Beijing attacks Dalai Lama over islands dispute

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The Independent Online

Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama of allying with Japanese right-wingers over a disputed archipelago.

Chinese media have said the Dalai Lama called the islands by their Japanese name at a news conference in Yokohama but an Associated Press review of a tape of the event showed he referred to them only as "the islands". The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, said the Dalai Lama's comments showed his "reactionary nature".

Tensions have run high since September, when the Japanese government nationalised some of the islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, to prevent Tokyo's right-wing governor from buying them. Anti-Japanese protests broke out in Chinese cities.