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Tibet dispute would lead to greater tension inside China: US

Supporting unconditional talks between China and Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, the US has said that leaving the Tibet issue unresolved would create greater tension in the Communist state and will be an impediment to its social and economic development.

world Updated: Aug 31, 2010 12:34 IST

"China's engagement with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve problems facing Tibetans is in the interests of both the Chinese government and the Tibetan people," the Obama Administration said in its annual report to the US Congress.

The report said that "failure to address these problems will lead to greater tensions inside China and will be an impediment to China's social and economic development."

Noting that the US continues to encourage both sides to engage in a substantive discussion that will work to achieve concrete results, the report submitted to the Congress this month said the US government believes that the Dalai Lama can be a constructive partner for China as it deals with the difficult challenge of continuing tensions in Tibetan areas.

"His views are widely reflected within Tibetan society, and he commands the respect of the vast majority of Tibetans. His consistent advocacy of non-violence is an important principle for making progress toward a lasting solution," the report said.

"Encouraging substantive dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama is an important foreign policy objective of the United States. We continue to encourage representatives of the PRC and the Dalai Lama to hold direct and substantive discussions aimed at the resolution of differences, without preconditions," it said.

The Administration believes that such a dialogue may lead to a solution to or provide the best hope for alleviating tensions in Tibetan areas and contribute to the overall stability of China, the report said.

While welcoming the resumption of the dialogue in 2010, the report expressed disappointment that eight years of talks have not borne concrete results. "We are concerned that in 2009 the PRC continued its negative rhetoric about the Dalai Lama, as well as repression and religious restrictions in Tibetan areas," it said and urged both sides to engage in substantive dialogue.

The US, together with many in the international community, recognizes the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and Tibetan autonomous prefectures and counties in other provinces as part of China, it said.

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly disclaimed any intention to seek sovereignty or independence for Tibet and has stated that he wants China to preserve Tibetan culture, religion, and its fragile environment through genuine autonomy, it said.

The report informed the Congress that since the US government does not recognise Tibet as an independent state, the US does not conduct official diplomatic relations with the Tibetan "government-in-exile" in Dharamsala in India.

First Published: Aug 31, 2010 12:27 IST