China on Monday said the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh had harmed the bilateral relation between the two countries and warned India against using the Tibetan spiritual leader to undermine Beijing’s interests. “Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh had a negative impact on India-China ties,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, according to PTI. “India should observe commitment on Tibet-related issues and should not use the Dalai Lama to undermine China’s interests.”

Lu’s comments were in response to a statement by the External Affairs Ministry on Friday. MEA spokeperson Gopal Baglay had said that there was no change in Delhi’s stance on Tibet. He added that India would continue to seek a fair and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary problem with China. Beijing considers Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet and believes that the 14th Dalai Lama is a separatist who is trying to carve out an independent state. India, on the other hand, disputes such claims.

The Dalai Lama was in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang region between April 4 and April 10. China had lodged an official protest against the Dalai Lama’s visit with India’s Ambassador in Beijing. The Tibetan spiritual leader, however, had maintained that Delhi had never used him against Beijing. He had said that it was only the political class in China who had a problem with him and his North East trip.

This is not the first time that China has accused India of using the Dalai Lama against Beijing. Earlier, the country’s media had allegedly that Delhi was playing the “Dalai Lama card” against Beijing. “The Dalai Lama has long been active in anti-China separatist activities under the guise of religion,” an article in the tabloid Global Times had said. China had also warned India several times last month against the Dalai Lama’s visit saying that the step would affect bilateral relations.