Beijing: China is willing to discuss with the Dalai Lama`s representatives the future of his followers and that of the Tibetans settled in India and abroad, but the union of the country and future of Tibet are "not negotiable", a top Tibetan official has said.
Accusing the Tibetan spiritual leader of inciting separatism in Tibet, the Chinese official said Beijing will not engage in any talks with the Dalai Lama if he continues to "promote separatism" and "incite" monks to commit self-immolations.
China blames the Dalai Lama for inciting trouble in the Tibetan region where at least 34 Buddhist monks and nuns have set themselves afire over the past year as a mark of protest against China`s repressive policies.
Qiangba Puncog, head of the standing committee of the national people`s congress from Tibet, said the Dalai Lama`s representatives were sticking to the points of separating Tibet from China and forming a "bigger Tibetan region" (Greater Tibet), which includes parts of Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan, where other Tibetans live.
This, he said, China was not ready to discuss.
If conditions allow the Chinese government to engage the Dalai Lama group, the "only topic" on the agenda should be the "personal future of the Dalai`s followers and Tibetans overseas", Qiangba was quoted as saying by the official media here while speaking at a seminar in Brussels.
"The union of a country and future of Tibet are not negotiable, and the only topic we want to talk is the personal future of Tibetans overseas," Qiangba was quoted as saying by state-run China Daily, apparently referring to their possible return to Tibet from exile.
"This is our principle of holding talks with the Dalai Lama`s representatives," Qiangba said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, spokesman Hong Lei declined to react to a query whether Qiangba`s comment is a message for a fresh round of talks with the Tibetan spiritual leader.
However, Dr Liu Youfa, Vice President of the China Institute of International Studies, a Chinese Foreign Ministry backed think-tank said informal dialogue is going on between the Chinese officials and the representatives of Dalai Lama for some time.
"Dalai Lama has to renounce any idea of separating Tibet from China as well as his demand for Great Tibet," he said while elaborating on China`s stand.
"Chinese govt is always open for talks with Dalai Lama. China is still sincere in holding the dialogue with Dalai Lama and his representatives," he said.
"The talks should concentrate on personal safety for himself and his follower when they decide to return China," he said.
He said the Chinese government wants the Dalai Lama and
his representatives to make it clear that they no longer pursue policy to separate Tibet from China.
"They should make it clear that they would not pursue any violent activity Chinese government and people," he said.
The Dalai Lama left for India on exile in 1959. Currently over one and half lakh Tibetans are settled in Dharmashala and other places.
The nuanced Chinese stand on the dialogue with Dalai Lama came after over 30 people, mostly monks, committed self immolations in some of the Tibetan areas in China as well as one in New Delhi demanding his return.
Qiangba said that no self-immolations took place in Tibet but in parts adjacent to Tibetan areas like Sichuan province.
"So far there is not a single case of self-immolation in Tibet," he said.
"I am very sad because of the self-immolations, and I am urging the Dalai Lama group to stop (them) as soon as possible," he said.