Chinese officials meet Dalai envoys (Lead)

May 4th, 2008 - 10:05 pm ICT by admin  

Shenzhen (China), May 4 (Xinhua) Chinese officials Sunday met representatives of the Dalai Lama in the southern city for a dialogue over the current situation in Tibet. The consultations were held between Zhu Weiqun and Sitar (who uses only one name), two officials of the central government, and the Dalai Lama’s representatives, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, official sources said.

The representatives of the Dalai Lama arrived in the southern China city Saturday.

During the meeting, Zhu and Sitar pointed out that the riot in Lhasa March 14 had given rise to new obstacles for further contacts and consultations with the Dalai side.

Earlier Sunday, President Hu Jintao said in Beijing he hoped the Shenzhen meeting would yield “positive results”.

“Our policy toward the Dalai Lama is clear and consistent, and the door for dialogue remains open,” Hu told journalists from 16 Japanese media organizations during an interview.

The two negotiating Chinese officials said the government hopes the Dalai Lama’s side should take credible moves to stop activities aimed at splitting China, stop plotting and inciting violence and stop disrupting and sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games to pave the way for the second round of contact and consultations.

DPA from Beijing added: An earlier statement by the Dalai Lama’s office had said the envoys would take up the “urgent issue of the current crisis in the Tibetan areas” after anti-China protests erupted there in March.

“They will convey His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s deep concerns about the Chinese authorities’ handling of the situation and also provide suggestions to bring peace to the region,” the statement said.

The scheduled talks - the first since the March 14 protests in Tibet and other Tibetan inhabited regions in neighbouring provinces - went ahead even as Chinese media again hit out against the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was once again branded a “criminal” by Xizang Ribao newspaper, which accused the “Dalai clique” of urging Tibetans to take part in the protests

The violence left 19 people dead, according to the Chinese government. However, the Tibetan government-in-exile said 203 people have been killed, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.

China had announced Friday it would take up a dialogue with representatives of Tibet’s spiritual leader and said it was ready to talk about everything except sovereignty over Tibet.

Since 2002, the Chinese government has engaged in six rounds of dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama, however no progress was reported. The last round was held in June 2007

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