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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."

Remarks by Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

March 9, 2010

Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
March 5, 2010

Remarks by Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, Special Envoy of
H.H. the Dalai Lama at the Center for Strategic
and International Studies, Washington, D.C.

The Way Forward on Tibet

The Status of Discussions Between His Holiness
the Dalai Lama and the Government of the People’s Republic of China

I would like to thank the Center for Strategic
and International Studies (CSIS) for providing
this opportunity to talk about the status of our
discussions with the Chinese government following
the Ninth Round of talks held in January this year.

The Ninth Round came after a gap of 15 months and
took place in between two developments connected
with President Obama: his first visit to China in
November 2009 and his meeting with His Holiness
the Dalai Lama in February this year. It also
took place some days after the significant Fifth
Tibet Work Forum session held by the Chinese
Government. All these had and will have
implications on the Tibetan dialogue process.

Through our talks, for the first time after
decades of being in and out of contact, we have
been able to convey to the Chinese leadership in
an unambiguous manner the position of His
Holiness and the steps that need to be taken to
resolve the Tibetan problem. Our talks have
certainly enabled us to understand better the
Chinese government’s position and concerns regarding the future of Tibet.

This time we met with Mr. Du Qinglin, Vice
Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political
Consultative Conference as well as Minister of
the Central United Front Work Department, on
January 30. We also had a day-long discussion
with Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun and Vice
Minister Sithar on January 31, 2010.

We presented a Note[1] relating to the Memorandum
on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People[2]
that we had presented during the Eighth Round in
November 2008. The Chinese Government has made
different comments and expression of concerns
regarding the Memorandum and the Note was
intended to address these and to offer some
constructive suggestions for a way forward in the
dialogue process. The Note was also intended to
prevent the chance of misinterpretation and
misconception by the general public.

The Note contained the following seven points:

1. Respecting the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of the People’s Republic of China

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has repeatedly and
categorically stated that he is not seeking
separation of Tibet from the People’s Republic of
China (PRC). He is seeking a sustainable solution
within the People’s Republic of China. This
position is stated unambiguously in the Memorandum.

The form and degree of autonomy proposed in the
Memorandum is consistent with the principles on
autonomy in the Chinese Constitution. Observers
of the situation, including unbiased political
leaders and scholars in the international
community, have also acknowledged that the
Memorandum is a call for autonomy within the People’s Republic of China.

The Chinese Government's viewpoint on the history
of Tibet is different from that of the Tibetans
and His Holiness the Dalai Lama is fully aware
that Tibetans cannot agree to it. History is a
past event and it cannot be altered. However, His
Holiness the Dalai Lama’s position is
forward-looking, not backward grasping. He does
not wish to make this difference on history an
obstacle in seeking a mutually beneficial common
future within the People’s Republic of China.

2. Respecting the Constitution of the PRC

The fundamental principle underlying the concept
of national regional autonomy is to preserve and
protect a minority nationality’s identity,
language, custom, tradition and culture in a
multi-national state based on equality and
cooperation. The Constitution provides for the
establishment of organs of self-government where
the national minorities live in concentrated
communities in order for them to exercise the
power of autonomy. In conformity with this
principle, the Chinese Government’s White Paper
on Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet,[3] states
that minority nationalities are "arbiters of
their own destiny and masters of their own affairs."

Within the parameters of its underlying
principles, a Constitution needs to be responsive
to the needs of the times and adapt to new or
changed circumstances. The Chinese leaders have
demonstrated the flexibility of the Constitution
in their interpretation and implementation of it,
and have also enacted modifications and
amendments in response to changing circumstances.
If applied to the Tibetan situation, such
flexibility would, as is stated in the
Memorandum, indeed permit the accommodation of
the Tibetan needs within the framework of the
Constitution and its principles on autonomy.

3. Respecting the ‘Three Adherences’[4]

During our Eighth Round in November 2008, the
Chinese side came up with the principles of Three
Adherences related to our dialogue process.

