China Says No Progress in Talks with Dalai Envoys

BEIJING ~ China said this week that talks with envoys of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, had failed to make progress, and insisted it would not compromise on the status of the Himalayan region.

“Our contacts and talks failed to make progress and they (the Dalai Lama’s representatives) should assume full responsibility for it,” a Communist Party statement said.

“We pointed out… the unification of the motherland, territorial integrity and national dignity are the greatest interests of the Chinese people.

“We will never make a concession,” added the statement.

Envoys of the Dali Lama, who has lived in India for nearly half a century, ended two days of talks Wednesday with Chinese officials in Beijing.

Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, Kelsang Gyaltsen and three aides left for the Chinese capital on October 30 but only began formal discussions on Tuesday, according to the Tibet government-in-exile in India.

“Though there existed serious divergences of views in this contact and talk, the atmosphere generally remained frank and sincere,” Monday’s statement said.

During the visit, the envoys were taken to the Muslim autonomous region of Ningxia by Chinese authorities to demonstrate Beijing’s handling of minority concerns, according to the exiled administration.

At a briefing Monday, Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, said the talks had centred mostly on the Dalai Lama and his policies.

“We merely talked about how the Dalai Lama should completely give up his splittist opinions and actions and strive for the understanding of the central authorities and all Chinese people so as to solve the issue concerning his own prospects,” Zhu said.

Chinese troops invaded Tibet in 1950, before annexing the region the next year. The Dalai Lama fled his homeland following a failed 1959 uprising.

Freesh violence erupted in the Tibetan capital Lhasa on March 14 this year against Chinese rule, and spread to other areas of western China with Tibetan populations.

The United Front Work Department is a unit of the Communist Party in charge of contacts with individuals and organizations outside the party.

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