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President Bush Reports to Congress on Tibet Negotiations - 2003-05-14

In the first State Department report to Congress on Tibet, U-S officials said they are encouraged that China invited two of the Dalai Lama's special envoys (Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen) to visit Beijing and Tibet last September. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides in nine years.

The report, obtained Tuesday, President Bush has affirmed that encouraging substantive dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership is a key objective of his administration’s policy and that a lack of resolution of the Tibetan problem will be a stumbling block to fuller political and economic engagement between the United States and China.

“This report demonstrates the combined commitment of the entire U-S government, including the White House, State Department and the Congress, to advance the Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ approach,” said Mary Beth Markey, the Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet. The report outlines the efforts of President Bush and Secretary of State on Tibet during their interactions with Chinese leaders.

Last month, the Dalai Lama said he hopes to send another representative to Beijing soon.

Chinese leaders accuse the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet, and refuse to meet with him directly. He has denied wanting independence for the region.