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Chronology of Sino-Tibetan contacts from 1978 to 2012.

After 1959 until 1979, there was no formal contact between the Tibetans in exile and the Chinese government. After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the Chinese policy on Tibet slightly changed. Deng Xiaoping became the Paramount Leader of China. The new Chinese leadership initiated liberalization and open-door policy on Tibet. Deng extended the hand of friendship to the Tibetans in exile and asked them to return to Tibet. The Tibetans grasped the opportunity to solve the Tibetan issue through negotiation with the Chinese leadership. Since the first contact in 1979, there have many rounds of visits and talks between the two sides. The Tibetans government-in-exile has been making every attempt to bring the Chinese leadership to the negotiating table for serious negotiations. The following is a chronology on the formal contact between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese leadership since 1979.

1978

November: Li Juisin, Xinhua's Head and China's de facto official representative in Hong Kong, met Gyalo Thondup, elder brother of the Dalai Lama, and informed him that Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues were eager to meet him and discuss the Tibetan issues.

1979

Feb 1: Panchen Rinpoche, in his first public appearance after 14 years in prison since 1964, made a radio announcement, calling the Dalai Lama and Tibetans overseas to return to Tibet, stating that the life condition in Tibet is far better than that was in the old Tibet.

Feb 21: Vajpayee, after his State visit to China, reported to the Indian

Parliament, "When the question of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans was referred to, I informed the Chinese leaders that we had made it clear that it was in deference to the Dalai Lama's spiritual position and the recognition of the needs of the Tibetan refugees, who voluntarily came to India, that asylum and resettlement facilities were extend by India. If the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans consider that the conditions are suitable for their return to the places of their origin, we, from our side, would not stand in their way in doing so."

February: After seeking the Dalai Lama's formal approval, Gyalo Thondup left for Beijing to meet the Chinese authorities on his personal capacity.

March 12: Gyalo Thondup met China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in Beijing. Deng told Thondup that "apart from independence, all issues can be discussed". Deng suggested that the Dalai Lama should send people to observe the situation in Tibet and said, "It is better to see a thing with your own eyes than to hear about it from one hundred people."

Aug 2-Dec 21: The Dalai Lama sent the first Tibetan fact-finding delegation to Tibet and China. The delegation led by Juchen Thupten Namgyal, the minister for the Department of Information, comprised of five members including Takla Phuntosk Tashi, the minister for the Security Department; Dalai Lama's elder brother Lobsang Samten; Lobsang Dhargye, the deputy speaker of the Tibetan parliament in exile; and Tashi Topgyal, secretary of the Department of Home. They visited various parts of Tibet and found that China's claim of progress in Tibet had little substance--the living standard of the Tibetan people was extremely poor, economic development minimal, and the destruction of religion and monastic institutions almost total. on their way back to Dharamsala, the Tibetan delegation reported their findings to Beijing. Following that, China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping instituted a five-member working committee on Tibet under Hu Yaobang, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to assess the situation and formulate correct policies for Tibet. The Working Committee was also given a task "to work for the return of the Dalai clique and the Tibetans abroad to the motherland."

1980

March 10: The Dalai Lama announced publicly that he had sent a fact-finding delegation to Tibet.

May 22-June 1: A Chinese fact-finding delegation led by Hu Yaobang, CCP General Secretary, visited TAR to examine the conditions there. Shocked at the poor condition of life there, he issued six directives for the economic improvement of the Tibetans.

May 1-June 15: The Dalai Lama sent the second five-member fact-finding delegation, led by Tenzin N. Tethong, in charge of the Office of Tibet in New York. Other members were Tsering Dorjee, in charge of the Europe Office of Tibet; Pema Gyalpo Gyari, in charge of the Tibet Liaison office in Tokyo; Mr Phuntsok Wangyal, chairman of the Tibetan Community in Britain; and Lobsang Jinpa, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress. The aim of this delegation was to observe the educational conditions of Tibetans in Tibet.

June 11: The Chinese Ambassador in New Delhi appealed for the early return of the Dalai Lama. During a meeting with Kalon Phuntsok Tashi Takla, the Chinese Ambassador said, "If the Dalai Lama does not prefer to stay long there, he can return [to India]. The Central Government will respect his decision."

July 1: The Dalai Lama sent the third fact-finding delegation comprising six members, led by Jetsun Pema, younger sister of the Dalai Lama; Chatsotsang Sonam Rabten, rector of CST Mussoorie, and Dzala Gontrul.

September: The Dalai Lama offered to send fifty trained teachers from the exile community to help the educational development of Tibet. He also suggested opening a liaison office in Lhasa to build trust between the Chinese government and Tibetans in exile.

Dec 18: Takla Phuntsok Tashi visited Chinese Ambassador Sheng Jiang and told him that the Dalai Lama had a great desire to meet and talk with CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang, whenever the latter visited any foreign country. Shen responded "I would inform this to the central government of China. However, I think Hu has no plan to pay courtesy visit to any foreign country now. If the Dalai Lama himself visits China, the Chinese government would welcome him."

