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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

President Obama urges China to resume Tibet dialogue

November 20, 2009

Tibetan Review.
November 19, 2009

US President Barack Obama managed to squeeze in a
mention of the need for China to resume dialogue
with the Dalai Lama’s envoys, but by prefixing it
with Tibet being part of the PRC in his Joint
Statement Nov 17 with the Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"We did note that while we recognize that Tibet
is part of the People's Republic of China,"
China’s official China Daily online Nov 17 quoted
Mr Obama as saying in the Joint Statement, "the
United States supports the early resumption of
dialogue between the Chinese government and
representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve any
concerns and differences that the two sides may have."

  It was the only public mention of Tibet, or
dialogue on it, by President Obama during his
trip to China. However, Mr Obama did raise the
issue during his meeting with Mr Hu. The Wall
Street Journal Nov 18 cited a senior White House
official as saying Mr Obama broached human rights
and encouraged the Chinese government to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

As regards the Chinese reaction to the call for
the resumption of dialogue, Hu was silent. On the
other hand, the China Daily online report quoted
him as telling Mr Obama, "We hope the US
understand and support China's government's
stance and concerns, properly manage the Taiwan
issue, and disallow any 'pro-Tibet independence'
and 'the East Turkistan' forces to commit to any
moves on the American soil to separate China."

And it quoted President Hu as saying, at the end
of the Great Hall of the People meeting, "China
approves of President Obama's repeated reiteration of the one-China principle."

The two presidents made their joint statement to
the media without taking any question.

The Dalai Lama appreciated the US president’s
appeal to the Chinese leadership. However,
speaking in the Italian city of Bolzano Nov 17,
he said that he realized that "limits" existed
beyond which the US is not able express itself on
the Tibetan issue, reported DPA Nov 17, citing the Italian news agency ANSA.

And the AFP Nov 17 cited his office in Dharamsala
as saying the Tibetan leader was ready for the
resumption of talks with China as suggested by
the US President. "His Holiness the Dalai Lama
has said we are not seeking separation or
independence" from Chinese rule, it quoted Mr
Chime Chhoekyapa at the office as saying.

It was largely a goodwill visit for Mr Obama with
no breakthrough agreements and deals having been
achieved on anything. But, as reported by Times
Online (UK) Nov 17: “… immediate achievements
were always going to be limited from a summit
whose purpose was more to set the tone for the
next few years in a relationship that is of
growing importance to the United States as its economy struggles to recover.”

President Obama did reveal that the two sides had
agreed to resume early next year a human rights
dialogue that had remained stalled since 2004.

Mr Obama arrived in Shanghai on Nov 15, where he
was severely censored, arrived in Beijing late on
Nov 16, met with President Hu on Nov 17 and with
Premier Wen Jiabao on Nov 18 before leaving for
South Korea. China was the third of his four
nation Asia tour which also included Japan and
Singapore (for an APEC summit) as well.
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