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US asks China ‘unconditional’ talks with Dalai Lama

world Updated: Jun 07, 2014 23:39 IST

The US has asked China to start “unconditional” talks with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and address policies that have created tensions in Tibet.

“As we have long said, we are deeply concerned about the poor human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf told reporters.

“We have continued to urge the Chinese Government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions as a means to reduce tensions, obviously urge China to address policies that have created tensions in Tibetan areas and that threaten the Tibetan unique culture,” Harf added.

As envisioned in the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, the US continues with efforts to open a consulate in Lhasa.

It also continues to request the Chinese Government allow a consular officer to visit Tibet and ethnically Tibetan areas of China, she said.

China has said it is open to holding talks with a personal envoy of the Dalai Lama about the future of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader but ruled out any “independence or semi-independence under disguise” for the restive Himalayan region.

The Tibetan administration-in-exile June 5 launched a campaign to reach out to the international community to counter the Chinese “misinformation campaign” on its “middle-way approach” to resolve the Tibetan issue.

China and the Dalai Lama’s envoys have held nine rounds of talks since 2002 to resolve the Tibetan issue.

In the last round of talks held in Beijing in January 2010, the government-in-exile submitted an explanatory note to the Chinese leadership to clarify its stand on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.

On the conclusion of that round, the statement the Chinese side issued said the two sides had “sharply divided views, as usual.”