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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Relations With Germany Strengthened, China Says

October 26, 2008

Deutsche Welle
October 24, 2008

Germany's support after the Sichuan earthquake in March helped smooth
German-Chinese relations after past upsets, Chinese President Hu
Jintao said Friday. The German chancellor meanwhile vowed closer cooperation.

Germany was the European country "which helped China most after this
catastrophe," Hu told Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in Beijing to
participate in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit on Friday and Saturday.

"This is a clear sign of friendship from the German government to the
Chinese people," he added.

Merkel vowed closer cooperation with China in view of the global
economic crisis.

"We are ready to work even closer with China, especially in times of
economic difficulties," the conservative chancellor said.

Merkel then met with Chinese intellectuals at a Beijing hotel.
According to a participant, discussions included Chinese
sensibilities regarding Tibet, as well as Taiwan, the developments
within China's society and the effects of the Beijing Olympic Games.

DALAI LAMA VISIT A SOURCE OF CONFLICT

Journalism professor Zhan Jiang, one of the four Chinese
participants, told German DPA news agency that the chancellor asked
why China had been so annoyed over her meeting the Dalai Lama.

Bilateral relations between China and German deteriorated markedly
after a 2007 meeting between Merkel and the Dalai Lama, Tibet's
exiled spiritual leader.

"We explained to her that it is very complicated," Zhan said. "We
have a very difficult relationship with the Dalai Lama."

SOVEREIGNTY TAKES PRECEDENCE

The Dalai Lama, right, is welcomed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel
in Berline on Sept. 23,

"The Germans believe this is just a question of religion and
culture," constitution expert Cai Dingjian said.

"But for China this is related to national sovereignty."

"There is much sunshine in the economic relations with Germany, but
we take our sovereignty very seriously and react harshly when Taiwan
and Tibet are concerned -- then it gets dark in the relations," he added.

Other participants were writer Li Er and historian Wu Si.
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