1981

March 21: Kalon Takla Phuntsok Tashi met with the Chinese Ambassador Sheng Jiang, who delivered him the Chinese government response to the Dalai Lama's proposal to send Tibetan teachers from India and the fourth fact-finding delegation to Tibet. He said that Chinese government was happy to invite Tibetan teachers from India, but they must accept three conditions: that they were the citizens of China, that they would adhere to the instructions of the central government and that they would stay long in Tibet. He also said that the Chinese government would not be able to entertain any Tibetan fact-finding delegation for the time being, as it was occupied with reform works in different parts of Tibet. He further complained that some Tibetan youths and other Tibetans staged a demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy in Delhi on 10 March that year.

March 13: The Dalai Lama sent a formal letter to Deng Xiaoping in which he complained that the three fact-finding missions had found the conditions in Tibet very sad, and suggested "efforts must be made to resolve the problems in accordance with the existing realities in a reasonable way". He also suggested improving "relationship between China and Tibet as well as between Tibetans in and outside Tibet". In a separate note attached to this letter, he requested the Chinese leadership to reconsider his proposal to send volunteer teachers and assured that the teachers would be concerned solely with education and would not "indulge in any political activities".

July 12: Gyalo Thondup made an unofficial visit to Beijing and met Ulanfu, Director of the CPC's United Front Work Department, and Yang Jingren, Director of the Nationalities Affairs Commission. Ulanfu suggested that it would be better for the Dalai Lama and his followers to return at the earliest.

July 28: CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang met Gyalo Thondup in Beijing and gave him a document titled "Five-point Policy towards the Dalai Lama," as a reply to the Dalai Lama's letter sent to Deng Xiaoping in March that year. The document said:

1. The Dalai Lama should be confident that China has entered a new stage of long-term political stability, steady economical and mutual help among all nationalities.

2. The Dalai Lama and his representatives should be frank and sincere with the Central Government, not beat about the bush. There should be no more quibbling over the events of 1959.

3. The central authorities would sincerely welcome back the Dalai Lama and his followers. This is based on the hope that they will contribute to upholding China's unity, to promoting solidarity between the Han and Tibetan nationalities and among all nationalities and promoting the modernization programme.

4. The Dalai Lama will enjoy the same political status and living conditions as he had before 1959. It is suggested that he need not go to live in Tibet or hold local post there. of course, he may go back to Tibet from time to time. His followers need not worry about their jobs and living conditions. These will only be better than before.

5. When the Dalai Lama wishes to come back, he can issue a brief statement to the press. It is up to him to decide what he would like to say in the statement.

1982

April 2: The Dalai Lama sends a three-member exploratory delegation led by Kalon Juchen Thupten Namgyal to Beijing for preliminary talks with the Chinese leadership. The two other members were Takla Phuntsok Tashi and Lodi Gyari, speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile. The main points of the discussion imposed by the Chinese side was the return of the Dalai Lama and his future status. Finally, they handed the Tibetans a five-point proposal for future relations, the same document that was given to Gyalo Thondup when he visited Beijing in 1981.

June 1-Oct 31: The Dalai Lama sent the third fact-finding delegation, composed of seven members, led by Dalai Lama's younger sister Jetsun Pema. The delegation's mission was to observe the educational condition of Tibetans in Tibet.

1983

January: At the end of a teaching in Bodh Gaya, India, the Dalai Lama announced that he would visit Tibet sometime in 1985. This proposal was later officially conveyed to the Chinese leadership by Kalon Phuntsok Tashi Takla when he met the Chinese Ambassador, Sheng Jiang, in New Delhi on 5 February 1983.

Feb 5: Kalon Phuntsok Tashi Takla met the Chinese Ambassador, Sheng Jiang, in New Delhi and discussed with him the Dalai Lama's proposal to visit Tibet in 1985.

September: A press release of the Bureau of the Dalai Lama in New Delhi reported the arrest of more than 500 Tibetans towards the end of August 1983. Many of those arrested were later known to be those involved in contacting the Tibetan fact-finding delegations and in the restoration of Gaden Monastery, near Lhasa.

1984

March 10: In his official statement on 10 March, the Dalai Lama said, "the Tibetan people in and outside Tibet must examine the facts by abandoning speculations and breaking free from bondage of fear. They must struggle with greater determinations to regain the right, which is justly ours and enjoyed by people the world over: the right to govern ourselves".

August: Beijing dispatched another high-level delegation, led by Hu Qili (from 1982-1987, director of General Office and a member of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committees), to "conduct a thorough investigation" of the situation in Tibet. Hu Qili endorsed the policy of opening up Tibet. However, the visit once again confirmed the Central Committee's intention of keeping a tight control of the running of the region.

Nov 28: Xinhua News/Igencyreleased the document of Beijing's "Five Point Policy towards the Dalai Lama" to the public. This was followed by another statement, on 2 December, saying that "the Tibetan delegates doubted the possibility of the Dalai Lama's visit to Tibet" and that they had once again sought "Taiwan formula for Tibet, inclusion of certain areas in a greater Tibet, and the withdrawal of Chinese troops from the region".

Oct 19: The Dalai Lama, once again, sent the same three-member Tibetan exploratory mission to Beijing. The Tibetan delegation met Deputy Director Jiang Ping, and several other officials of the CPC's United Front Work Department. At the meeting, Jiang Ping reiterated Beijing's "Five-Point Policy towards the Dalai Lama" and said, "It will remain unchanged, no matter what happens. Beijing has already made it clear that the precondition for dialogues is the Dalai Lama's recognition that Tibet is an inalienable part of China. This should be the basis for any dialogue between the two sides".

