27 Jan 2010

Talks between China and Dalai Lama to resume

6:11 am on 27 January 2010

Envoys of the Dalai Lama are in Beijing to resume talks with the Chinese government after a break of more than a year.

Relations between the two sides have been tense since China rejected Tibetan demands for greater autonomy at the last round of discussions in 2008.

One of the Dalai Lama's representatives, Thubten Samdup, says he thinks the Chinese might be re-thinking ways of addressing discontent in Tibet.

It will be the ninth round of discussions between China and the Tibetan government-in-exile since 2002.

But the BBC reports there is little evidence to suggest that China is willing to make definite concessions to the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Last week senior Chinese leaders held a major meeting about Tibet - the first in nine years - in which they indicated they would continue their hard-line approach.

The Xinhua news agency said Chinese President Hu Jintao told those at the meeting that China would maintain efforts to prevent "penetration and sabotage" by supporters of Tibetan independence.

He added that Beijing would ensure the "normal order of Tibetan Buddhism".