The position of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as
presented in the Memorandum, in no way challenges
or brings into question the leadership of the
Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, it is
reasonable to expect that, in order to promote
unity, stability and a harmonious society, the
Party would change its attitude of treating
Tibetan culture, religion and identity as a threat.

The Memorandum also does not challenge the
socialist system of the PRC. Nothing in it
suggests a demand for a change to this system or
for its exclusion from Tibetan areas.

4. Respecting the hierarchy and authority of the Chinese Central Government

The proposals contained in the Memorandum in no
way imply a denial of the authority of the
National People’s Congress (NPC) and other organs
of the Chinese Central Government. The proposal
fully respects the hierarchical differences
between the Central Government and its organs,
including the NPC, and the autonomous government of Tibet.

Any form of genuine autonomy entails a division
and allocation of powers and responsibilities,
including that of making laws and regulations,
between the central and the autonomous local
government. Of course, the power to adopt laws
and regulations is limited to the areas of
competency of the autonomous region. This is true
in unitary states as well as in federal systems.

This principle is also recognized in the
Constitution. The spirit of the Constitutional
provisions on autonomy is to give autonomous
regions broader decision-making authority over
and above that enjoyed by ordinary provinces. But
today, the requirement for prior approval by the
Standing Committee of the NPC for all laws and
regulations of the autonomous regions (Art. 116
of the Constitution) is exercised in a way that
in fact leaves the autonomous regions with much
less authority to make decisions that suit local
conditions than that of the ordinary (not autonomous) provinces of China.

The important feature of entrenchment of autonomy
arrangements in the Constitution or in other
appropriate ways also does not imply equality of
status between the central and local government
nor does it restrict or weaken the authority of
the former. The measure is intended to provide
(legal) security to both the autonomous and the
central authorities that neither can unilaterally
change the basic features of the autonomy they
have set up, and that a process of consultation
must take place at least for fundamental changes to be enacted.

5. Concerns raised by the Chinese Central
Government on specific competencies referred to in the Memorandum

a) Public security

Concern was raised over the inclusion of public
security aspects in the package of competencies
allocated to the autonomous region in the
Memorandum because the government apparently
interpreted this to mean defense matters.
National defense and public security are two
different matters. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is
clear on the point that the responsibility for
national defense of the PRC is and should remain
with the Central Government. The Memorandum in
fact refers specifically to "internal public
order and security," and makes the important
point that the majority of the security personnel
should be Tibetans, because they understand the
local customs and traditions. It also helps to
curb local incidents leading to disharmony among
the nationalities. The Memorandum in this respect
is consistent with the principle enunciated in
Article 120 of the Chinese Constitution
(reflected also in Article 24 of the Law on
Regional National Autonomy), which states:

"The organs of self-government of the national
autonomous areas may, in accordance with the
military system of the state and practical local
needs and with approval of the State Council,
organize local public security forces for the maintenance of public order."

It should also be emphasized that nowhere in the
Memorandum do we propose the withdrawal of
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from Tibetan areas.

b) Language

The protection, use, and development of the
Tibetan language are some of the crucial issues
for the exercise of genuine autonomy by Tibetans.
Our emphasis on the need to respect Tibetan as
the main or principal language in the Tibetan
areas is not different from the position
expressed in the Chinese Government’s White Paper
on Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet, where it is
stated that regulations adopted by the Tibet
regional government prescribe that "equal
attention be given to Tibetan and Han-Chinese
languages in the Tibetan Autonomous region, with
the Tibetan language as the major one...”
(emphasis added). Moreover, the very usage of
"main language" in the Memorandum clearly implies
the use of other languages, too.

The absence of a demand in the Memorandum that
the Chinese language should also be used and
taught should not be interpreted as its
"exclusion." Chinese is the principal and common
language in the PRC as a whole and it should also
be noted in this context that the leadership in
exile has taken steps to encourage Tibetans in exile to learn Chinese.

