By Tenzin Dharpo
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay. photo-tibet.net
DHARAMSHALA, April 4: The head of the Tibetan exile government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay on Tuesday said that while there is no official communication between the envoys of Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Beijing, “back channel talks” happen, indicating that track 1 and track 2 diplomacy is an occurrence between the Tibetan and Chinese counterparts.
The President of the Central Tibetan Administration in an interview with News18 on April 3 said, “There has been no official communication between China and the CTA since 2010. But there are back channel talks that happen. People keep coming from the Chinese side and we are very transparent with them.”
The Tibetan President was however quick to downplay the statement saying that previous dialogues with Beijing has yielded no results and that, “one shouldn’t read too much into it.”
One such probable incident of “back-channel talks” surfaced when former Tibetan PM Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche was said to have visited China on a discreet trip in November 2017 and met You Quan, head of the United Front Work Department that overseas Tibetan affairs.
The Tibetan President on Dec. 14 said that the close aide of the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama did visit China. “It was at most, a private visit”, Dr. Sangay said in New Delhi during a public engagement. Samdhong Rinpoche later said that he did not visit China.
The envoys of the Dalai Lama and their Chinese counterparts have engaged in nine rounds of talks till date. A team of six Tibetans were dispatched to Tibet for the first round of talks in 1979 followed by successive rounds of talks that were held in China as well as Switzerland thereafter. Since the last and ninth round of talks in 2010, there has been no official dialogue between the Tibetan and Chinese side.