1985

Feb 5: The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile rejected the China's "Five Point Policy towards the Dalai Lama". In a statement issued on 5 February 1985, the speaker of the Assembly said that the Chinese terms were nothing but "a move to reduce the Tibetan cause to the personal issue of H. H. the Dalai Lama. The Chinese leaders pretend to forget His Holiness' statement that the Tibetan people's struggle is a struggle for satisfactory happiness for the six million Tibetans. The Tibetan people will never be fully satisfied as long as they live under foreign domination".

March 10: The Dalai Lama appealed to the Chinese leaders to make genuine attempts to resolve the Tibet issue. In his official statement on 10 March, He said, "It is now for the Chinese to act according to the enlightened ideals and principles of the modern times; to come forward with an open mind and make serious attempt to know and understand the Tibetan people's viewpoint and their true feelings and aspirations."

June 16-Sep 11: The Dalai Lama sent the fourth five-member fact-finding delegation, led by former minister W.D. Kundeling Woeser Gyaltsen, to Beijing to tour in Tibet. However, the delegates were allowed to visit only Domey. The delegate explained to the Chinese leadership that the Chinese "Five-point Policy" towards the Dalai Lama had been rejected by the Tibetans.

July 24: 91-members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter to the Chinese President Li Xiannian, urging him to initiate talks between Chinese Government and the representatives of the Dalai Lama.

Dec 23: Britain's Parliamentary Human Rights Group wrote a letter to the China's Premier Zhao Ziyang, asking him to work out arrangements with the Dalai Lama that accord with "justified and reasonable" wishes of the Tibetan people "to manage their own affairs".

1986

March 26: At the instruction of the Kashag, Takla Phuntsok Tashi approached the Chinese ambassador in New Delhi, Li Qinen, to request the Chinese government to allow another Tibetan fact-finding delegation, led by Gyalo Thondup, to visit Tibet, stating that Xi Zhongxun told the Tibetan exploratory team who visited Beijing in 1984 that the Chinese government would welcome Gyalo Thondup if he visited China. Li replied that it was the Chinese government's decision and he could do nothing. Li further told him that recently many Tibetan youths gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy and staged a protest, which was harmful to the relationship between the Chinese government and Dalai Lama.

September: Takla Phuntsok Tashi approached the Chinese Embassy in Delhi to enquire about the Chinese reply on the proposed fifth Tibetan delegation's visit to Tibet and China. The Chinese consular told him that the Chinese central government's policy could not be altered. He further told him that since Takla himself would visit China soon, he could ask his Chinese friends there.

Dec 29: Takla Phuntsok Tashi went to China via Hong Kong accompanied by Tibetan Delek Hospital's Secretary Tsewang Phuntsok on personal capacity, at the approval of the Dalai Lama and the Kashag. He met some important officials, beside the vice director of the United Front Work Department and Nationalities Affairs Department Li Tsomin and Ren Ren, the head of the Tibetan section of the Nationalities Affairs. He also talked about the Chinese rejection of the fifth visit from exile. He handed them the invitation of some Tibetan scholars to the forthcoming conference on the Tibetan language and culture to be held in Dharamsala. They told him that the previous visits by the Tibetan delegation had deteriorated the relations. They further said that the Dalai Lama had started criticizing the Chinese government publicly, which was not good for the relations. China is becoming powerful day by and day and no foreign country can challenge China. They told him that the acceptance or rejection of Tibetans in exile's visit to Tibet depended on the manner of the Tibetans in exile.

Takla also met with Panchen Rinpoche, who advised him that Tibetans in exile should make continuous contact with the Chinese and the Dalai Lama should meet the Chinese leadership. 1987

January: Hu Yaobang was removed from the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). One of the reasons stated for his demotion was his ethnic-sensitive liberal policy in Tibet.

March 10: In his official statement on 10 March, the Dalai Lama said, "It seems there is no desire on the part of China to resolve the issue on the basis of mutual respect and for mutual benefit". He further said, "I would like to reiterate that the issue of Tibet is not about the power and position of either the Dalai Lama or the future of Tibetan refugees alone but rather it is the question of the rights and freedoms of the six million Tibetans ... The issue of Tibet is fundamentally political with international ramifications and as such only a political solution can provide a meaningful answer".

May: Gyalo Thondup again visited Beijing with an aim to revive the contact between the Chinese government and the Tibetan government in exile only to find that Beijing's attitude had further hardened. Thondup met three senior officials of the CPC's United Front Work Department: Dang Xian-cao, Song Yidang, and Li Cao-ming on 8 May.

Sep 21: The Dalai Lama presents a Five-Point Peace Plan on solving the Tibetan political issue to the U.S. Congress. The plan includes a call for commencement of earnest negotiations on the future status of Tibet.

1. The transformation of the whole of Tibet into a zone of peace.

2. Abandonment of China's population transfer policy which threatens the very existence of the Tibetan as a people.

3. Respect for the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.

4. Restoration and protection of Tibet's natural environment and the abandonment of China's use of Tibet for the production of nuclear weapons and dumping of nuclear waste.