Therefore, our proposal emphasizing the study of
the Tibetan people’s own language should not be
interpreted as being a "separatist view."

c) Regulation of population migration

The Memorandum proposes that the local government
of the autonomous region should have the
competency to regulate the residence, settlement
and employment or economic activities of persons
who wish to move to Tibetan areas from elsewhere.
This is a common feature of autonomy and is
certainly not without precedent in the PRC.

The Memorandum explicitly states that it is not
suggesting the expulsion of non-Tibetans who have
lived in Tibetan areas for years. His Holiness
the Dalai Lama and the Kashag (the Tibetan
cabinet) also made this clear in earlier
statements, as did we in our discussions with our
Chinese counterparts. In an address to the
European Parliament on December 4, 2008, His
Holiness reiterated that "our intention is not to
expel non-Tibetans. Our concern is the induced
mass movement of primarily Han, but also some
other nationalities, into many Tibetan areas,
which in turn marginalizes the native Tibetan
population and threatens Tibet’s fragile
environment." The issue concerns the appropriate
division of powers regarding the regulation of
transient, seasonal workers and new settlers so
as to protect the vulnerable population indigenous to Tibetan areas.

The Chinese Government rejected the proposition
that the autonomous authorities would regulate
the entrance and economic activities of persons
from other parts of the PRC in part because "in
the Constitution and the Law on Regional National
Autonomy there are no provisions to restrict
transient population." In fact, the Law on
Regional National Autonomy, in its Article 43,
explicitly mandates such a regulation:

"In accordance with legal stipulations, the
organs of self-government of national autonomous
areas shall work out measures for control of the transient population."

d) Religion

The point made in the Memorandum, that Tibetans
be free to practice their religion according to
their own beliefs, is entirely consistent with
the principles of religious freedom contained in
the Chinese Constitution. It is also consistent
with the principle of separation of religion and
polity adopted in many countries of the world.

Article 36 of the Constitution guarantees that no
one can "compel citizens to believe in, or not to
believe in any religion." We endorse this
principle but observe that today the authorities
do interfere in important ways in the ability of
Tibetans to practice their religion.

The spiritual relationship between master and
student and the giving of religious teachings,
etc. are essential components of the religious
practice. Restricting these is a violation of
religious freedom. Similarly, the interference
and direct involvement by the state and its
institutions in matters of recognition of
reincarnated lamas, as provided in the Regulation
on the Management of Reincarnated Lamas of
2007[5] is a grave violation of the freedom of
religious belief enshrined in the Constitution.

The practice of religion is widespread and
fundamental to the Tibetan people. Rather than
seeing Buddhist practice as a threat, concerned
authorities should respect it. Traditionally or
historically Buddhism has always been a major
unifying and positive factor between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.

e) Single administration

The desire of Tibetans to be governed within one
autonomous region is fully in keeping with the
principles on autonomy of the Constitution. The
rationale for the need to respect the integrity
of the Tibetan nationality is clearly stated in
the Memorandum and does not mean "Greater" or
"Smaller" Tibet. In fact, the Law on Regional
National Autonomy itself allows for this kind of
modification of administrative boundaries if
proper procedures are followed. Terming this
proposal as a "territorial claim" is unfounded.
This is a genuine need and desire of a
distinctive people to pursue their legitimate
right and aspiration through legal and
constitutional means. This proposal in no way violates the Constitution.

As we pointed out in earlier rounds of talks,
many Chinese leaders, including Premier Zhou
Enlai, Vice Premier Chen Yi and Party Secretary
Hu Yaobang, supported the consideration of
bringing all Tibetan areas under a single
administration. Some of the most senior Tibetan
leaders in the PRC, including the 10th Panchen
Lama, Ngapo Ngawang Jigme and Bapa Phuntsok
Wangyal have also called for this and affirming
that doing so would be in accordance with the
PRC’s Constitution and its laws. In 1956 a
special committee, which included senior
Communist Party member Sangye Yeshi (Tian Bao),
was appointed by the Chinese Government to make a
detailed plan for the integration of the Tibetan
areas into a single autonomous region, but the
work was later stopped on account of ultra-leftist elements.

