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China reacts to Dalai Lama's declaration over Tibet

October 30, 2008

By Phurbu Thinley
Phayul
October 28, 2008

Dharamsala, October 28 -- China today urged the Tibetan leader His
Holiness the Dalai Lama to "fulfil his promises over Tibet" and said
contacts with him over the proposed talks later this month were
underway, according to a report by China's state-run news agency.

The details of the next possible round of contact were still under
negotiation, Xinhua reported Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Jiang Yu as saying at a regular press conference on Tuesday.

"From what I understand, there is further communication underway on
the arrangements for the contacts and consultations," Jiang was
quoted as saying on Tuesday by Reuters.

According to the Xinhua report, Jiang stressed the Chinese central
government always adhered to consistent, explicit policies towards
the Dalai Lama, and also adopted a sincere attitude in making contact with him.

She was reportedly responding to a question concerning the Dalai
Lama's declaration on Oct. 25 at a huge function in Dharamsala, his
exile base in northern India, in which he said he was losing faith in
dealing with Chinese government over the future of Tibet.

The revered Tibetan leader Saturday said even after sincerely
pursuing his "mutually beneficial Middle-Way policy" for a long time
there hasn't been any positive response from the Chinese side.

In that case, he said he had now asked the Tibetan
government-in-exile to decide in consultation with the Tibetan people
on how to take the dialogue forward and asked the fellow Tibetan
people to make all efforts to discuss on the future course action
during the proposed "special meeting" next month.

The 73-year old Tibetan leader maintained that the final decision
regarding Tibet would be made by Tibetan people by saying the "issue
of Tibet is the issue of Tibetan people and not the issue of the
Dalai Lama alone."

The Dalai Lama last month called a 'special meeting' of Tibetan
exiles in November to discuss the future of their cause. The meeting
will be held from 17 to 22 November.

The Dalai Lama Saturday said he did this in response to the lack of
any sincere response from the Chinese government in the dialogue
process and the worsening situation inside Tibet following the
widespread anti-China protests from all sections of Tibetan people
across the region earlier this year.

Dalai Lama's comments came ahead of a new round of talks planned
between his envoys and Chinese government officials at the end of this month.

"The Dalai Lama and his supporters should seriously carry out the
promises made in July this year, if they really wanted to improve
relations with the Chinese central government," Jiang was quoted as
saying by the Xinhua report.

"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," Reuters quoted her as saying.

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

China repeatedly accuses the Dalai Lama of leading a campaign to
split Tibet from the rest of the country. The Dalai Lama says he is
only seeking a real and meaningful autonomy for all Tibetans within
the constitutional framework of the People's Republic of China.

During the seventh round of talks in July, Tibetans envoys
experienced a hardening of stance from Communist Party
representatives. After returning from talks, the Tibetan
representatives repeatedly reiterated their calls on China on the
need to hold result-oriented talks at various avenues.

"In the absence of serious and sincere commitment on [the Chinese]
part, the continuation of the present dialogue process would serve no
purpose," Lodi G. Gyari, the special envoy of the Dalai Lama,
recently said at a public appearance.
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