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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."
<-Back to WTN Archives Dalai Lama calls for new talks with China (AFP)
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World Tibet Network News

Thursday, December 10, 1998

1. Dalai Lama calls for new talks with China (AFP)

PARIS, Dec 9 (AFP) - Tibet's exiled Dalai Lama on Wednesday called for=20
informal talks with China despite what he described as "some confusing=20
signals" from Beijing.

In talks with a group of reporters, including AFP, the exiled Buddhist=20
leader said that informal talks had failed to materialise recently because=
of a lack of response from China.

He said he did not want to make public statements in order to avoid=20
misunderstandings that would harm mutual confidence.

"There has been enough confusion and concern in the last 20 years. I simply=
want real autonomy for Tibet", which he said was provided for under the=20
Chinese constitution."

The Dalai Lama said the "last formal contact" with Beijing dated back to=20
August 1993 in New Delhi.

Eventually new channels of communication developed through contacts first=20
with two Chinese businessmen and then through the Jimmy Carter Foundation.=
"So then eventually there were about five channels. Then one channel=20
eventually became more smooth, more substantial."

The Dalai Lama recalled that after a meeting last June between President=20
Bill Clinton and President Jiang Zemin the Chinese leader had "publicly=20
acknowledged informal channels of communication."

Jiang had said after a two-hour summit with Clinton that "as long as the=20
Dalai Lama makes a public commitment that Tibet is an inalienable part of=20
China and Taiwan is a province of China, then the door to dialogue and=20
negotiation is open."

But the Dalai Lama said Wednesday that about two and a half months ago,=20
there were "some confusing signals" from the Chinese. "So now that channel=
also is not very clear."

"It seems the policy of China ... is more hardline thinking," he said. "I=20
do not want to make a public response (to China's offer of dialogue) until=
some informal discussion with China," he said.

The Dalai Lama, aged 62, has never returned to China since a failed=20
uprising in Tibet in 1959. He lives in exile in northern India, where some=
100,000 Tibetans are in exile, and is in Paris for ceremonies marking the=20
50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Last June, the Tibetan government-in-exile headed by the Dalai Lama said it=
was ready for unconditional talks with Beijing saying a decades-old demand=
for Tibet's independence had been dropped.

It said that Jiang's statement that the Dalai Lama had to recognize Taiwan=
as a "province of China" before talks were held on Tibet had already been=20
answered by the spiritual-cum-temporal leader.

"His Holiness had said during his March 1997 visit to Taiwan that this is a=
matter which must be discussed and decided between China and the people of=
Taiwan. Confrontation and use of military force will help neither China,=20
nor Taiwan."

China, which claims its sovereignty over Tibet dates back to the 13th=20
century, "liberated" the region in 1951.

Confrontation between the Dalai Lama and the Beijing government rose to a=20
peak in 1995 when the spiritual leader unilaterally named the reincarnation=
of the Panchen Lama, the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism.

In response, Beijing ordered all pictures of the Dalai Lama to be removed=20
from monasteries and temples and launched a bitter campaign to discredit=20

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Dalai Lama calls for new talks with China (AFP)
  2. Dalai Lama says informal China talks broken down (Reuters)
  3. China blames Dalai Lama for stalled talks (Reuters)
  4. Tibetan Antelope Faces Danger of Extinction: Report (Xinhua)
  5. Renowned contemporary Tibetan painter launches U.S. gallery debut (ICT)
  6. Report the Dalai Lama's public talk in Paris
  7. Sino-Tibetan Study Group Set Up by exiled Chinese and Tibetans

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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