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China explains its position on Tibet to BJP

Chinese ambassador Zhang Yan meets BJP President Rajnath Singh to explain Beijing's position on the Tibet issue.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2008 10:44 PM IST

Facing all round attack on Tibet, China on Tuesday sought to reach out to India's main Opposition with Ambassador Zhang Yan meeting BJP President Rajnath Singh to "explain" Beijing's position on the issue.

Singh, however, conveyed his party's unhappiness over Chinese action against Tibetan protestors and said Beijing should hold talks with the Dalai Lama to end the standoff.

During the hour-long meeting, Zhang explained in detail the events that unravelled in Lhasa and sought to impress upon Singh that the Communist nation is being projected in a wrong manner.

Singh expressed anguish at the violent incidents and told the Chinese Ambassador that dialogue was the only way to resolve the issue and Beijing should engage the Dalai Lama in talks, sources said.

The BJP President told Zhang that views and perceptions of China and India may differ on the Tibetan issue, but the need of the hour was that Beijing should open a channel of dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

The envoy expressed concern that attempts are being made to pressurise the Government to boycott the Olympic Games, in an apparent reference to former Defence Minister George Fernandes who has made such a demand.

But Singh, while referring to age-old cultural ties between India and China, said his party was of the view that sports should not be linked with politics.

Significantly, the meeting comes days after Singh, L K Advani and Jaswant Singh issued a joint statement condemning the Chinese crackdown on Tibetan protestors.

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