The fundamental reason for the need to integrate
the Tibetan areas under one administrative region
is to address the deeply-felt desire of Tibetans
to exercise their autonomy as a people and to
protect and develop their culture and spiritual
values in this context. This is also the
fundamental premise and purpose of the
Constitutional principles on regional national
autonomy as reflected in Article 4 of the
Constitution. Tibetans are concerned about the
integrity of the Tibetan nationality, which the
proposal respects and which the continuation of
the present system does not. Their common
historical heritage, spiritual and cultural
identity, language and even their particular
affinity to the unique Tibetan plateau
environment is what binds Tibetans as one
nationality. Within the PRC, Tibetans are
recognized as one nationality and not several
nationalities. Those Tibetans presently living in
Tibet autonomous prefectures and counties
incorporated into other provinces also belong to
the same Tibetan nationality. Tibetans, including
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are primarily
concerned about the protection and development of
Tibetan culture, spiritual values, national identity and the environment.

Tibetans are not asking for the expansion of
Tibetan autonomous areas, but are only asking
that those areas already recognized as Tibetan
autonomous areas by PRC come under a single
administration, as is the case in the other
autonomous regions. It is possible for the
Chinese Government to make the necessary
administrative adjustment when elsewhere in the
PRC, notably in the case of Inner Mongolia,
Ningxia and Guangxi Autonomous Regions, it has done just that.

Today more than half of the Tibetan population is
subjected to the priorities and interests first
and foremost of different provincial governments
in which they have no significant role. Keeping
Tibetans divided and subject to different laws
and regulations denies the people the exercise of
genuine autonomy and makes it difficult for them
to maintain their distinct cultural identity.

f) Political, social and economic system

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has repeatedly and
consistently stated that he has no intention to
restore the old political, social and economic
system that existed in Tibet prior to 1959. It is
disturbing and puzzling that the Chinese
government persists, despite all evidence to the
contrary, to accuse His Holiness the Dalai Lama
and his Administration of the intention to restore the old system.

All countries and societies, including China,
have had political systems in the past that would
be entirely unacceptable today. The old Tibetan
system is no exception. Tibetans in exile have
developed their own modern democratic system as
well as education and health systems and
institutions. It is obvious that Tibetans in the
PRC have also advanced under Chinese rule and
improved their social, education, health and
economic situation. However, the standard of
living of the Tibetan people remains the lowest
in the PRC and Tibetan human rights are not being
respected. Our firm commitment to respect the
Three Adherences as conveyed in the Note should
put to rest any such doubts if they existed.

6. Recognizing the core issue

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other members of
the exiled leadership have no personal demands to
make. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s concern is
with the rights and welfare of the Tibetan
people. Therefore, the fundamental issue that
needs to be resolved is the faithful
implementation of genuine autonomy that will
enable the Tibetan people to govern themselves in
accordance with their own genius and needs.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks on behalf of
the Tibetan people, with whom he has a deep and
historical relationship and one based on full
trust. In fact, on no issue are Tibetans as
completely in agreement as on their demand for
the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to
Tibet. It cannot be disputed that His Holiness
the Dalai Lama legitimately represents the
Tibetan people, and he is certainly viewed as
their true representative and spokesperson by
them. It is indeed only by means of dialogue with
His Holiness the Dalai Lama that the Tibetan
issue can be resolved. The recognition of this reality is important.

This emphasizes the point, often made by His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, that his engagement for
the cause of Tibet is not for the purpose of
claiming certain personal rights or political
position for him, nor attempting to stake claims
for the Tibetan administration in exile. Once an
agreement is reached, the Tibetan
Government-in-Exile will be dissolved and the
Tibetans working in Tibet should carry on the
main responsibility of administering Tibet. His
Holiness the Dalai Lama has made it clear on
numerous occasions that he will not hold any political position in Tibet.

