DHARAMSHALA, September 15: The United States government has expressed concern over the stalled Sino-Tibet dialogue process and said that prospects for the Chinese government to come back to the discussion table appear “dim.”
The US State Department in its annual “Report on Tibet Negotiations” to lawmakers, released on September 12, said: “We are very concerned that there has been no dialogue since early 2010 and that nine years of talks prior to that time have not borne concrete results.”
“Prospects for the Chinese government to resume the dialogue appear dim, at least in the short term,” the State Department said.
The report noted that a tenth round of talks would be a “positive step at this critical time,” although a high-ranked Chinese official recently said that there would be no talks at least until the end of the year.
The elected leader of the Tibetan people, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay, has repeatedly stated his willingness to conduct talks with the Chinese “anywhere, anytime.”
The US government expressed its belief that the Dalai Lama or his representatives can be “constructive partners for China as it deals with the challenge of overcoming continuing tensions in Tibetan areas.”
“The Dalai Lama’s views are widely reflected within the Tibetan society and command the respect of the vast majority of Tibetans,” the report says. “His consistent advocacy of non-violence is an important factor in reaching an eventual lasting solution.”
The report further argues that engaging the Dalai Lama in the talks is in the “interest of the Chinese government and the Tibetan people” and warned that the “failure to address these problems will lead to greater tensions inside China and will be an impediment to China’s social and economic development.”
“We continue to encourage both sides to engage in a substantive discussion that will work to achieve concrete results,” the State Department noted.
The report finds that in 2011, Chinese authorities continued to place Tibet under “increasingly intense and formalised systems of controls, many of which appeared to be aimed at facilitating enforcement of social stability and undermining the religious authority of the Dalai Lama.”
“Increasing official interference in Tibetan religious and cultural spheres provoked acts of resistance among the Tibetan population. These in turn led authorities to intensify to maintain control, thus creating a cycle of official repression and increasingly desperate acts by Tibetans, such as a series of self-immolations by Tibetan Buddhist clergy and laypersons in Tibetan areas.”
In June this year, Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lodi G. Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, resigned from their posts citing the deteriorating situation inside Tibet and their “utter frustration” over the lack of positive response from the China as reasons for their decision.
“Given the deteriorating situation inside Tibet since 2008 leading to the increasing cases of self-immolations by Tibetans, we are compelled to submit our resignations,” Gyari and Gyaltsen said in their resignation letter.
The State Department submits a “Report on Tibet negotiations” to the Congress every year, as required by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002.