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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tibet envoys leave for fresh talks with China

January 31, 2010

By Krittivas Mukherjee
Reuters
January 25, 2010

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -- Top envoys of the Dalai
Lama will arrive in China for talks on Tuesday,
the Tibetan government-in-exile said, the latest
attempt to revive dialogue that has stalled since 2008.

The two sides have held eight rounds of talks
since 2002, but little of substance has been
achieved. The last round of discussions in July 2008 ended in acrimony.

The envoys, Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Kelsang
Gyaltsen, will be accompanied by three other
Tibetan officials, the Tibetan
government-in-exile based in the northern Indian
hill town of Dharamsala said in a statement on Monday.

China's Foreign Ministry referred questions
relating to the Tibetan envoys to the United
Front Work Department, which was not available
for comment. The Religious Affairs Bureau was also unavailable.
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The envoys' visit come days after Beijing held a
top policy meeting on Tibet. The meeting pledged
to "leap-frog" the development of Tibet by
raising infrastructure quality and agricultural
incomes to national levels by 2020, according to
a Xinhua news agency report at the weekend [ID:nTOE60M00E].

Tibet's potential for social instability makes it
a possible risk for investors in China and a key
area for foreign governments interested in the
country's peaceful development, analysts say.

But any significant progress at the talks on
Tuesday was unlikely and the dialogue could be
more a Chinese need to be seen as engaging the Tibetans to resolve the issue.

"Because the international community is beginning
to perceive all these years of talks as a cynical
Chinese exercise, there is a greater degree of
accountability now devolving on Beijing," said
Alka Acharya, professor of East Asia studies at
the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

China accuses Tibet's exiled spiritual leader,
who fled Tibet after a failed 1959 uprising
against Communist rule, of manipulating opinion and governments in the West.

China has blamed the Dalai Lama's "clique" for
the deadly unrest in Lhasa and other Tibetan areas in 2008.

The Dalai Lama says he is campaigning for
meaningful autonomy for the strategic Himalayan
border region. But China, which says it sent
troops in 1950 to Tibet to liberate the country
from feudal serfdom, says he is bent on independence.

(Additional reporting by Lucy Hornby in BEIJING;
Editing by Matthias Williams and Sanjeev Miglani)
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