- Clinton Urges Dialogue on Tibet
-- by John Leicester, Associated Press Writer
BEIJING, Saturday, June 27, 1998 (AP) -- President Clinton urged Chinese
President Jiang Zemin to open a dialogue with Tibet's Dalai Lama, saying the
two men would like each other "very much" if they actually talked. For his
part, Jiang said talks were possible if the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader
accepts that Tibet and the island of Taiwan are both part of China.
"If he acknowledges that Tibet is an inseparable part of China -at the same
time he also must admit that Taiwan is a province of China -then, as far I
see it, the door to negotiation is open," Jiang said during a post-summit
news conference. "I hope the Dalai can change positively," Jiang said.
Jiang refrained from using the label Chinese officials typically give the
Dalai Lama -that of a dangerous "splittist" intent on making Tibet
The Dalai Lama, who fled his Himalayan homeland after a failed 1959 uprising
against Chinese rule, has said he seeks greater autonomy -not independence
Later, a Chinese government spokesman said that apart from openly recognizing
Tibet as Chinese territory, the Dalai Lama also would have to renounce
Tibetan independence and stop supporting separatist activities for
negotiations to begin.
"He has time and again said China is occupying an independent nation. This is
an obstacle to negotiations," said Zhu Bangzao of the Chinese Foreign
Clinton agreed that Tibet was Chinese territory and said he understood why
China was insisting on such an acknowledgement from the Dalai Lama before