China seeks Dalai Lama apology to reopen talks the latter rejects


(, Mar11, 2014) – Zhu Weiqun, the director of the Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and China’s point man for past contacts with the Dalai Lama’s envoys, has said talks between the two sides had remained halted but not been terminated yet. contact and talks between China’s central government and the Dalai Lama is now at a halt, and it is hard to say whether it will be terminated in the future, China’s online Tibet news service Mar 10 cited Zhu as saying.

He has explained two reasons why talks had not been held in the past several years. One, that after announcing his retirement (from politics) in 2011, the Dalai Lama had said further contact and talks would only be held between the central government and the Tibetan “government-in-exile” without his participation. Two, that it was stated from the Dalai Lama’s side that the only subject of discussion should be issues such as “the so-called ‘Middle Way Approach’ and ‘high-degree autonomy’ in ‘Greater Tibet’.”

Regarding these, Zhu has said that throughout the 10 rounds of talks held since 2002, the Chinese side had abided by two principles, or bottom lines. First, that the Chinese government would only talk with the Dalai Lama’s private representatives, “not with the Tibetan ‘government-in-exile’ or other separatist organizations.” Second, that issues such as Tibet’s political status and ‘high-degree autonomy’ of ‘Greater Tibet’ had been beyond the scope of the talks.

He has maintained that it was the Dalai Lama who closed the door of the talks after having asked for the contact. He now want the latter to “apologize to the central government” in order to break the deadlock.

The crux of the irreconcilable matter remains that while China wants to talk only about the terms on which it would allow the Dalai Lama to come and live in China the latter has made it clear that the issue is not his personal status and privileges but that of the six million Tibetans inhabiting the historically Tibetan regions under Chinese rule today.


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