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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."

Letter to the Editor: China's stance on Tibet isn't uniform

October 14, 2009

The Financial Times
October 13, 2009

 From Mr Mario Sepi.

Sir, Having recently presided over the first visit to China and Tibet
by a European Union institution since the troubles of 2008, I would
like to add an observation to Geoff Dyer's thoughtful piece ("Dalai
Lama falls victim to realpolitik on Beijing", October 8).

Perceptions within China are also changing and it would be mistaken
to regard Chinese governance as monolithic and holistic in its approach.

In particular, there is increasing recognition in some layers of the
governing circles in Beijing that autonomous regions such as Tibet
must be weaned off central government subsidies and allowed to grow
truly local economies.

Given the rural-urban imbalance between ethnic populations and Han
settlers, this is the only way that sustainable autonomy and peaceful
co-existence can be guaranteed, and Beijing is increasingly recognising this.

The European Union can promote dialogue between European and Chinese
civil society, which will hopefully lead to a greater understanding
of a myriad issues, including Tibet.

Mario Sepi,
European Economic and Social Committee,
Brussels, Belgium
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