China cautions Russia on Dalai's visit

China on Thursday urged Russia to ‘‘properly handle'' the upcoming visit of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, citing his quest to ‘‘split Tibet from the motherland''.

‘‘The Dalai Lama is not an ordinary religious figure, but a political figure in exile conducting splittist activities. I hope that relevant sides will handle this issue properly," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhang Qiyue told reporters when asked to comment on the Dalai's upcoming visit to Russia's Kalmikia region from November 13-17.

Zhang maintained China is also opposed to the Dalai Lama's foreign visits under any disguise to engage in ‘‘splittist activities'', apparently referring to the Nobel laureate's visit which has been termed as a religious one. ‘‘I hope that the relevant sides can understand and see clearly the true nature of the Dalai Lama,'' she said.

In the past, Moscow had denied visa to the Dalai Lama under pressure from Beijing.