7. The Way Forward

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has offered, and
remains prepared, to formally issue a statement
that would serve to allay the Chinese Central
Government’s doubts and concerns as to his
position and intentions on matters that have been
identified above. The formulation of the
statement should be done after ample
consultations between representatives of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Central
Government, respectively, to ensure that such a
statement would satisfy the fundamental needs of
the Chinese Central Government as well as those of the Tibetan people.

Other Important Issues

During the Ninth Round, we also conveyed two
other suggestions that would enable our dialogue process to move forward.

We emphasized that His Holiness’ sole concern is
the wellbeing of the six million Tibetans in
Tibet. We stated that we have never raised any
personal issues of His Holiness the Dalai Lama or
the welfare of the few people around him.

With regard to this, the Chinese Government
contends that most of the Tibetan people are in a
happy and satisfactory situation, and that there
is no Tibetan issue. Our perception is that most
of the Tibetans are in a situation where they
face limitless suffering and where they do not
have a satisfactory religious, political,
economic, language and culture, and social
situation. In the light of these two differing
perspectives, we suggested that there be a study
by the two sides to determine the reality of the
situation. This study needs to be undertaken
under a situation where all the Tibetans can have
the opportunity to participate without fear or
suspicion. The two sides could mutually decide
the practical ways to implement this. If the
outcome of this study is that most of the
Tibetans feel there is no problem and their
present situation is satisfactory, that is what
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is calling for. But
if the outcome confirms that most of the Tibetan
people are not in a satisfactory situation, the
Chinese Government then needs to recognize that
there is a problem in the spirit of seeking truth
from facts, and both sides need to discuss and together find a solution.

We also stated that during the informal session
in Shenzhen in May 2008, we had rejected the
allegation (made in the form of the "Three Stops”
principles6) that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and
the leadership in exile have instigated the
demonstrations throughout the Tibetan areas since
March 10, 2008 as they were without basis.
Therefore, during the Seventh Round of talks, we
felt that the Chinese Government accepted the
reality by altering the :Three Stops: to :Four Not to Support."[7]

However, in recent times we find that the same
earlier allegations are being repeated.
Therefore, we conveyed our feeling that the
Chinese Government needed to clarify whether its
position is what that was stated to us in the
Seventh Round of talks. If there is a change,
then the Chinese Government needs to undertake a
thorough scientific investigation, in Tibet as
well as in the Tibetan community in exile, into
the veracity of their charge. We stated our
readiness to extend every support to this investigation.

We called upon the Chinese side to stop the
baseless accusations against His Holiness and,
instead, work with him to find a mutually
acceptable solution to the Tibetan problem based
on the Memorandum. This will ensure stability,
unity and the development of a harmonious society.

Some Important Issues Raised by the Chinese Side

The Chinese side came up with a four "Not to
Indulge In" or "Four No’s"[8] principles, namely,
1) The national interests must not be violated,
2) the principles of the Constitution must not be
infringed, 3) the national dignity must not be
damaged, and 4) the universal desires of various
ethnic groups of the people must not be defied.
These are somewhat different from their earlier
:Three Stops: and :Four Not to Support: principles.

The Chinese side also provided us with a detailed
briefing on recent developments relating to
Tibet, particularly on the important Fifth Tibet
Work Forum, held from January 18 to 20, 2010.
They said the Forum decided to further improve
the livelihood of Tibetans in the Tibet
Autonomous Region and all Tibetan areas,
specifically in public services, such as
education, medical services, and environmental
protection. Based on the initial reports that we
had of the Forum, we welcomed the issues it has
taken up to improve the lives of the Tibetan people specially in rural areas.

We welcome the fact that the Fifth Tibet Work
Forum has looked into the issues of development
in all Tibetan areas -- The Tibet Autonomous
Region as well as other Tibetan areas. It is our
strong belief that all the Tibetan areas must be
under a uniform policy and a single
administration. If we take away the political
slogans, many of the issues that have been
prioritized by the Forum are similar to the basic
needs of the Tibetan people outlined in our Memorandum.