5. Commencement of earnest negotiations on the future status of Tibet and of relations between Tibetan Chinese people.

Sep 27: A few days after the Dalai Lama had addressed the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in Washington D.C., US, violent demonstrations erupted in Lhasa, as a gesture to support for the Dalai Lama. Another peaceful demonstration took place on october 1.

oct 17: Mr. Yang Mingfu, the Head of the United Front Work

Department, met Gyalo Thondup and delivered a message containing five points criticising the Dalai Lama for publicizing the Tibetan issue and accusing him of having instigated demonstrations in Lhasa of September 27 and October 1, 1987 and of having worked against the interest of the Tibetan people.

Dec 17: The Kashag replied to Yang Minfu's letter addressed to Gyalo Thondup. In the reply, the CTA denied the allegations made to the Dalai Lama having masterminded the demonstrations broke out in Lhasa recently.

Dec 22: The United States Foreign Relations Authorization Act declares that the U.S. "should urge the Government of China to actively reciprocate the Dalai Lama's efforts to establish a constructive dialogue on the future of Tibet."

1988

June 15: The Dalai Lama presents his famous Strasbourg Proposal as a framework for a negotiated solution to the Tibetan problem at the European Parliament. He also mentioned that a negotiating team is ready to meet with the Chinese leadership as a follow up to the Deng Xiaoping's statement that "apart from Tibet's independence, everything could be discussed".

June 23: As a response to the Strasbourg Proposal, the China's foreign ministry issued a press statement, saying that the PRC would not accept Tibet's "independence, semi-independence or independence in disguised form".

Aug 22-29 The Dalai Lama's representative in Delhi met with the Chinese Ambassador in Delhi to clarify the Chinese criticisms made against the Dalai Lama's Strasbourg Proposal and told him that the points in the Strasbourg Proposal conformed the Deng Xiaoping's statement "except for Tibet's independence, anything can be discussed". He explained that in the Proposal, the Dalai Lama had proposed Tibet would remain within the frame of China and had not demanded independence from China.

Sep 21: China proposed for a talk. In a press statement, the Chinese side said "We welcome the Dalai Lama to have talks with the central government at any time, and talks may be held in Beijing, Hong Kong or any of our embassies or consulates abroad. If the Dalai Lama finds it inconvenient to conduct talks at these places, he may choose any place he wishes." The proposal set two conditions to the talks: that the Kashag government would not be accepted and that the Dalai Lama must not raise any issue related to Tibet's independence.

Sep 23: The Kashag gave the following response to the Sep. 21 Chinese message: "We welcome China's positive response to the Dalai Lama's call for talks on the Tibetan issue. We believe that the China's positive response to our proposal shows China's genuine willingness to solve the Tibetan issue."

Oct 25: Kalon Alak Jigme met with Zhao Xingsong, the Chinese Ambassador in Delhi, and informed him that the Tibetan government had chosen Geneva as the venue and January 1989 as the time for the talks.

Nov 18: The Chinese government rejected the Tibetan's proposal to hold talks in Geneva and objected including a foreigner in a Tibetan delegation. In the reply given through its Embassy in Delhi, the Chinese government mentioned four preconditions for talks:

1. It is unacceptable if the venue and time of talks is announced to the media. The most appropriate venue for talks is Beijing.

2. The six members of the delegation appointed by the Dalai Lama are always engaged in "splittism". Therefore, they are not acceptable. We cannot accept including the Dutch lawyer in the Tibetan delegation.

3. The Chinese government wants to talk with the Dalai Lama personally. However, he can send a trustworthy man, particularly Gyalo Thondup, to negotiate with us.

4. The points in the Strasbourg Proposal cannot be the agenda of talks. The Dalai Lama must support the unification of China and its protection.

Dec 5: The Tibetan government in exile responded the Chinese preconditions for talks as below:

1. The Dalai Lama chose the venue and time for talks, as the Chinese had given him the choice.

2. The Dalai Lama has the right to appoint his delegation as per his wishes, and Dr. Van valt Parag is not a member of the delegation, but a legal advisor to the delegation.

3. As per the Chinese wishes, Gyalo Thondup has been included in the delegation as advisor.

4. The Strasbourg Proposal is the most reasonable basis for Sino-Tibetan talks. If the Chinese and Tibetan sides sincerely hold dialogues, without preconditions, meaningful results will come out.

1989

March 5: A large anti-Chinese demonstration erupted in Lhasa, and the Chinese police force killed hundreds of Tibetan demonstrators. on 8 March, the Chinese imposed martial law in Lhasa.

April 19: A message was sent to the Chinese leadership indicating that Dalai Lama's representatives would be willing to meet in Hong Kong, one of the places mentioned in the Chinese message of September 1988.

April 20: The Tibetan Government-in-Exile announces that "His Holiness the Dalai Lama is prepared to send representatives to Hong Kong at any time" to meet with Chinese representative in order to resolve any procedural issue with regard to starting negotiations.

March 15: U.S. Senate Resolution 82 calls upon the Chinese government to "meet with representatives of the Dalai Lama to begin initiating constructive dialogue on the future of Tibet."

1990

March 10: In his official statement on 10 March, the Dalai Lama urged the Chinese leadership to be more open minded and said, "By their narrow outlook the Chinese are missing the main message which I have tried to convey to them in my Five-Point Peace Plan, the Strasbourg Proposal and the Nobel Lecture which concerns the future relationship between Tibet and China. I am prepared to consider this with an open mind through dialogue ..."

