China has confirmed that representatives of Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, have met this week with Chinese officials in Beijing.
China has given few details of the meetings this week, which began Tuesday, and a report Thursday by China's state-run Xinhua news agency was the first official confirmation that they had taken place.
The report says Du Qingling, head of the Communist Party's top body for ethnic and minority groups, met with the Dalai Lama's envoys, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen.
During the meeting, Du demanded that the Dalai Lama openly show that he does not support Tibetan independence and that he is not trying to sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games. The report says that if the Dalai Lama responds positively, the next round of talks would be held by the end of this year.
The Dalai Lama has repeatedly voiced support for the Beijing Olympics, and says he does not want independence for Tibet - just greater autonomy.
This week's meetings were the first since Tibet and other Tibetan regions were rocked by violent unrest that began in March. The report gave no mention of what specific issues the Tibetan envoys proposed, and only says the envoys would take the results of the meeting back to the Dalai Lama.
The report says the envoys toured Olympic stadiums during their visit and talked with some Tibet experts.
The Dalai Lama has said this week's talks come at a "crucial time" for the Tibetan people, adding that the situation in Tibet continues to be grim, adding that China's efforts to assimilate the region are eroding the Tibetan people's distinct cultural and spiritual heritage.
The talks opened Tuesday in Beijing, three months after Tibet and other Tibetan areas in China were hit by violent protests against Chinese rule.
The two sides last met in May, following calls from world leaders to alleviate tensions between Tibetan protesters and Chinese security forces.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP