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Dalai Lama's Special Envoy Says His recent Visit to Beijing Lays  Foundation for a New Chapter in Sino-Tibetan Relations - 2002-10-03

In an interview with the Tibetan Service this morning the Dalai Lama's Special Envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari said that he and his colleagues ' recent visit to Beijing has laid the foundations for a "new chapter in our relationship with China," and the delegation's task was to first re-establish direct contact with the leadership in Beijing and to create a conducive atmosphere enabling direct face to face meetings on a regular basis in future. Lodi Gyari also said that the Dalai Lama was "very pleased that a renewed contact has been established and he instructed them to make use of the opportunity created and strive to advance the process "vigorously" which would lead to a mutually acceptable solution. He intends to do this in the coming months.

In Beijing he said the delegation had straight-forward exchange of views with Chinese leaders in a cordial atmosphere. The delegation explained to the Chinese leadership about the Dalai Lama's thoughts on resolving the Sino-Tibetan problems through negotiations in the spirit of reconciliation and dialogue.

Lodi Gyari said, "Chinese leaders listened to our explanation with keen interest and engaged in free and spontaneous exchanges." Lodi Gyari, who led a similar delegation in the early 1980s, says that what impressed them most this time was the "much greater flexibility displayed by the current leaders in their mental attitude." He says that he was deeply encouraged by the firm support and cooperation extended by the Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, and the Tibetan government-in-exile.