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China says still looking to talks with Tibet envoys

October 30, 2008

Reuters
October 28, 2008

BEIJING (Reuters) - China remains in contact with the Dalai Lama's
administration over proposed talks, an official said Tuesday, despite
the exiled Buddhist leader's claim that he had lost hope of agreement
with Beijing over the future of Tibet.

Officials from Beijing were due this month to meet with the Dalai
Lama's envoys for their latest talks on Tibet, the mountain region he
fled in 1959.

But a senior aide of the 73-year-old leader of Tibetan Buddhism said
Sunday the Dalai Lama saw "no hope" of winning self-determination for
his homeland, which erupted in riots and unrest in March.

The Dalai Lama has called a meeting of Tibetan exiles in November to
discuss the future of their cause.

"From what I understand, there is further communication underway on
the arrangements for the contacts and consultations," Chinese Foreign
Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

Jiang told a regular news conference in Beijing that it was up to the
Dalai Lama, not China, to show sincerity about the secretive
discussions that resumed in July.

"We hope that these contacts can make the Dalai's side see the
situation clearly and truly demonstrate sincerity and actions," she said.

Jiang did not comment directly on the Dalai Lama's apparent loss of hope.

"China has an old saying: To listen to words and observe actions,"
she said. "If the Dalai's side truly wants to improve relations with
the Chinese government, it should resolutely observe the commitments
made in the July bilateral discussions."

In those talks, China demanded that that the Buddhist leader should
not support any efforts seeking Tibetan independence.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who fled into exile in India after a
failed uprising against Chinese rule, has said he wants a high level
of autonomy for Tibet, but not outright independence.

Beijing says his conditions amount to a bid for independence.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Paul Tait)
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