China-Dalai Lama talks still ongoing?

Wu Yingjie, the Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party Committee for Tibet. (Photo courtesy, The Hindu)
Wu Yingjie, the Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party Committee for Tibet. (Photo courtesy: The Hindu)

(, Aug26, 2014) – China has told a group of Indian journalists being taken on a guided tour of occupied Tibet on Aug 24 that talks with the region’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, were “ongoing and always smooth”. Wu Yingjie, a Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party Committee for Tibet Autonomous Region, has, however, made it clear that the talks, being held through “personal envoys”, was limited only to discussing the possibility of his return to Tibet, reported Aug 25.

Addressing the officially chaperoned Indian journalists in Tibet’s capital Lhasa, Wu has said, “All Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama and the people around him, can return if they accept Tibet and Taiwan as part of China, and give up ‘splittist’ efforts.”

Wu has claimed that the nine rounds of talks held over 2002-2010 between China and envoys of the Dalai Lama broke down because the exiled Tibetan leader’s demands were unacceptable. “How can the Dalai Lama demand that China withdraw its army from Tibet?” he has asked. “The army is a symbol of our state. Will India agree to withdraw its Army from Arunachal Pradesh?”

Wu has also sought to allay Indian concerns about the strategic implications of China’s massive railway projects in occupied Tibet close to India’s borders in the aftermath of the opening on Aug 15 of the 251-km Lhasa-Shigatse Railway line. He has insisted, “Rest assured however many railway lines China builds, it will abide by the Panchsheel principles of coexistence.”

He has also countered that India, Nepal and China should cooperate on “letting railways cross over borders as they do in Europe.”

He has pointed out that Nepal has, in fact, been asking China to extend the Shigatse railway line to its capital Kathmandu.


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