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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China tells France to prudently deal with Tibet issue

August 22, 2008

The Economic Times (India)
August 20, 2008

BEIJING -- China Wednesday told France to prudently deal with the
"important and sensitive" issue of Tibet, two days before French
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was due to meet with the Dalai Lama.

"We hope the French side will respect China's concern and prudently
deal with relevant important and sensitive issues," foreign ministry
spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in response to a question on the meeting.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, is currently in
France for a 12-day visit which has stirred up tensions with China.

He is due to meet with Kouchner, first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and
Human Rights minister Rama Yade on Friday in southern France.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has declined to hold talks with the Dalai
Lama. Qin also said France should ensure the "safe and sound
development of China-France relations."

France is struggling to mend ties with China after Sarkozy angered
Beijing by threatening to boycott the opening of the Beijing Games
following a Chinese crackdown on violence in Tibet and surrounding
regions beginning in March.

The violence erupted in Tibet's capital Lhasa after four days of
peaceful protests against nearly six decades of Chinese rule.
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