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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China sets three conditions for resumption of talks with Dalai Lama's envoys

October 23, 2009

By Chime Tenzing
October 22, 2009

Dharamsala, October 22 -- China has categorically outlined three
major preconditions to resume future talks with the Dalai Lama's
representatives. Zhu Weiqun, Vice Minister of the United Front Work
Department, the Chinese government department in charge of talks with
representatives of His Holiness Dalai Lama, said the door for talks
with China is always open but only if the Tibetan side fulfills three
conditions. Zhu was speaking in an interview to German magazine Focus
on September 22, 2009 in Beijing.

(The lengthy interview was published by Xinhua, the state run news
agency. Going by the language and vocabulary used in the English
version, it appears that the interview had been translated by Xinhua
from the original in Chinese, and that it is not a publication of the
German magazine.)

Zhu, who had met the Tibetan leader's Special Envoy Lodi Gyari during
past round of talks, badgered the Tibetan leader His Holiness the
Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile with a series of
accusations including -- attempts to sabotage Beijing Olympics in
2007, inciting last year's riot in Tibet and stalling 'talks' with
China by the envoys of the Dalai Lama. Zhu said it was not China who
stopped the talks but the Tibetan side who it blamed for breaking the
talks twice last year.

It said the Dalai Lama's side must firstly explain to China why the
Tibetan side stopped contacts with the Chinese government last year.

Zhu said the Tibetan side must 'thoroughly and sincerely reconsider
their political outlines and make corrections' in the memorandum of
genuine autonomy that the Tibetan side submitted during the last
round of talks.

The Dalai Lama should stop travelling to the west as it jeopardizes
China's friendly relations with other countries, Zhu said, accusing
the Tibetan leader of engaging in political activities in those countries.

Zhu said the Tibetan leader's future could be discussed only if he
drops his separatist stance and behaviors. "If he still sticks to
"Tibet independence", "semi-independence", or "covert independence",
there is nothing to talk about." However, the Tibetan leader has said
in the past that it is not about his future but the talks concern the
Tibetan people's future.

Speaking last week to the Voice of Tibet radio service, the exile
Tibetan government's spokesperson Thubten Samphel, refuted China's
claims saying it was not the Tibetan side who stalled the talks and
that the Chinese side was not willing to discuss the memorandum that
the Tibetan envoys presented.

On changing the Tibetan government's policy, he said there is no way
for that to happen because the government policy was a mandate of the
Tibetan people and can be changed only through a democratic process.

On the Tibetan leader's visits abroad, he said His Holiness the Dalai
Lama visits the countries not due to his personal choice but on
invitation from various organizations and groups as a religious
figure and a messenger of peace. China should question those who
invite His Holiness, not us, he said.

The Tibetan leader has given priority to bilateral relations between
the countries he visits and China, and had said that his visits
should not hinder the bilateral ties of the concerned countries with China.

Talks between His Holiness the Dalai Lama's envoys and Beijing came
to a standstill after a "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the
Tibetan People" submitted by the Tibetan side at the eighth round of
talks in October last year was met with Beijing's derision. China
accused the Tibetan side of seeking "disguised independence" through
the "so called autonomy."

The Tibetan side, however, maintains that the articles of the
memorandum were prepared in accordance with the provisions of the
Constitution of the People's Republic of China and its laws on
National Regional Autonomy.
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