On November 4, 2008, a special envoy representing the Dalai Lama initiated talks with Chinese officials in Beijing. The talks were broken off the next day, and no progress was made between the two parties.
The Tibetan parliament-in-exile’s Senator told Radio Free Asia that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials spoke in strong and threatening language. A CCP official, who does not want to reveal his name, said that the Beijing regime wouldn’t offer any way out to the Tibetan government-in-exile.
Beijing Takes Hard Line, Refuses Compromise
The compromise suggested by the Dalai Lama was to allow Tibet and surrounding areas to have full administrative autonomy but still be under the legal structure of China. The compromise will leave Beijing in charge of all foreign affairs and national defense issues. However, Beijing deems this plan “separatist.”
The Tibetan Senator stated that the Beijing regime has never been sincere in previous talks. The senator believes that the CCP’s arrests and trials of Tibetans on the eve of the talks are examples of its insincerity.
Young Tibetan exiles are growing more frustrated about the stalled negotiations and continued repression. They are calling for more radical approaches, including ways to seek complete Tibetan independence.
The Dalai Lama told a Japanese reporter that the Tibetans inside Tibet are actually in a state of military occupation, and that the ancient Tibetan people are dying. As the talks with the Beijing regime are deadlocked, the Dalai Lama will no longer play a major role in the future negotiations.
The Tibetan Government-in-exile plans to hold a World Conference in India on November 17 to let representatives of the 6,000,000 Tibetans to decide the future of Tibet. The Dalai Lama is expected to address the meeting. There are speculations that the Dalai Lama may relinquish his advocacy of the “middle way” for more autonomy at that time.