1991

March 10: In his official statement issued on the 10 March anniversary, the Dalai Lama said, "My proposals have not elicited any official response from the Chinese leadership. If in the near future there are no new initiatives from the Chinese I will consider myself free of any obligation to the proposal."

March 21: The Dalai Lama sent a message to the Chinese government through the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, offering his assistance in searching for the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. The Dalai Lama expressed his desire to send a religious delegation of high lamas and abbots to Lhamoi Lhatso, the sacred lake near Lhasa, to pray and observe prophetic visions in the lake, which would guide them to the genuine reincarnation. After more than three months, the Chinese government replied that "there is no need for outside interference in this matter" and that reincarnation of the Panchen Lama would be found by the officials responsible at Tashilhunpo monastery.

April 16: The US President, for the first time, received the Dalai Lama at the White House. During his 30-minute meeting with the US President George Bush Sr., the Dalai Lama briefed the President on the situation inside Tibet, including the issue of human rights violations, threat to the survival of Tibetan culture and the Dalai Lama's own efforts to seek a negotiated settlement with China.

April 18: The United States lawmakers gave an emotional welcome to the Dalai Lama at the Capitol Rotunda. Speaking to the gathering of Congressmen from both the parties, the Dalai Lama said that China was unwilling to engage in a meaningful dialogue over the future of Tibet and called on the United States to take a stronger stand on the issue.

Sep 2: On the occasion of the Tibetan Democracy Day, the chairperson of the Kashag Gyalo Thondup announced that the Tibetan government-in-exile was no longer bound by the Strasbourg Proposal. He said, "Judging from the official statements and the experiences of our recent contact with the Chinese government, it is clear that the present leadership lacks a sincere commitment to finding a solution to the issue." However, Kalon Gyalo Thondup pointed out that the Tibetan administration was "open and willing to consider any realistic initiative by the Chinese leaders, which takes into account the historical facts, the changing situation of the world, the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Tibetan people, and the long-term mutual interest of both Tibet and China."

Sep 24: The Consulate of the People's Republic of China in New York issued a press release, which was titled "Questions concerning negotiations between the Government of China and the Dalai Lama". The press release blamed the Dalai Lama of not giving up his position of "independence of Tibet", and termed this as "the root cause for failure to achieve results in the past contacts and to continue the negotiations". It also reiterated "except for the independence of Tibet, all other issues may be negotiated."

Oct 9: In an address at Yale University, the Dalai Lama expressed his desire to visit Tibet as early as possible to personally ascertain the situation and help the Chinese leadership to understand the true feelings of Tibetans.

Oct 10: The Chinese Foreign Ministry imposed the following conditions before he can return to Tibet: "The most important thing is that the Dalai Lama stop his activities aimed at splitting China and undermining the unity of its nationalities, and abandon his position on Tibetan independence."

Dec 11-17: Chinese Premier Li Peng paid a six-day visit to India, which was the first visit of Chinese premier to India since Chou Enlai's visit in 1956. The Dalai Lama sought a meeting with the visiting Chinese Premier, but the request was rejected by the Chinese government. India acknowledges Tibet as a part of China and that the Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader only.

1992

Jan 23: The ATPD passed a resolution that the Tibetan government should not initiate any negotiation unless there was a positive change in the attitude of the Beijing. The resolution said that there was no objection if overture came from the Chinese side.

April 22: Chinese Ambassador in Delhi visited the Tibetan Kalon Tripa Gyalo Thondup at his residence in Delhi and told him "if there is reasonable conditions are put, the Chinese side would consider it." Based on this, Gyalo Thondup visited China in June of the same year on his personal capacity to follow up the proposal.

May 18-23: Indian President R. Venkataraman paid a State visit to China. Chinese Premier Li Peng told him that the activities of the Dalai Lama in India were detrimental to the Sino-Indian relations.

June 22: Ding Guangen, head of the United Front Works Department of the CCP Central Committee, met Gyalo Thondup in Beijing and reiterated the 1979 statement that they were willing to discuss any issue with the Tibetans except total independence.

Sep 11: The Dalai Lama sent a letter to Deng Xiaoping, expressing his pleasure at the reestablishment of contact between the Chinese and Tibetan government in exile. He said, "I have been informed of the discussions Mr. Ding Guangen had with Gyalo Thondup on June 22, 1992, and the position of the Government of China concerning negotiations for a solution to the Tibetan question, I am disappointed with the hard and inflexible position conveyed by Mr. Ding Guangen, particularly the emphasis on preconditions for negotiations." In the letter, the Dalai Lama explained that his proposal was not to restore the old Tibetan society. He urged that both Chinese and Tibetan sides should come together to resolve the Sino-Tibetan issue peacefully, for mutual benefits.

Sep 17: The Dalai Lama decided to send a delegation led by Gyalo Thondup, accompanied by DIIR Secretary Sonam Topgyal and Private Office Secretary Kalsang Gyaltsen, to China to deliver his memorandum to Deng. The Delegation met with the Chinese ambassador in Delhi to discuss their visit to Beijing and gave him copies of the Dalai Lama's memorandum.

Sep 22: The Chinese government published a White Paper, titled Tibet: Its Ownership and Human Rights Situation as an indirect answer to the Dalai Lama letter to the Deng. The document presented Chinese views to prove Tibet as an integral part of China.

