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Beijing Downplays Prospects For Dialogue on Tibet


A Chinese official has downplayed expectations for further talks between Beijing and the Dalai Lama's envoys on Tibet. Meanwhile, China has launched a security clampdown in Tibet and neighboring regions to prevent protests marking the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule. Tibetan rights groups have reported small protests in Tibet and nearby areas in recent days.

Chinese authorities have tightened security in Tibet and ethnic Tibetan areas of China to prevent protests marking the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising against Beijing.

A year ago, violent anti-China protests shook Tibet's capital, Lhasa, and neighboring regions.

China says 19 people, mostly Chinese civilians, were killed in the riots.

Tibetan groups say about 200 Tibetans died in the crackdown that followed.

One year later, there is talk of renewed dialogue between the Dalai Lama's envoys and Beijing.

Over the weekend, the Tibetan government in exile in India expressed optimism about further talks.

But a Chinese official on Tuesday downplayed expectations.

Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak spoke to reporters in Washington.

"During these [past] rounds of dialogue, the Dalai Lama has raised requirements with the central government," Shingtsa said. "We believe these requirements and demands are not in line with reality."

Shingtsa said the Dalai Lama has "misled the world." He dismissed the Dalai Lama's "middle way," a proposal that seeks political autonomy for Tibet rather than independence from China.

"As for the middle way that the Dalai [Lama] has proposed, I believe it is sheer lies," Shingtsa said.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday that China is willing to hold talks with the Dalai Lama's envoys, as long as the Tibetan spiritual leader renounces separatism.

On Saturday, the Tibetan government in exile said it welcomes further talks and that it is seeking genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.

Earlier, Samdhong Rinpoche, of the Tibetan government in exile, said it is up to China to resolve the problems of the Tibetan people.

"Now the ball is in the PRC's [People's Republic of China] court. They have to take the initiative and we are very much hopeful that they will make the way appropriately in the foreseeable future," Samdhong said.

The Dalai Lama has long said he is not seeking separation from China.


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