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Terrorism & Security

China and envoys of the Dalai Lama hold talks about Tibet

Despite an apparent intent to hold further talks before the Beijing Olympics, China continues to criticize the 'Dalai clique.'

By Mian Ridge / May 5, 2008

A day after the first talks between the Dalai Lama's envoys and Chinese officials in a year, both sides have reportedly agreed to hold further meetings.

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Sunday's talks, held in the city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, were aimed at easing tensions after antigovernment riots in Tibet in March that have cast a shadow over the buildup to China's Olympic Games. For weeks, international leaders have pressed China to reopen talks with the Dalai Lama's envoys.

Reuters reported Monday that government officials told China's state Xinhua news agency that further discussions would be held "at an appropriate time."

Tibet's government in exile said the new talks had been "vital," according to Agence France-Presse.

"The fact we are once again in contact is very vital for a solution to the Tibetan issue," Thubten Samphel, spokesman of the northern India-based Tibetan government-in-exile, told AFP by phone.
"It is also very good that China agreed to honour a meeting later."...
"The issue of Tibet is too complicated and one cannot expect one or two rounds of talks will lead to solutions, but what is important is that the two sides are talking, which will help in dispelling mistrust,"

The rhetoric from China seemed less encouraging, however.

The Associated Press reported that China criticized the Dalai Lama, whom it has long accused of wanting Tibetan independence, even as talks got under way.

"[State news agency] Xinhua quoted Chinese experts on Tibet as saying the Tibetan Youth Congress, an exile group, was the "armed spearhead of the 14th Dalai Lama group" dedicated to separating Tibet from China.
It quoted a researcher from the Beijing-based China Tibetology Research Center as saying the Tibetan Youth Congress was behind the March 14 riots.
"We hope the 14th Dalai Lama could truly give up 'Tibet independence,' stop secessionist activities, stop instigating violence, stop disrupting the Beijing Olympics, effectively prevent TYC's violence and denounce its terrorist acts," Xinhua quoted Liu Hongji as saying.

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