Friday, May 24, 2024

Tibetan government in exile confirms back-channel talks with Chinese government

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The Tibetan government in exile has officially confirmed engaging in back-channel talks with the Chinese government. President Penpa Tsering has said, “I have always admitted to having back channel, keep communication ongoing but at the same time if you look the Chinese leadership policies and programme inside Tibet which are all aims at eradication of National Identity from language to religion to political space.” It has been over a year since these back-channel talks have started between the two sides.

President Tsering further emphasised, “We have to find some solution through the middle way policy which His Holiness proposed majority of the Tibetan support and is passed by the Tibetan parliament in exiled.” The Middle Way Policy advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama seeks meaningful autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese political system.

However, President Tsering tempered expectations regarding the talks, stating, “We keep engaging with them but we don’t have all expectations,” reflecting the uncertainties surrounding talks with the Chinese government. 

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The history of direct talks between the two sides dates back to 2002, with a total of nine rounds of talks conducted until 2010. In 2008, the Tibetan government in exile presented its proposals for autonomy, but they were summarily dismissed by the Chinese side.

Norzin Dolma, Minister with the Tibetan government in exile, affirmed the existence of back-channel communications, stating, “There have been back-channel communications and activities happening but I am unsure as to how hope we can place on the outcome of these activities and how substantive and concrete those activities.”

(With inputs from agencies)

Sidhant Sibal

Sidhant Sibal is the principal diplomatic correspondent for WION. When he is not working, you will find him playing with his dog.

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