Dalai Lama not serious about talks with Beijing: report

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 26, 2011 2:18 AM
Dalai Lama not serious about talks with Beijing: report

BEIJING (Reuters) - Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is not serious about talking with Beijing, but the government will never make any compromises with him to get him back to the table, a major Chinese newspaper said on Tuesday.

China, while always keeping a tight grip on Tibet, has been more hardline than normal of late, as senior leaders gear up for a key leadership transition starting from late next year and take steps to ensure nothing distracts from that.

Vice-President Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to become president in 2013, gave a toughly worded speech last week in Tibet, suggesting that China's heir apparent to the presidency will not ease Beijing's stance toward the region.

The commentary in Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, continued in that vein, saying the Dalai Lama's recent remarks on his overseas visits show that he will never accept Beijing's preconditions for talks.

"The Dalai Lama's recent comments clearly show that their position is totally and diametrically opposite that of the central government," the newspaper wrote, referring to the exiled Tibetans.

"(He) has no sincere intention to talk, and no interest in talks. In reality, (he) has already completely blocked the path to talks," it added.

President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama at the White House this month infuriated China, which brooks no "outside interference" in what it considers a purely internal matter.

China says that it will only talk about the Dalai Lama's personal future, but not with the government-in-exile, and that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate monk must renounce his support for Tibetan independence.

The newspaper used extensive quotes from the Dalai Lama to demonstrate his "inflammatory" support for Tibet's independence, and cited his suggestions that China's Communist Party had its day and should now step down.

The Dalai Lama says he wants only true autonomy for Tibet, something China says it already has.

"There is only one possibility, and that is that the Dalai Lama moves toward accepting the central government's demands, for the central government will never make concessions," the paper said.

China has held on-off talks with the Dalai Lama's envoys for several years, without any sign of progress.

China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since 1950, when Communist troops marched in and announced its "peaceful liberation." The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a failed uprising, and unrest has continued sporadically ever since.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Yoko Nishikawa)