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Chinese Premier Reported Willing to Meet With Dalai Lama


Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown says his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao has told him he is willing to talk with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, under certain conditions.

Mr. Brown said Mr. Wen told him during a phone conversation Wednesday he is willing to talk with the Dalai Lama if he renounces violence and says he does not support Tibet's full independence.

Mr. Brown said he made it clear to China's premier that there has to be an end to the violence in Tibet. The British leader said he will meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits London in May.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman Tom Casey called any potential dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama "very positive."

China frequently accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence, but the spiritual leader has repeatedly said he is only seeking autonomy for the Chinese-controlled region.

Mr. Wen's reported remarks came on the same day that state media carried comments from China's top Communist Party official in Tibet.

Zhang Qingli lashed out at the Dalai Lama, saying China is engaged in a "life and death struggle" with the Tibetan spiritual leader. He also accused him of being a "wolf in monk's robes."

Peaceful protests against Chinese rule in Tibet began early last week and gradually turned violent. China blames the Dalai Lama for the unrest -- a charge he denies.

Aides to the Dalai Lama say he met today with leaders of exiled Tibetan protest groups in northern India as reports of more violence and protests continue to spread.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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