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UPDATED: November 20, 2008
Door to Tibet Talks 'Open'
Independence for Tibet Autonomous Region can never be considered, but the door remains open for talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama

Independence for Tibet Autonomous Region can never be considered, but the door remains open for talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Zhu Weiqun, executive vice-minister of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks when meeting a group of overseas Chinese in Paris.

The remarks came after three rounds of talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives after the March 14 riots in Tibet that caused the loss of lives and economic damage.

Central government officials and representatives of the Dalai Lama have held nine rounds of talks in total since 2002. The latest was held in Beijing from October 31 to November 5.

"It is impossible for the central government to talk with the Dalai Lama's personal representatives over the so-called Tibet issue. The Tibet government-in-exile is illegal, and the central government will not talk with it," Zhu was quoted by the People's Daily as saying yesterday.

"There is no compromising on this issue," he said.

"The central government will talk only with the personal representatives of the Dalai Lama about his future on the condition he gives up his wrong stance."

Zhu, a major central government negotiator with the Dalai Lama's representatives, said that although the Dalai's side has always changed its strategies in accordance with the situation, the Dalai Lama's stance on pursuing independence has never changed.

"For all these years, the central government has made every effort possible (for the Dalai Lama's return to the patriotic stance).

"To give up his pursuit of independence and to do something good for the country and the people is the only way out," Zhu said.

In another development, delegations of Chinese Tibetologists have visited countries including the Czech Republic, Italy, France and Finland recently to brief their hosts on Tibet's history and its social and economic developments.

In the latest stop, a delegation of Chinese Tibetologists led by Zhu Xiaoming, deputy director-general of the Tibetology Research Center held separate meetings with Finnish politicians, media members and representatives for overseas Chinese and Chinese students in Finland during Monday and Tuesday.

During a meeting with lawmakers, the Tibetologists cited data and examples to show that Tibet has always been part of China throughout history.

(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2008)

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