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Bush Says Talks Between China and Dalai Lama Should be Substantive བོད་སྐད།

U.S. President George Bush says proposed talks between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama should be substantive.

Mr. Bush said Thursday that renewed dialogue is important in order to address the legitimate concerns of the Tibetan people.

China announced last Friday that it had agreed to a request from the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to meet with his private representatives. Beijing has not released further details on the meeting, saying only that its agreement was not due to pressure from foreign governments.

The Dalai Lama welcomed the announcement, but said his representatives have yet to be contacted about a meeting.

Also Thursday, China defended the fairness of the trials of 30 Tibetans convicted of crimes during a March riot in Lhasa.

The Indian-based Tibetan government-in-exile Thursday released a statement condemning the sentences -- some for life -- as disproportionate to the charges.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch says the legal proceedings were not open or fair.

The Tibetan government-in-exile Thursday also released more details about Chinese authorities' alleged secret incineration of the bodies of dead Tibetan protesters.

China says 18 "innocent" civilians and one policeman died when protests turned violent on March 14th. But the Tibetan government-in-exile says Chinese security forces killed 203 Tibetan protesters, many of them in Lhasa following the riot.