Talks ruled out with new Tibetan PM-in-exile

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 May, 2011, 12:00am


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A senior Communist Party official involved in negotiations with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has ruled out any possibility of talks with the new prime minister of the Tibetan community's government-in-exile.

Zhu Weiqun, a vice-minister of the party's United Front Work Department, said any talks should be restricted to the political status of the Dalai Lama and be conducted between Beijing and the Dalai Lama's personal emissaries.

He also warned that Beijing could launch a military crackdown if there were any further violent upheavals in the Himalayan region.

Zhu, who has been involved in talks since 2002, made the remarks in an interview with China Tibet magazine on the eve of the 60th anniversary of Communist rule in Tibet.

'We have two basic points in regard to the negotiation,' he said. 'The first is that the identity of the other party should only be the personal representatives of the Dalai Lama ... the second is the subject is limited to the Dalai Lama's personal future, or at most it would also include [the future of] a few of his personal aides.'

In a related development, the newly elected head of the Tibetan government-in-exile said his administration was ready to negotiate with Beijing 'anytime, anywhere'.

'From our side we are willing to negotiate with the Chinese government anytime, anywhere,' Lobsang Sangay, a 43-year-old Harvard legal scholar, said yesterday.

Beijing has held nine rounds of talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives but they came to a grinding halt, without making any substantial progress, last year.

The Dalai Lama said in March that he would relinquish his political role, but the change has raised questions about the future of the spiritual leader's on-going talks with Beijing.

The Foreign Ministry said two weeks ago that it would not deal with the Tibetan government-in-exile, but Zhu's remarks were the first time that Beijing had laid out conditions for talks.

Zhu warned that any violent upheaval was doomed to fail and hinted that Beijing would not hesitate to launch a crackdown.

'Those people have never made a correct judgment of the situation and so have never taken correct decisions, and thus they are doomed to fail and be embarrassed repeatedly,' he said.

Zhu said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was the mastermind of all violence in Tibet and all anti-Chinese evils in the past six decades.

'[The Dalai Lama] is the chief of a political clique which seeks Tibetan independence and separatism, the royal tool of international anti-China forces, the main source of social unrest in Tibet, and the biggest obstacle to the establishment of a normal order for Buddhism's missionary work,' Zhu said.

The Dalai Lama says he seeks 'meaningful autonomy' for Tibet, not independence.