All the five work forums held so far have
resulted in major change in China’s attitude
towards the Tibetan people. The First Forum was
held in 1980 and dealt with economic development
and special policies; the second was held in 1984
and took up economic development and assistance
from other provinces to the Tibet Autonomous
Region. The third Forum took place in 1994 and it
was during this Forum that the decision seems to
have been taken to look at His Holiness
personally as a adversary. This Forum continued
looking at economic development as well as
stability issues. The Fourth Forum was held in
2001 and took up economic development, stability
as well as intensifying of control mechanisms in
the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Fifth Work Forum
has taken up the economic development issue but
also involved environmental protection and
development of rural and nomadic regions. Above
all, as mentioned earlier, it has considered a
common developmental approach to all Tibetan areas for the first time.

The Essence of the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach

One of the fundamental points that the Chinese
officials fail to formally acknowledge is the
fact that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is sincere
and serious in his efforts for a solution within
the framework of the People’s Republic of China
through his Middle Way Approach. His Holiness the
Dalai Lama and the Tibetan leadership in exile
took the courageous decision to seek genuine
autonomy for the Tibetan people within the
framework of the Constitution of the PRC in a way
that would ensure the basic needs of the Tibetan
people in safeguarding their distinct culture,
language, religion and identity and the delicate
natural environment of the Tibetan plateau.

The Middle Way Approach is a way to peacefully
resolve the issue of Tibet and to bring about
stability and co-existence between the Tibetan
and Chinese peoples based on equality and mutual
co-operation. Its origin goes back to the mid
1970s when His Holiness had internal discussions
with his advisors. Over the years the Tibetan
leadership in exile refined the concrete features
of the Approach to conform to existing political
realities in the PRC. With the re-establishment
of contact in 2002, we have been able to convey
directly to the Chinese leadership, both verbally
and in writing, the essence of the Approach.

Official Chinese media continue to label His
Holiness as being a separatist and wanting to
regain Tibetan independence and referring to
contents of his statements of the past, including
the Five Point Peace Plan and the Strasbourg
Proposal. They seem to be deliberately ignoring
His Holiness’ subsequent appreciation of Chinese
concerns and clarification of his Approach. Most
recently, the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for
the Tibetan People that we had presented to the
Chinese leadership in 2008 clearly outlined His
Holiness’s Middle Way Approach. It is in this
context that the meeting between His Holiness and
President Obama on February 18, 2010 has become
significant. Following this meeting, the White
House released the following statement[9]:

"The President met this morning at the White
House with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. The
President stated his strong support for the
preservation of Tibet's unique religious,
cultural and linguistic identity and the
protection of human rights for Tibetans in the
People's Republic of China. The President
commended the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" approach,
his commitment to nonviolence and his pursuit of
dialogue with the Chinese government. The
President stressed that he has consistently
encouraged both sides to engage in direct
dialogue to resolve differences and was pleased
to hear about the recent resumption of talks. The
President and the Dalai Lama agreed on the
importance of a positive and cooperative
relationship between the United States and China."

President Obama’s support of His Holiness’ Middle
Way Approach is a strong message to the Chinese
leadership that no matter how they project it,
the international community clearly understands
the Approach to be pragmatic, reasonable and sincere.

We are in the process of studying the issues
raised by our counterparts, including the
proceedings of the Fifth Tibet Work Forum and the
“Four Not to Indulge In” principles. Given
political will on the Chinese leadership’s side
we do not see any reason why we cannot find a common ground on these issues.

Resolving the Tibetan issue concerns not merely
the rights of the Tibetan people. Rather, it
concerns the future of the Tibetan Buddhist
culture, which impacts both the Tibetan people
and the broader international community. Tibetan
Buddhist culture, which is not necessarily
Tibetan Buddhism, promotes a culture of
compassion that is much needed in Tibet, in China and the region as a whole.

