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Pressure China to meet Dalai Lama: Robb

April 9, 2008

Scopical, Australia
April 8, 2008

The Prime Minister is under pressure to use his impending China visit to
convince their Government of a meeting with Tibetan spiritual leader the
Dalai Lama.

Violence and protest saw up to 150 Tibetans allegedly killed by the
Chinese Government in the last eight weeks.

Opposition Foreign Affairs Spokesman Andrew Robb says the Prime Minister
must use his visit to Beijing to pressure the Government into
discussions with the Dalai Lama.

"I think Mr Rudd needs to certainly get China to agree to open up a
realistic and effective dialogue with representatives of the Dalai
Lama," Mr Robb said.

Mr Robb said that Australia was in a position to initiate such talks
given the Prime Minister's experience with Chin, and the nation's
concern for the current state of human rights.

"Australia should offer to play a role in brokering these talks. I think
that opportunity exists especially given the relationship that he claims
to have with the Chinese," he said.

The Prime Minister has this week wrapped up the second leg of his world
trip in the United States and Europe - and will now spend the remainder
of his time in China.
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