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Chinese, Tibetan Representatives to Continue Meetings

By VOA News
04 May 2008

Chinese and Tibetan sources say envoys of the Chinese government and the Tibetan government in exile have agreed to hold further talks, after meeting Sunday in the Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Chinese state media said the talks between China's Zhu Weigun and Sitar [one name only] and Tibet's Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen were arranged after repeated requests from the side of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

China has said the next round of talks will take place "at an appropriate time."

The official news agency, Xinhua, reported that the two Chinese envoys asked the Dalai Lama's representatives to take credible moves to stop plotting and inciting violence in Tibet, and disrupting the upcoming Olympic Games.

The Dalai Lama has said repeatedly that he is not behind the violence or the protests that recently have disrupted the procession of the Olympic torch in cities around the world.

The White House welcomed Sunday's resumption of talks.

They were the first talks since violence erupted in Tibet in March, triggering a Chinese crackdown. But it is not clear whether they are on par with previous rounds of discussions between 2002 and 2007.

Tibet's government in exile has said its envoys will not arrive in India until Tuesday or Wednesday, but Chinese media have not confirmed whether meetings will be held Monday.

Tibet's government in exile had said the two envoys would convey the Dalai Lama's concerns about how China has handled protests in Tibetan regions of China.

Ahead of Sunday's meeting, Chinese President Hu Jintao told reporters he hoped the talks would be beneficial and said the door to dialogue has always been open.

China says 18 civilians and one policeman died when protests turned violent on March 14. But the Tibetan government in exile says Chinese security forces killed more than 200 Tibetan protesters, many of them in Lhasa following the riot.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.




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