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United States Reiterates Support for Dialogue to Resolve Tibetan Issue

September 11, 2010

International Campaign for Tibet
ICT Report
September 8, 2010

The United States has called for direct and
substantive discussions without preconditions
between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and
the Chinese government. In its annual Report on
Tibet Negotiations  submitted belatedly to
Congress in August 2010, the U.S. State
Department wrote, “Encouraging substantive
dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama is an
important foreign policy objective of the United States."

"This report highlights the imperative the U.S.
government places on negotiation to resolve the
Tibet issue," said Todd Stein, Director of
Government Relations at the International
Campaign for Tibet. “The challenge is for the
White House and the State Department,
coordinating with other governments, to explore
creative approaches that help the Tibetan and
Chinese sides find common ground in order to make
substantive progress toward a solution."

The report termed the ninth round of dialogue
between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and
Chinese officials in January 2010 as a "positive
step." At the same time, it stated that "we are
disappointed that eight years of talks have not
borne concrete results.” Further, it said, “we
continue to urge both sides to engage in
substantive dialogue and hope to see a tenth
round of dialogue that will lead to positive
movement on questions related to Tibetans’ lives and livelihoods.”

"The Tibet negotiations report is a manifestation
of the United States government’s long-standing
interest in bringing a peaceful solution to the
Tibet issue," said Todd Stein. "Inherent is a
recognition that constructive and visible
engagement with the Chinese Government on Tibet,
in addition to quiet diplomacy, can yield
positive consequences and provide hope to
Tibetans and Chinese that a peaceful solution is possible."

The report details four meetings that President
Obama had with Chinese leaders in 2009 during
which he raised the Tibetan issue. It also stated
that President Obama commended the Dalai Lama’s
Middle Way approach during their meeting in February 2010.

The report also deals at length with steps taken
by the President as well as Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton, Special Coordinator for Tibetan
Issues Maria Otero and other officials "to
encourage the government of the People’s Republic
of China (PRC) to enter into a dialogue with the
Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet."

It also highlights the status of discussions
between the two sides and also details its
history. It refers to the Memorandum on Genuine
Autonomy for the Tibetan People that the Tibetan
side submitted during the eighth round of talks
in October-November 2008 “which clarified their
understanding of ‘genuine autonomy.’"

The Tibet negotiations report is required by the
Tibet Policy Act of 2002. It is due to be
submitted to Congress by March of each year, but
was delayed by five months this year.
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