BEIJING: A Chinese central government official Tuesday dismissed the Dalai Lama's claim as being "legal representative" of Tibetans.
"The Chinese government and the government of Tibet autonomous region under its leadership are the only representatives of Tibetans," Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said in a statement to media at a press conference.
Du Qinglin, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, met with the Dalai Lama's private representatives, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, last week in Beijing.
The private representatives "have no legal status to discuss with us the affairs about Tibet autonomous region," Zhu said.
"They are only the Dalai Lama's private representatives, so they can only talk about the prospect of the Dalai Lama, at most, the prospects of a small party around him."
The talks were suspended for more than a year after the meeting in November 2008.
"The major reason lies in the fact that they (the Dalai Lama side) openly declared to cease the contacts and talks with the central authorities," Zhu said.