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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."

Foreign pressure on Tibet opposed

December 12, 2008

(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-12-11
 
WASHINGTON -- A senior negotiator in talks with the Dalai Lama Wednesday expressed strong opposition to the internationalization of the Tibet question, saying the issue involves China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
 
Sitar, vice-minister of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, who is on a tour to the US, said he and his delegation were visiting the country "to introduce the real situation in Tibet to all sections of the American society".
 
"Some people are trying to interfere in the internal affairs of China and we'd like to make it clear to them, as well as the world, that the Tibet question is not about religion or human rights. It's about the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country," Sitar told reporters at the Chinese embassy in Washington.
 
"We're here (in the US) to meet government officials, lawmakers and other people to convey to them the true feelings of Tibetan people," Sitar, a Tibetan himself, said.
 
A few people have usurped the reputation of Tibetans and are trying to influence the minds of Tibetan compatriots living in China, he said.
 
Even though Beijing and Washington differ on some issues, the two sides agree that a strong bilateral relationship is very important and vowed to enhance communication and understanding, Sitar said.
 
Talking about French President Nicolas Sarkozy's weekend meeting with the Dalai Lama in Poland, Sitar said China was opposed to any foreign leader meeting the Dalai Lama.
 
"The central government's talks with the Dalai Lama's private envoy are a matter of China's internal affairs. No foreign interference or pressure will change the country's stand on the matter," said Sitar.
 
Foreign interference would only push the Dalai Lama further away from the central government, he said.
 
Emphasizing that the government is willing to be patient in talks with the Dalai Lama, Sitar maintained, "Tibetan 'independence', or even 'semi-independence', is out of the question."
 
In the last round of talks between the central government and the Dalai Lama's private envoys in November, the proposals suggested by the Dalai side "totally violated China's Constitution" and the relevant laws on regional autonomy, he said.
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