Tibet: Dialogue Still Possible
Below is an article published by AFP:
China said on Tuesday [16 December 2008] it was still open to dialogue with representatives of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, after the United Nations chief urged Beijing to continue the talks.
But, repeating its long-held position, China insisted that making headway in the negotiations was up to the Dalai Lama.
"The Chinese government... always expresses sincerity towards the contacts and negotiations, and the door to talks with the Dalai side is always open," the foreign ministry said in a statement faxed to AFP.
"The key is whether the Dalai Lama examines and corrects his political stance, abandons his wrongful position on 'Tibetan independence' and genuinely matches his words with actions."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on China Friday [12 December 2008] to continue the negotiations on the future of Tibet with representatives of the Dalai Lama.
Ban said he hoped the dialogue would continue "in a sincere manner, so all the concerns concerning Tibet will be resolved smoothly and harmoniously."
The two sides have held eight rounds of talks since 2002 to try and find a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibetan issue, with no success.
After the latest failed round, China insisted it would not compromise on the status of the Himalayan region.
The Dalai Lama and his aides said recently China lacks sincerity in the talks, with the Tibetan spiritual leader saying his trust in Chinese government officials is diminishing.
The Dalai Lama has sought "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet since he fled his homeland following a failed uprising in 1959 against Chinese rule, nine years after Chinese troops invaded the region.
But China claims he is seeking full independence.