India Rebuffs Chinese Demands to Bar Dalai Lama From Border Region བོད་སྐད།

India's prime minister has rebuffed Chinese demands that he bar Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from visiting a disputed region along the India-China border.

Manmohan Singh says he told his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao that India considers the Dalai Lama to be an "honored guest" and a "religious leader."

Mr. Singh was speaking Sunday in the Thai resort of Hua Hin, where he met Mr. Wen a day earlier on the sidelines of a regional summit.

China has protested to India about plans by the Dalai Lama to visit the northern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh next month. Beijing claims sovereignty over the region and views the Dalai Lama as a separatist seeking Tibetan independence from China.

The Dalai Lama says he only seeks autonomy for Tibet.

China and India fought a war over Arunachal Pradesh in 1962. The border remains in dispute.

Indian Prime Minister Singh said he and Chinese Premier Wen agreed to "maintain peace and tranquility" along the border and continue talks to try to resolve the dispute. India also claims sovereignty over part of China's Tibetan Autonomous Region.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Mr. Singh said he told Mr. Wen that India does not allow Tibetan exiles to engage in political activities. The Indian prime minister also said he is not aware of the Dalai Lama's travel plans.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.