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China rebuts Dalai Lama's claim as 'legal representative' of Tibetans

A Chinese central government official today dismissed the Dalai Lama's claim as being "legal representative" of Tibetans.

"The Chinese government and the government of Tibet Autonomous Region under its leadership are the only representatives of Tibetans," Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said in a statement to media at a press conference.

Du Qinglin, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, met with the Dalai Lama's private representatives, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, last week in Beijing. Other officials, including Zhu himself, held a whole day's talk with them.

At the talks, the Dalai Lama's private representatives refused to "revise a single word" in the Memorandum for All Tibetans to Enjoy Genuine Autonomy which they presented at the previous talk, nor make any concession, Zhu said.

They insisted that the Dalai Lama is "a legal representative of broad Tibetans" and would like to talk with the central government about "Tibet issue" and "the welfare of 6 million Tibetans," he said.

The former local government of Tibet, which launched an armed rebellion on March 10 of 1959, had been dismissed on March 28, 1959.

"The so-called 'Tibet government-in-exile' composed of those who defected to India and gathered there absolutely violates China's laws," Zhu said.

The private representatives "have no legal status to discuss with us the affairs about Tibet Autonomous Region," Zhu said. "They are only the Dalai Lama's private representatives, so they can only talk about the prospect of the Dalai Lama, at most, the prospects of a small party around him."

The talks were suspended for more than a year after the meeting in November 2008.

"The major reason lies in the fact that they (the Dalai Lama side) openly declared to cease the contacts and talks with the Central authorities," Zhu said.

He suggested that the Dalai Lama side correct their mistakes rather than repeat the contents in the Memorandum, which the central government had rebutted at the previous talks, and use tricks to "explain" it.


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