The subcommittee is a powerful Congressional body that oversees US policy in Asia.

In the crossfire between China and the U.S. over the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, India is unlikely to side with Washington, said a senior researcher.

In response to a question from The Hindu during a media event earlier this month on China’s expectation from India on the recent controversy regarding the reincarnation, Wang Xiaobing, research fellow at the China Tibetology Research Center, said that he was confident about New Delhi’s positive response.

“With regard to the core issues, that are central to national interests on China, the Indian government has a very clear policy. It knows that Tibet belongs to China; so on those central core issues concerning China, India has a very clear position,” Mr. Wang said.

The Chinese scholar explained that China and India had codified their position on Tibet in a string of legal documents in the fifties, and these remained the touchstone for addressing subsequent controversies on this issue.

He spotlighted the 1954 treaty on trade and transportation on the border between Tibet and India. In this treaty, which was preambled by Panchsheel or the five principles of peaceful coexistence, India had formalised the recognition of Tibet as part of China. “That shows that these Asian nations — China and India — actually have a very good legacy from history for friendly negotiations and mutual trust and mutual respect,” Mr. Wang observed.

The Chinese scholar highlighted that China, changed its position on Nehru, who was suspected of “turning to the American imperialists” following his visit to the United States in 1949.

“When the People’s Republic of China was founded (in 1949)…and when Prime Minister Nehru visited the United States, it aroused a lot of suspicion form China, and they (the Chinese) believed Mr. Nehru actually was turning to the American imperialists. But it turned out wrong — he did not do this.”

During his interaction with foreign media organised by the All China Journalists Association (ACJA), Mr. Wang fielded a string of questions on Dalai Lama’s interview with the Reuters, in which the Tibetan monk said his successor could be born in India — a statement that has added to the friction between China and the United States.

“In future, in case you see two Dalai Lamas come, one from here, in a free country, one is chosen by Chinese, and then nobody will trust, nobody will respect (the one chosen by China). So that’s an additional problem for the Chinese. It’s possible, it can happen,” the Dalai Lama said last month.

Analysts say that if the Dalai Lama enforced his assertion, it could undermine the “one china” principle, by compromising the legitimacy of the Beijing approved successor. Under the “one-China” principle, Beijing is emphatic about Tibet, Taiwan and Xinjiang being integral parts of China.

In its response, the Chinese foreign ministry had ben unequivocal in rejecting the Dalai Lama’s statement. “The reincarnation system has been there for hundreds of years. The 14th Dalai also was recognised in the religious rituals and was approved by the Central government.

So the reincarnation of Dalai Lama should be following the national laws and regulations and the religious rituals,” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang had said during a media beefing on March 19.

In 2007, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs had decreed that all Buddhist reincarnations born inside China have to get governmental approval to be regarded as valid.

In the United States, powerful voices in the U.S. Congress are backing the Dalai Lama on the succession issue, fueling tensions in the relationship between Beijing and Washington, which has already deteriorated following the “trade war” between the two countries, and growing differences over Taiwan.

“Let me be very clear — The United States Congress will never recognise a Dalai Lama that is selected by the Chinese,” said Senator Cory Gardner chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy said during a hearing on April 9.

The subcommittee is a powerful Congressional body that oversees US policy in Asia.