bitter standoff for almost a month now after the Indian Army prevented Chinese soldiers from constructing a road in the Bhutanese territory near the tri-junction area close to the Sikkim border.


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