Government and Policy

Door 'still open' for Dalai Lama talks

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-02-02 07:08
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Authorities said yesterday that the door for contact and talks remains open to the Dalai Lama, but no concessions will be made on issues concerning national sovereignty.

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Du Qinglin, head of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, private envoys of the Dalai Lama, in Beijing, the department said in a statement yesterday.

No exact date was given in the statement.

During the meeting, Du pointed out that issues concerning the nation's territory and sovereignty were non-negotiable and no concessions will be made on those issues, the statement said.

Du said the so-called "Greater Tibet" and "high-level autonomy" violated the country's Constitution and only if the Dalai Lama completely abandoned such claims can there be a foundation for contact and talks.

The contact and talks will not progress if the Dalai Lama side continues activities to split China and refuses to show basic respect and sincerity, said Du, who is also the vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"Tibetan people cherish peace and stability. It is no use to cheat them and act against their will. The activities of infiltration and provocation, which are doomed to fail, will only create barriers for the talks and isolate the Dalai Lama and his followers," the statement quoted Du as saying.

The central government has been consistent and clear in policy concerning the Dalai Lama, Du said. "The door for contact and talks is open, and the policy has not been changed so far."

"It won't be a way out to seek 'Tibet independence' or 'independence in a disguised form' through violence or non-violence," he told the Dalai Lama's private envoys.

"Nor will it be a way out for them to seek internationalization of the so-called 'Tibet issue' or to give support to international anti-China forces," he said.

The statement said UFWD Executive Vice-Minister Zhu Weiqun, UFWD Vice-Minister Sita and Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tibet regional People's Congress Nyima Cering had held talks with the two envoys, the statement said, without giving a specific date.

The statement said the officials had reiterated during the talks that "the so-called 'Tibet government-in-exile' is utterly illegal."

"It can neither represent Tibet nor the Tibetan people."

The private envoys could talk only about the future of the Dalai Lama and people around him under the precondition of completely abandoning secessionist words or activities, the officials said.

Tanzen Lhundrup, deputy director of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies affiliated to the China Tibetology Research Center (CTRC), said this meeting demonstrates the central government's sincerity for talks with the Dalai Lama.

"The talks were held in a relatively stable period of the Tibet situation, which shows the government's willingness for negotiation and the opening up of a fresh dimension for Tibetan development," he said.

The meeting was the eighth round of talks between the central authorities and the Dalai Lama's envoys since 2002.

China Daily- Xinhua