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US Welcomes Tibetan Delegation's Visit to China - 2003-05-28

A State Department spokesman Tuesday said Washington is pleased that Chinese officials met the four-member Tibetan delegation. The visit is aimed at reopening a dialogue on Chinese Communist rule over Tibet.

Mr.Boucher said "We were pleased to learn that Mr. Lodi Gyari, the Dalai Lama's Special Envoy, and his delegation were received by Chinese officials on May 25th in Shanghai. We understand this is a follow-on trip to a September 2002 visit when the two sides renewed contact. And we look forward to hearing more at the conclusion of the talks.

The President and the Secretary have continued to discuss with Chinese leaders the need for substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve longstanding differences. The Administration will follow this development with great interest and we hope this trip will bring both sides closer to engaging in dialogue".

The special envoys of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, are now in Beijing, and are expected to stay in China for two to three weeks. This is their second trip to China since Tibet's government-in-exile re-established contact with Beijing last September, after official dialogue broke down nine years ago.