Specifically, China is aspiring to become a
superpower but such a status cannot be achieved
purely through military and economic strength.
Rather, moral authority is a very important
condition and this can be imparted by the Tibetan Buddhist culture.

 From the geopolitical perspective, too, if the
issue of Tibet is resolved, it will be a positive
factor in the relationship between the two Asian giants, India and China.

Environmentally, the Tibetan plateau is of great
importance with scientists virtually naming it as
the Third Pole. Tibet is also the source of many
major Asian rivers. Thus, if the Tibetan
environment is impacted, it affects the global environment.

The biggest concern of the Chinese leadership is
the legitimacy of their rule in Tibet. The
Chinese leadership knows that only one
individual, the Dalai Lama, has the capability
and authority to provide that. His Holiness the
Dalai Lama is aware of the People's Republic of
China's concerns and sensitivities with regard to
the legitimacy of the present situation in Tibet.
For this reason we have conveyed directly to the
Chinese leadership, and His Holiness has also
publicly stated, that he stands ready to lend his
moral authority to endow an autonomy agreement,
once reached, with the legitimacy it will need to
gain the support of the Tibetan people and to be properly implemented.

We are convinced that this could be done without
rewriting the history of Tibet. This is because
if we go on the path of rewriting history of
Tibet it will then not only lead to complicating
further some of the existing conflicts in China’s
relationship with others, but even give birth to
new ones. Furthermore, the Chinese leadership
needs to ponder whether it should be making
effort to lay claims on the basis of some past
imperial actions and should understand the
international ramification and repercussion if it does so.

I am grateful for this opportunity to share my
thoughts at this prestigious institution to this
gathering of experts and scholars. Fundamentally,
the Tibetan issue needs to be resolved between
the Tibetans and the Chinese. Just as the Chinese
Government does not want a third party
involvement, we Tibetans, too, feel the right way
is to resolve it through talks with the Chinese
leadership. At the same time the issue of Tibet is of international concern.

It is essential for students of the
Tibetan-Chinese conflict to clearly understand
and appreciate the differences between the
fundamental positions of our two sides. Some
experts do not seem to understand this. On our
part, we will always be appreciative of any
suggestions that are aimed at the mutual benefit
of the Tibetan people and the Chinese. This is
because we believe that we have a forward looking
approach and also because of our willingness to
be creative in the resolution of the Tibetan
issue. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is committed
to work with the Chinese Government so that the
Tibetan people can maintain their distinctive
identity, regain their pride and dignity and the
People’s Republic of China’s stability and unity are ensured.


1. See full text on

2. See full text on

3.  White Paper, Regional Ethnic Autonomy in
Tibet, State Council Information Office, Beijing, May 23, 2004.

4. The Three Adherences are: Adherences to (1)
the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party;
(2) the socialism with Chinese characteristics;
and (3) the Regional National Autonomy system.

5. State Administration of Religious Affairs
Order No. 5, "Management measures for the
reincarnation of living Buddhas in Tibetan
Buddhism” adopted by the Administrative Affairs
Conference of the State Administration of
Religious Affairs, Beijing, on July 13, 2007 and
implemented from September 1, 2007.

6. The three stops are: 1) stop separatist
activities, 2) stop violence, and 3) stop sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games.

7. The four not to support are: 1) not supporting
activities that would disturb the Beijing Olympic
Games; 2) not supporting plots inciting violent
criminal activities; 3) not supporting and
concretely curbing violent terrorist activities;
and 4) not supporting activities seeking Tibetan independence.

8. The Four Not to Indulge In are: 1) The
national interests must not be violated, 2) the
principles of the Constitution must not be
infringed, 3) the national dignity must not be
damaged, and 4) the universal desires of various
ethnic groups of the people must not be defied.

9. "Statement from the Press Secretary on the
President’s Meeting with His Holiness the XIV
Dalai Lama," The White House, February 18, 2010
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