DHARAMSHALA, JUNE 7: The US has asked China to engage in “unconditional talks” with the representatives of the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama and address issues that have led to 131 self immolations in Tibet since 2009.
"We have continued to urge the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions as a means to reduce tensions, obviously urge China to address policies that have created tensions in Tibetan areas and that threaten the Tibetan unique culture," US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters in Washington Friday.
"As envisioned in the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, we continue (our) efforts to open a consulate in Lhasa, also continue to request the Chinese government allow a consular officer to visit Tibet and ethnically Tibetan areas of China," she said.
Meanwhile, China has called the Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay “an out an out separatist” saying it is open to talks with a personal envoy of the Dalai Lama about the future of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a briefing here, "The door to talks is always open, but China will only talk to the Dalai Lama's personal representatives and only about his personal future, not anything to do with Tibet".
"What Dalai should do is to discard his position of separating Tibet from China and halting all such separatist activities, much with his actions and win the trust of the Chinese government and the Chinese people," Hong said.
"The Middle Way proposed by Dalai in nature is seeking for independence under disguise. Our position on this issue is clear, we will not allow any independence or semi-independence under disguise and our policies in having contact with Dalai are consistent and clear," Hong said.
The Tibetan government-in-exile headed by the young Harvard graduate on June 5 launched a campaign to reach out to the international community to counter the Chinese "misinformation campaign" on its "middle-way approach" to resolve the Tibetan issue.
Sangay said his administration’s topmost priority, the "middle-way approach" favours "genuine autonomy" for Tibetans within the framework of the Chinese constitution and does not speak of independence.
There have been nine round of talks between the Chinese side and the envoys of the Dalai Lama's since 2002 to resolve the Tibetan issue. However, the talks entered a stalemate with China accusing the Tibetan side of seeking “disguised independence in the garb of Middle Way.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi starts his two-day India visit on June 8, and is expected to meet with the newly elected PM Narendra Modi and India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
The largest pro independence group of the Tibetan Diaspora, the Tibetan Youth Congress has urged PM Modi to raise the issue of Tibet during his talks with Chinese leaders.