Mon, May 05, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Hu hopeful for ‘positive outcome’ to Tibet talks

AP , SHENZHEN, CHINA

Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) said he hoped for a “positive outcome” from talks between representatives of the Dalai Lama and Chinese officials that began yesterday.

The meeting was the first between the two sides since violent anti-government protests erupted in Tibet in March.

“I hope that the contacts with the Dalai Lama’s side from today will yield a positive outcome,” Hu told Japanese reporters in Beijing, Xinhua news agency said.

Hu said the meeting came after repeated requests by the Dalai Lama’s side for a resumption of talks, Xinhua said.

“Our policy on the Dalai Lama is clear and consistent, and the door of dialogue remains open,” Xinhua quoted Hu as saying.

Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharamsala, India, said yesterday the Dalai Lama’s envoys were in Shenzhen and talks began in the morning.

Discussions were scheduled to last a day or two, Rinpoche said.

“We are positive that something good will come out of it,” Rinpoche said.

The Dalai Lama’s envoys, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, were meeting with two vice ministers of the United Front Work Department, which deals with influential people in groups outside the Chinese Communist Party.

The Dalai Lama’s representatives planned to push for an easing of tensions in Tibetan areas of China and address Beijing’s accusations that the spiritual leader has been masterminding the recent unrest, Rinpoche told a public rally in Dharmsala.

“Our hopes are high, but this is just a small step in a long process,” Rinpoche said.

Hu said he hoped the Dalai Lama would take concrete actions to stop violence and end what he called attempts to disrupt the Beijing Olympics and split China, Xinhua said.

International critics have accused China of heavy-handed tactics in quelling protests in Tibet and Tibetan areas of western China.

Also see: Hu Jintao to be in charm mode during Japan visit

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