A Chinese official involved in talks with the Dalai Lama has traveled to Washington to discuss China's position on Tibet.
Si Ta, who serves as Vice Minister of the Chinese Communist Party's United Front Work Department, said Tuesday that China opposes the internalization of the Tibet issue, which Beijing says is an internal affair. But Si Ta said he hopes contacts with U.S. officials will help them understand the situation in Tibet.
The official was speaking Tuesday at a press conference at China's embassy in Washington.
He also told reporters that the door is open to further talks with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader. But he said the Dalai Lama must understand that dialogue will only be held with the Dalai Lama's private representatives and only on the topic of the Dalai Lama's personal prospects.
Si Ta blamed the failure of the latest round of talks on the Dalai Lama's side, which he said made demands that violate China's constitution and laws on ethnic minority autonomy.
The Dalai Lama's envoys said after the talks that they had presented a proposal for genuine Tibetan autonomy as a part of China. But China says it will never accept the Dalai Lama's plan for greater autonomy for Tibet.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader has said he is losing hope in talks with Beijing officials, after decades of contacts failed to improve the situation for Tibetans in China.
Representatives of Tibetan exile communities around the world gathered last month in northern India, where most endorsed the Dalai Lama's approach to talks with China. The Dalai Lama advocates what he calls a "middle way approach" that would give Tibetans genuine autonomy, while remaining part of China.