Jia Qinglin, who chairs the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and is ranked fourth in the Chinese leadership hierarchy, brought up the Tibet problem during his meeting with President Patil, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters here Friday.
The meeting followed talks with president Hu Jintao and premier Wen Jiabao, during which no mention of Tibet was made.
70-year-old Jia, who presides over the 2,196-member CPPCC, asserted that the Dalai Lama is more of a political leader than a spiritual figure. Indian President Patil, however, insisted that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader who stays in India.
Foreign Secretary Rao said of the meeting, "All issues were raised and spoken about, and they have sought greater understanding [between India and China]. Jia sought in the course of conversation India's position on the Tibet issue. He wanted India's reassurance that on India's soil no anti-Chinese activities are allowed to take place.
"They wanted our reiteration and assurance on this point."
Rao said the outcome of President Patil's meetings with the Chinese leaders was "positive".
"The president had the highest level of meetings and they have been fruitful and meaningful. Both sides clearly desired that the 60th year of establishment of diplomatic ties between India and China should be the starting point [for] further boosting their relationship.'
According to an official source, Beijing's raking up the Tibet issue during the talks was "nothing unusual".
"The Tibet issue is raised every time India and China talk" the source further said.
President Patil, officials also said, told Jia that India regarded Tibet Autonomous Region as a part of China and "does not allow any anti-China activities by Tibetans in India".
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and most of his ministers were forced to flee Tibetan capital Lhasa after Chinese complete occupation of Tibet in 1959. The fate of Tibet's unique national, cultural and religious identity is seriously threatened and manipulated by the Chinese. Currently there are over 150,000 Tibetans live outside Tibet, most of them living in India.
Today exiled Tibetan people outside of Tibet enjoy real freedom and have greater practical opportunities for enjoying democratic rights under the leadership of the Tibetan Government in-exile and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
People in Tibet, however, still suffer from lack of freedom of expression and religion, human rights abuses, and cultural oppression as the world witnessed in 2008 during the Tibetan uprising.