"The South African government acted unlawfully by dragging its heels on a failed visa application by the Dalai Lama to attend Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday last year,” its court ruled Thursday.
The Supreme Court of Appeal said the home affairs ministry had "unreasonably delayed" its decision to grant the Dalai Lama and his entourage visas to the country.
S African foreign ministry worries that the visit by the Dalai Lama would put at risk the friendly relations between the country and China, due to South Africa's "One China Policy," which recognizes Beijing as the sole legitimate government of China.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry said China firmly opposes to any illegal activities to separate China conducted by the 14th Dalai Lama, in whatever form and under whatever disguise. The Ministry reiterated that the Dalai Lama is in essence an exiled political monk in the disguise of religion, but has long engaged in illegal activities to separate China.