Dec 22: Chinese Ambassador in Delhi told Gyalo Thondup that if the Tibetans did not raise issue on Tibet's independence, he would accept the memorandum and the Tibetan delegation could visit China.

1993

March 10-11: The Chinese Government called a special meeting, Conference on the Work of External Propaganda on the Question of Tibet, in Beijing. The meeting was attended by Chinese and Tibetan representatives from the "TAR" and Tibetan autonomous districts and prefectures of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan. The 30-page conference document, which was smuggled out of China and released later on 15 November 1993 by the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet, detailed the Chinese government's aggressive propaganda offensive to sanitise its occupation and oppression of Tibet and "eradicate ... divide and destroy" the international supporters of the Dalai Lama.

April 27: The United States President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore met the Dalai Lama at the White House and discussed issues relating to Tibet. Commenting on the meeting, the President said, "The administration continues to urge Beijing and the Dalai Lama to revive a dialogue between them and presses China to address human rights abuses in Tibet."

May 26: The British Government's Far Eastern Department issued its policy paper on Tibet. The paper stated: "We have stressed to the Chinese authorities the need for fuller autonomy in Tibet. We believe that a solution to the problem of Tibet can best be found through dialogue between the Chinese government and the Tibetan people including the Dalai Lama. It is disappointing that despite both sides? stated willingness to enter into dialogue, talks have not yet taken place. We will continue to encourage the Chinese authorities to begin a dialogue without preconditions."

May 28: The US government extended one more year the Most Favored Nation status.

June 1: The European community and its member states issued a joint statement from Copenhagen on a weeklong visit to Tibet in May 1993 by their Heads of Mission and senior diplomats in Beijing. It said that the EU community and its member states believed that the problem of Tibet could be best resolved through dialogue between the Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama and his representatives, and urged both sides to engage in dialogue without preconditions.

June 1: The Tibetan government's response to the China's White Paper on Tibet, entitled, Tibet: Proving Truth from Facts, was released by Kalon Tashi Wangdi at a press conference in New Delhi.

June: Dharamsala sent a two-member delegation--Kalon Gyalo Thondup and DIIR Secretary Sonam Topgyal--to China to clear the misunderstandings raised by the Chinese leaders during their meeting with Gyalo Thondup. The delegation carried a 13-point memorandum from the Dalai Lama, addressed to Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin. In the memorandum, the Dalai Lama chronicled his efforts to resolve the problem of Tibet through peaceful negotiations and said, "If we Tibetans obtain our basic rights to our satisfaction, then we are not incapable of seeing the possible advantages of living with the Chinese."

July: In late July, the delegation returned to Dharamsala, considerably encouraged by their impression in China. Kalon Gyalo Thondup informed the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile that there had been a change in the Chinese attitude, although not all the members of the Kashag were convinced of this.

Aug 25: Quoting a spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Xinhua News Agency said: "The affairs of Tibet are an internal business of China's and the door of negotiations between the central government and the Dalai Lama remains widely open. Except independence of Tibet, all other questions can be negotiated." At the same time, the Reuters' report from New Delhi quoted Chinese Ambassador Cheng Ruisheng as having said that early talks with the Tibetan leaders were not likely. In the same month, China severed all formal channels of communication with Dharamsala.

Sep 9: During a press conference in Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wu Jianmin said, "The central government's channel for contact with the representatives of the Dalai Lama is open and its door for talks with the Dalai Lama is also open. We hope that the Dalai Lama will abandon his stand for independence in order to create a good atmosphere for contact and talks with the central government."

1994

March 10: In this statement on the 10 March anniversary, the Dalai Lama expressed his frustration over the lack of positive response to his Middle Way Approach and said that if his policy did not bring any concrete result, he would consult the Tibetan people on the future of course of Tibetan struggle.

April 28: The Dalai Lama met with President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore in the White House. The White House stated that President Clinton met the Dalai Lama "to inquire about efforts to initiate a dialogue with the Chinese leadership" among other topics. It also said, "The United States continues to urge high level talks between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama."

July 20-23: Third Forum on Work in Tibet was held, presided over by Jiang Zemin. The third forum hardened its policies on Tibet, and criticized the first two forums initiated by CPC Secretary General Hu Yaobang as too lenient on Tibet.

July 22: Qian Qichen, the Chinese Foreign Minister, declared "a dialogue is possible with the Dalai Lama if he does not engage in activities aimed at the independence of Tibet."

July 28: China has renewed its offer of talks with the Dalai Lama. President Jiang Zemin, addressing a conference on Tibet, said: "Our attitude towards the Dalai Lama is that, provided he gives up the idea of Tibetan independence and stops his attempts to split the country, he is welcome to come back any time" (The Daily Telegraph, 07/28/94). The conditional offer of talks is nothing new, but it is rare for it to be made by the head of state and given extensive media coverage.

1995

March 10: The Dalai Lama advised his people to conduct a referendum to choose a particular course of freedom struggle. He told that he would remain committed to his Middle Way approach. He said, "Many Tibetans have voiced unprecedented criticism of my suggestion that we should compromise on the issue of total independence. Moreover, the failure of the Chinese government to respond positively to my conciliatory proposal has deepened the sense of impatience and frustration among my people. Therefore, I proposed the last year that this issue be submitted to a referendum. However, as long as I lead our freedom struggle, there will be no deviation from the path of non-violence."

