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China, Dalai Lama's envoys no sign of compromise

world Updated: Jan 27, 2010 23:32 IST

Emissaries for the exiled Dalai Lama and China showed little public sign of compromise as they prepared on Wednesday for their first talks in more than a year on restive Chinese-ruled Tibet.

The Dalai Lama's two envoys will reopen the long-stalled negotiations with senior Communist Party officials on Saturday, the Tibetan government-in-exile said.

Ahead of the meeting, the exiled government said it hoped Beijing would reconsider a proposal to give Tibet and other Tibetan communities greater autonomy. Chinese officials rejected that proposal at the last meeting 15 months ago.

Yesterday, Chinese government and party officials wavered little, saying China's policy on the Dalai Lama has been "consistent and clear" and that it hoped the Tibetan spiritual leader would respond positively to Beijing's requests.

Two envoys of the Dalai Lama arrived in China yesterday to resume talks on Tibet after the lengthy deadlock, said Chhime R Chhoekyapa, the Dalai Lama's secretary.

The resumed talks came as a surprise after the acrimony and uncertainty that followed the last meeting in November 2008.

Chinese officials then refused to discuss the status of China-ruled Tibet and insisted that they would only address the return of the Dalai Lama, who fled to exile in India in 1959.