Taking a hardline stance a week ahead of a key Tibetan exiles’ conclave, China rejected the Dalai Lama’s latest plea for ‘genuine autonomy’ for Tibet
BEIJING: Taking a hardline stance a week ahead of a key Tibetan exiles’ conclave, China rejected the Dalai Lama’s latest plea for ‘genuine autonomy’ for Tibet and ruled out any territorial ‘concession’ even as it blamed him for failure of the just-concluded round of negotiations.
“Our contacts and talks failed to make progress and the Dalai Lama’s envoys should assume full responsibility for it,” Zhu Weiqun, a vice minister of the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party of China, said. The unification of the motherland, territorial integrity and national dignity are the greatest interests of the Chinese people, Zhu added.
“We will never make a concession,” he asserted, a week before a historic conclave of exiled Tibetans in Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile. The meeting, called by the Dalai Lama is expected to decide on the future of Tibet and floundering negotiations with Beijing.
Great importance is being attached to the meeting as this is the third occasion after 1951 and 1959 that such a conclave of Tibetans will be held. But Zhu said the 73-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s demand for ‘genuine autonomy’ for his Himalayan homeland amounted to seeking independence in all but name.