By KJM Varma | PTI
BEIJING, China, 31 August 2012
Rebuffing the Dalai Lama’s remarks that there were “encouraging signs” about China changing its attitude towards Tibet, a top Chinese official has said there would be no breakthrough in talks until the Tibetan spiritual leader changed his stand on “some fundamental issues”.
Playing down expectations of any “new approach,” Xu Zhitao, an official with the United Front Work Department of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CPC) Central Committee, denied any recent official visits to hold talks with the Dalai in his exile.
There would not be any negotiations at least until the end of the year, state-run Global Times quoted Xu as saying in response to reports on the Dalai’s comments that there were encouraging signs about shifting of attitude of China towards Tibet as the CPC geared up to elect a new leadership.
He was apparently indicating that the talks were possible only after the new leadership of CPC assumes office, likely from next year.
Xu said “China will continue to be flexible with the Dalai Lama but it seems that no result will come out if he does not change his attitude toward some fundamental issues.”
The central government has insisted that the Dalai Lama or his “Tibet government-in-exile” cannot represent the Tibetan people.
There can only be discussions on how the Dalai Lama should “stop his separatist speeches and win the trust of the central government as well as the forgiveness of the Chinese people,” Xu said.
According to Xu, the Dalai Lama seeks to control everything in the Tibet Autonomous Region except foreign affairs and national defence, just as it was in Tibet before 1959.
“The so-called autonomy of Tibet the Dalai Lama claims to be seeking is actually the independence of Tibet, which is definitely forbidden,” Xu said.
Since 2002, the Chinese government has negotiated with representatives of the Dalai Lama on 10 occasions, including the latest in 2010, but no breakthroughs were reached because of “sharply divided” views, according to an earlier report by state-run Xinhua news agency.