Downplaying China's protest over the Dalai Lama meeting President Pranab Mukherjee, India today said that the event attended by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was "non-political."
"You are aware of India's consistent position. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a respected and revered spiritual leader. It was a non-political event organised by Nobel laureates dedicated to the welfare of children," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Earlier Friday, China reacted angrily to the meeting between the two at an event organised for children's welfare in the President's house here. The event was attended by other Nobel peace laureates.
Earlier this month, China had expressed its displeasure over a prominent Tibetan religious leader visiting Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls South Tibet.
The Dalai Lama's recent visit to Mongolia had also angered China which hiked tariffs on Mongolian trucks moving through Chinese territory.
Beijing accuses the 14th Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959, of secessionist activities in Tibet. However, the spiritual leader claims that he only wants more autonomy for Tibet.
India downplays China's protest, says Dalai Lama's meet with President was non-political