May 14: The Dalai Lama announced the recognition of a boy born in Lhari County, Tibet, as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Rinpoche, who died in 1989. He named the boy Gendun Choekyi Nyima. The announcement shocked and provoked the Chinese. The Sino-Tibetan relations strained. On 17 May, the Chinese kidnapped the boy and since then the boy has disappeared.

Nov 29: In condition of great secrecy, the Chinese held a ceremony in the Jokhang Temple and selected a boy named Gyaltsen Norbu, who was born in 13 February 1990 in Lhari Country, Tibet to parents were members of the Communist Party of China, for the post of Panchen Rinpoche. Nine days later the boy was enthroned at Tashilhunpo at the 11th Panchen Rinpoche. On 8 December, Gyaltsen Norbu was installed on the throne at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.

1997

February: Deng Xiaoping died in Beijing. The same day the Dalai Lama regretted: "I very much regret that serious negotiations on the issue of Tibet could not take place during Deng Xiaoping's life time. The absence of Deng provides new opportunities and challenges for both the Tibetans the Chinese. I hope the Chinese leadership will realize the wisdom of resolving the issue of Tibet through negotiations in a spirit of reconciliation and compromise. True stability must be based on mutual trust, consent and benefit for all concerned, not on the use of force."

July: The Clinton Administration announces its intention to establish a new position in the Department of State, Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, to handle the Tibetan issue. A central objective of the position is to promote dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government to resolve the issue of Tibet.

October: During the US-China Summit in Washington, D.C., President Clinton presses Chinese President Jiang Zemin to initiate talks with the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan problem emerges as one of the top issues that the American people identify with Sino-U.S. relations.

Oct 31: Mr. Greg Craig is appointed the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issue at the US Department of State.

1998

January: Leading pro-democracy dissident Wei Jingsheng says that while Tibet should be a part of China, like Taiwan and Hong Kong, it should have complete autonomy with a directly-elected government. He says that Beijing should begin talks with the Dalai Lama. Wei hopes to meet the Dalai Lama when he visits the US in March or April (Agence France Presse, 01/14/98).

April 30: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright makes it clear to President Jiang Zemin that Tibet is a high priority of the U.S. government for the June Summit in Beijing. "What we urge is a dialogue with the Dalai Lama," Albright told a news conference after her meeting.

June 27: US President Bill Clinton urges Jiang Zemin to meet the Dalai Lama and open talks with him, during a press conference in Beijing. Televised live throughout China, Jiang Zemin admits to the existence of unofficial channels of communication, saying, "Just now, President Clinton also mentioned the Tibetan issue and the dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Actually, as long as the Dalai Lama can publicly make a statement and a commitment that Tibet is an inalienable part of China and that he must also recognize Taiwan as a province of China, then the door to dialogue and negotiation is open. Actually, we are having several channels of communications with the Dalai Lama. So I hope the Dalai Lama will make positive response in this regard.

1999

Feb 14: The Dalai Lama said that the existing, informal channels of Sino-Tibetan communications had come to a complete halt.

March 10: In his official statement on 10 March, the Dalai Lama appealed to governments, parliaments and friends to continue their support and efforts with renewed dedication and vigour. He said: "I strongly believe that such expressions of international concern and support are essential. They are vital in communicating a sense of urgency to the leadership in Beijing and in persuading them to address the issue of Tibet in a serious and constructive manner."

Oct 25: In his written interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro on the eve of his visit to France, Chinese President Jiang Zemin told that the Dalai Lama must truly give up his advocacy of independence of Tibet and stop his activities to "split the motherland". Reiterating his preconditions, President Jiang said: "Dalai Lama must also openly declare that Tibet is an inalienable part of China and recognise that Taiwan is a province of China and the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing whole China. only on this basis will the Central Government open talks with Dalai Lama over his personal future."

2000

March 10: In his 10 March anniversary statement, the Dalai Lama seeks autonomous Tibet within the framework of PRC.

July 3-18: Gyalo Thondup once more made a personal visit to China to reconnect the PRC and Tibetan government in exile for dialogue. He met the officials of the United Front Work Department.

September: The Dalai Lama sent a proposal to China through the Chinese Embassy in Delhi of sending a delegation to China for talks.

2001

Jan 28: The Dalai Lama told AFP that his latest efforts to send a delegation to China to pursue a substantial dialogue with Chinese leaders had produced no response from Beijing. The Dalai Lama's elder brother had traveled to Beijing in late October--reopening contact after a two-year freeze--after which the Dalai Lama proposed sending a full delegation to the Chinese capital. He said the Chinese welcomed his brother to come again, but the Dalai Lama added, "If my brother goes again, some people might get the wrong impression. "This is an issue for the whole Tibetan community, so sending some people from a Tibetan organization would be more appropriate."

March 10: The Dalai Lama reiterated that he would remain committed to his Middle Way Approach and non-violence to solve the Tibetan issue. He says, "I truly believe that a resolution of Tibetan issue along the lines of my approach will bring satisfaction to the Tibetan people and greatly contribute to stability and unity in the PRC."

