China will meet with representatives of the Dalai Lama

Other News Materials 25 April 2008 14:49 (UTC +04:00)

The Chinese government will take up a dialogue with representatives of Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama within days, according to a report released Friday by the official state news agency Xinhua.

The meeting was spurred by "requests repeatedly made by the Dalai side for resuming talks," an official was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

China's policy regarding Tibet has not changed said the official, who added that through dialogue "the Dalai side will take credible moves to stop activities aimed at splitting China."

They must also "stop plotting and inciting violence" and "disrupting and sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games," in order to create conditions conducive to talks, said the official as quoted by Xinhua.

Meanwhile, sources in the Dalai Lama's office in India's northern town of Dharamsala said they were not aware of such an offer by the Chinese government, dpa reported.

"His Holiness is abroad on tour and will be flying back to India tomorrow. We will give an official reaction once His Holiness is back," the official said requesting anonymity.

The European Union and the US have both encouraged China to take up a dialogue with the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, who does not support an independence movement, and has pushed for access to Tibet for diplomats and journalists.

Protests against Chinese rule in Tibet escalated into rioting on March 14 in Lhasa.

The Chinese government has said 19 people were killed in the violence in Lhasa but the Tibetan government-in-exile said about 140 people have been killed, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.

Since the outbreak of the unrest six weeks ago Tibetan regions of China have been closed to foreigners.