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Dalai Lama given future talks' terms
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The central government has urged the Dalai Lama to take concrete steps to show he is against views and activities seeking "Tibet independence" before another round of talks with his representatives can be held.

Du Qinglin, head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, recently met with two Dalai Lama representatives, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen.

"The door of dialogue is always open," said Du, who is also the vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee.

"The Dalai Lama should openly and explicitly promise not to support activities to disturb the Beijing Olympic Games and plots to fan violence, and justify his words with his actions.

"He should also take steps to show he does not support the violent terrorist activities of the 'Tibetan Youth Congress', and should help curb them," he said.

The department in charge of ethnic minorities and religious affairs has said a new round of talks can be held at the end of the year if the Dalai Lama shows "positive behavior".

The central government's policy toward the Dalai Lama is consistent and explicit, said a statement issued by the department on Thursday.

The country is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its reform and opening up, during which the Tibet autonomous region, too, has seen economic development and better living standards with sensible use of resources and without harming the environment, Du said.

"The central government will continue to support the region's economic and social development and work toward improving the living standards of the people in Tibet," he said.

Zhu Weiqun and Sitar, two deputy heads of the department, also met with the Dalai Lama's representatives.

According to the department's statement, the Dalai Lama's representatives said they would report the developments to him. During their stay in Beijing, the two visited the Olympic Games' stadiums and talked with some Tibetologists too.

It was the highest-level meeting since talks resumed between the central government and the Dalai Lama in 2002 and the second closed-door dialogue after the Lhasa riots in March.

"The frequent meetings between the two sides show the consistent sincerity of the central government in addressing the issue," said Hu Yan, head of the ethno-religion section of the social development institute under the CPC Central Committee's Party School.

"The Dalai Lama's representatives should stop bargaining and seize the chance if they are sincere and want to make a progress in the talks," Hu said.

The meeting this week follow informal talks held in early May in the southern city of Shenzhen that ended with an agreement on future discussions.

(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2008)

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