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China rejects Tibet sovereignty

Chinese officials told envoys of the Dalai Lama this week there would be no compromise on China's control of Tibet.

China rejects Tibet sovereignty

The Xinhua news agency report on talks in China with envoys from the Tibetan government in exile suggested little has been accomplished in the latest discussions.

The representatives of the Dalai Lama, exiled from his homeland since 1959, arrived in China last month after Beijing laid out a new policy approach that for the first time includes all Tibetan regions, including those outside the official Tibetan Autonomous Region.

But Du Qinglin, the Chinese Communist Party official in charge of dealings with religious and ethnic groups, said his government would never back down from claiming full sovereignty over Tibet.

“There is no space at all for any discussion of sovereignty and territorial issues, and not the slightest room for any concessions,” Du told the envoys, according to the report.

Beijing has become increasingly irate over the Dalai Lama’s international travels and meetings with foreign political leaders. He may meet US President Barack Obama in coming months.

Du said that while the Dalai Lama continued such activities, “there can be no progress in any contacts or discussions” with the envoys of the exiled Buddhist leader.

Talks began in 2002 but broke down amid acrimony in 2008. China says the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama is a violent separatist. He says he only wants genuine autonomy for his homeland.

Violent anti-Chinese demonstrations in the Tibetan capital Lhasa left at least 19 dead on March 14, 2008. Exile groups say the real death toll was far higher.


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