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Tibetan government-in-Exile is Expressing Hope to Begin Dialogue With China Next Year - 2002-09-29

The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile is expressing hope that negotiations with China for greater Tibetan autonomy could begin by next July.

Prime Minister-in-exile Samthong Rinpoche spoke to the territory's exile legislature Saturday in Dharmsala, India. He said there is no timetable yet for talks with China on Tibet's status.

However, he expressed satisfaction with the results of a recent visit to China by envoys of the Dalai Lama, who is considered the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Mr. Samthong told the assembly he felt that for the first time, China had treated Tibetan envoys as equals.