(dpa) - Chinese leaders are sticking to their position on Tibet despite calls from Western politicians for them to allow media access and hold talks with the exiled Dalai Lama, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Thursday.
The views on Tibet given by Premier Wen Jiabao and other leaders were "consistent with the public position we've seen from the Chinese government in recent times," Rudd told reporters shortly after meeting Premier Wen Jiabao for two and a half hours.
Rudd said he urged Wen to hold a dialogue with the Dalai Lama and had "considerable discussion" lasting some 30 minutes on the recent unrest in China's Tibetan areas.
"I think we have a different view, that's quite plain," he said of the discussion with Wen on Tibet.
"The dialogue (with the Dalai Lama) was of course raised and the position I've put to the Chinese was entirely consistent with what I've said publicly," he said.
"When it comes to the particular events of recent times, the position of the Australian government is that there are significant human rights problems in Tibet," Rudd said.
Australia wants to see a solution to the problems through dialogue and "non-violent approaches," he said.
Rudd said Australia would continue working with the international community to urge China to resolve the problems in Tibet but he saw a "challenging period ahead" before the Beijing Olympics in August.
"We have still a ways to go between now and August, and I think all the people of goodwill will be engaging all relevant parties, including the Chinese, to see if we can act constructively on this," he said when asked about the push for China to talk to the Dalai Lama.
Rudd reiterated his opposition to a boycott of the Beijing Olympics but said he still had to look at work commitments before deciding if he would attend the games.
On Wednesday, US President George W Bush repeated his own call for China to hold talks with the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's highest leader, has been the target of an intensified propaganda campaign by the Chinese government in recent weeks.
China refuses to talk directly to him and continues to accuse him of pursuing independence for Tibet, despite his regular statements that he only wants maximum autonomy and religious freedom for Tibet within China
The government partly blames the Dalai Lama for the pro-independence protests and rioting that have erupted in dozens of Tibetan areas over the past month, and for pro-Tibetan protests during international legs of the Olympic torch relay.
Protests that began on March 10 in Lhasa, the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, escalated into serious rioting on March 14.
The Chinese government has said 19 people were killed in the violence in Lhasa but the Tibetan government-in-exile said about 140 people were killed, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.