China refuses concessions over Tibet in Dalai Lama talks

The Chinese government has refused to make concessions over Tibetan sovereignty after talks with the Dalai Lama’s envoys in Beijing.

Telegraph [UK]
1 February 2010

The delegation flew back to India, where the Tibetan leader lives in exile, on Monday after the first such meeting in over a year ended in stalemate.

A Chinese government statement said the country’s “national interests are inviolable and there is no room for discussion on the issues of national and territorial sovereignty”.

While saying the “door to negotiations is open” the hardline Chinese statement seemed to dash hopes that progress could be achieved.

The Dalai Lama has called for “meaningful autonomy” for the Buddhist Himalayan region.

The Chinese negotiator, Du Qinglin, told the Tibetan envoys the idea of a “high degree of autonomy (for Tibet) violates China’s constitution” and repeated harsh rhetoric that Beijing has hurled at the Dalai Lama for years.

It alleged “the Dalai side continues to engage in international anti-China propaganda and sabotage”, adding that only when such activities are abandoned can progress be achieved in any dialogue.

Mr Du heads the United Front Work Department, a Communist Party organ that handles contact with the Dalai Lama in the absence of official ties.

The Dalai Lama has consistently denied seeking independence.

“We are not wishing to have Tibet as a sovereign state,” said Thubten Samphel, a spokesman for the Tibetan government-in-exile in northern India. “We have made it clear to them that Tibet should enjoy autonomy and this was conveyed to the Chinese side.”

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