October 30, 2008

China, Dalai Lama Envoys to Hold Talks

China is ready to hold a new round of talks soon with the envoys of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama but no dates have been fixed.

The Chinese official media reported the announcement, saying the talks would be arranged in the near future.

The Voice of America reported that despite previous meetings, there has been no breakthrough in the Dalai Lama's demand for greater autonomy for his province.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Professor Barry Sautman told VOA the Dalai Lama is putting the Chinese government on notice there needs to be progress in the talks or "there will be some consequences."

The consequences may include the Tibetan exiles living in India deciding whether to continue such talks or take tougher steps such as demanding independence, he said.

Their leader has said he wants genuine autonomy for his people but China claims he is supporting separatism in Tibet it says is part of its territory.

The issue came to a head when anti-Chinese demonstrations in the province early this year turned violent.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since 1959 after a failed Tibetan uprising against China.


Image Caption: Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dalai Lama, is the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Photographed during his visit in Cologno Monzese MI, Italy, on December 8th, 2007. Courtesy Wikipedia