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Dalai Lama must show sincerity in action: China

May 8, 2008

Pallavi Aiyar
The Hindu
May 7, 2008

BEIJING -- Following a brief round of talks with Chinese officials on Sunday, the Dalai Lama’s representatives departed from Hong Kong on Tuesday. While details of what transpired at the closed-door meeting remain scarce, the highlight of the dialogue has been the agreement to keep talking.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that another round of talks would take place at an "appropriate time," with the caveat that the Dalai Lama must “show sincerity, particularly in his actions,” for the negotiations to continue.

Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said that the two sides had discussed the "March 14 incident; what happened in Lhasa." Zhu Weiqun and Sitar, Vice Ministers of the Communist Party’s United Front Work department, “expounded on the Chinese government’s policies as well as the government’s policy towards the Dalai Lama,” he said.

The spokesperson said that the Chinese officials answered the questions raised by the Dalai Lama’s envoys with "patience." The envoys are now expected to report back to the Dalai Lama on the discussions before the dates for the next round of talks is announced.

Lodi Gyari, one of the Dalai Lama’s personal representatives told
reporters at Hong Kong’s airport that Sunday’s meeting was "a good first step.

"We were all very candid. We had a very candid discussion," he said.

Mr. Gyari went on to say that both he and his colleague Kelsang Gyaltsen shared a "good rapport" with the Chinese negotiators since they had dealt with each other for many years.

Representatives of the United Front Work department have held talks with the Dalai Lama’s envoys in the past, including six rounds of dialogue between 2002 and 2007.

No breakthroughs were achieved through the process.

Sunday’s discussions were the first meeting between the two sides in more than a year and followed international pressure on Beijing.
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