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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."

China lashes out at US over Dalai Lama call

September 29, 2008

The Associated Press
September 28, 2008

BEIJING: China on Sunday denounced a telephone call made last week by
U.S. President George W. Bush to the Dalai Lama as interference in
Beijing's internal affairs.

Bush called the Dalai Lama to express concern over the health of the
exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, who recently canceled two international
trips so he could recover from exhaustion.

"We firmly oppose it," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao
said in a statement on the ministry's Web site. "This act shows that the
U.S. is seriously interfering with China's internal affairs and supports
Tibet independence."

Liu said Beijing had lodged "solemn representation" with Washington over
the call, which Bush made from New York while he was attending the U.N.
General Assembly's annual meeting. Liu also reiterated Beijing's
longtime stance that Tibet is an inseparable part of mainland China.

Tibet has been an extremely sensitive topic since protests against
Chinese rule turned violent in the region's capital of Lhasa in March.
Many Tibetans insist they were an independent nation before Communist
troops invaded in 1950, while Beijing says the Himalayan region has been
part of its territory for centuries.

The Dalai Lama is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a recipient of the
U.S. Congressional Gold Medal. He has denied China's claims that he
wants independence for Tibet, saying he only seeks greater autonomy to
protect its Buddhist culture.
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