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Tibet

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has persuaded the Chinese government to take in respect of Tibet since his announcement on the change of position on the status of Tibet. (243953)

I issued a public statement on 24 November following the conclusion of the Tibetan exiles' meeting in Dharamsala, in which I again urged the Chinese government to engage in substantive discussion with the Dalai Lama's representatives, on the proposals put forward by the Tibetan side.

In addition, both I and Simon McDonald, the Prime Minister's Foreign Policy adviser met with Zhu Weiqun the Assistant Minister from the United Front Work Department on 14 November. We made clear the Government's wish for the Chinese government to address the human rights situation in Tibet, through a meaningful system of autonomy.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the outcomes of the eighth round of talks between the representatives of the Chinese government and the Tibetan government-in-exile; and if he will make a statement. (243954)

The first session of the special general meeting took place in Dharamsala 17-22 November 2008. In total 560 participants from 19 different countries attended. The meeting agreed a number of recommendations, a summary of these is available at:

http://www.tibet.net/en/index.php?id=546& articletype=flash&rmenuid=morenews

I issued a statement on the conclusion of the talks on 24 November. I welcomed the renewed commitment from the Tibetan exile movement to pursue a sustainable solution to the underlying issues in Tibet through dialogue with China and non-violent means. I also said that I believed that some of the proposals put forward by the Tibetan side prior to the last round of dialogue should provide a basis for substantive discussions, focussed initially on identifying points of agreement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what date has been set for the next round of the UK-China human rights dialogue. (243956)