March 31: The Dalai Lama began a 10-day visit to Taiwan at the invitation of the Chinese Buddhist Association of Taiwan. Before departure from Dharamshala, he told the press on 28 March that China had no cause to be concerned about his 10-day visit. His Holiness further said, "My main goal is to meet the Buddhist community there and explain about Tibetan Buddhism ... if they [Chinese leaders] know the reality and look at my activities from a wider perspective, then I don't see any reason for them to be concerned."

2002

January: In January 2002, the envoys of the Dalai Lama met outside of China with Chinese officials responsible for Tibet policy. This was the first face-to-face meeting since August 1993.

March 10: The Dalai Lama asked the Chinese leadership to have the courage, wisdom and vision to solve the Tibetan issue through dialogue. He said that he is committed to the process of dialogue.

Sep 2: On the occasion of the 42nd Anniversary of the Tibetan Democracy Day, the Kashag of the Tibetan Administration-in-exile, in a statement, urged all the Tibetans to extend their support towards the realization of a united existence of the three provinces with genuine autonomy and proper democratic system through a negotiated settlement with leadership of Beijing on the basis of the Dalai Lama's Five Point Peace Plan and Strasbourg Proposal.

Sep 9-24: Following a nine-year impasse, contact between Beijing and the Tibetan-government-in-exile resumes when the Dalai Lama's Special Envoy, Lodi Gyari, leads a delegation of four to Beijing and Lhasa. The trip is intended to create an atmosphere conducive for substantive negotiations. The team includes Kelsang Gyaltsen, Envoy of the Dalai Lama and two senior assistants, Sonam N. Dagpo and Bhuchung K. Tsering.

Sep 30: The Kashag issued an appeal to all the Tibetans and TSGs in the US to refrain from all sorts of violent protests during the Chinese President Jiang's forthcoming visit to the US in october this year, to create an atmosphere for Sino-Tibetan dialogue.

Sep 30: President Bush signed into law a foreign policy bill that includes the Tibetan Policy Act. The Tibetan Policy Act expresses both programmatic and political support for the Tibetan people, including that the President and Secretary of State should initiate steps to encourage the Government of the People's Republic of China to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet; and after such an agreement is reached, the President and Secretary of State should work to ensure compliance with the agreement.

Oct 1: US President George W. Bush signed the Tibet Policy Act (TPA) which established in law the position of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues at the State Department with the central objective to "promote substantive dialogue between the government of the People's Republic of China and the Dalai Lama or his representatives."

Oct 18: Kalon Tripa issued a clarification on his appeal made to the Tibetans and TSGs asking them not to hold demonstrations against the Chinese, as his appeal has been taken as directives. The notice said, "I was rather surprised and saddened to discover that some of our friends had misunderstood my appeal and called it a "directive" or "order", thus creating misgivings in the minds of many people, who had not read my communication carefully."

2003

March 10: In his official statement on 10 March, the Dalai Lama expressed happiness over the re-establishment of direct contact with the Chinese leadership with the visit of his envoys to Beijing last September and said, "I had instructed my envoys to make every effort to pursue a course of dialogue with the leadership in Beijing and to seize every opportunity to dispel existing misunderstandings and misconceptions in Beijing about our views and positions. This is the only sensible, intelligent and human way to resolve differences and establish understanding." His Holiness further said, "It is my sincere hope that the Chinese leadership will find the courage, vision and wisdom for new openings to solve the Tibetan issue through dialogue."

May 25-June 8: A second round of talks was held between envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership during the Tibetan envoy's visit to Beijing and parts of Tibet. The Tibetans described the trips as "confidence building measures".

2004

March 10: In his official statement on 10 March, the Dalai Lama expressed willingness to meet with today's leaders of the People's Republic of China in the effort to secure a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibetan issue. While welcoming the present process of dialogue between his envoys and their Chinese counterparts, He said, "I consider it of highest importance to maintain the momentum and to intensify and deepen this process through regular face-to-face meetings and substantive discussions."

May 23: The Chinese government issues a 30-page White Paper on Tibet aimed at dampening expectations by Tibetans for genuine autonomy. The White Paper is seen as a negotiating tactic that underscores the resistance of hardliners to move forward in good faith.

Sep 12-29: A third round of talks is held between envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership in Beijing. The international community views these visits as positive steps forward, but few governments make legitimate efforts to bring both parties to the negotiation table.

2005

Jan 15: The 12th Kashag created a new unit in its Secretariat for the Task Force on Negotiation (TFN), following the three visits to China and Tibet by the envoys of the Dalai Lama to discuss the Tibetan issue. Its main function will be to provide logistics to the TFN which grew from a five-member team to ten-member team with inclusion of Kasur Tempa Tsering, Kasur Tashi Wangdi, Mevo Gonpo Tso, a former Domed deputy, Dawa Tsering, head of the China Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations, and Dr. Kunchok Tsundue, Chief Planning Officer of the CTA's Planning Commission.

The TFN secretariat may be assigned the responsibility of documenting the visits and dialogues of the TFN and arranging meetings of the TFN.

March 10 : In his 10 March anniversary statement, the Dalai Lama reasserted his commitment to the Middle Way Policy. He says, "I once again want to reassure the Chinese authorities that as long as I am responsible for the affair of Tibet we remain fully committed to the Middle Way Approach of not seeking independence for Tibet and are willing to remain within the People's Republic of China."

March 10: On the occasion of the 46th Anniversary of the Tibetan People's Uprising Day on 10 March 2005, the Kashag, in a statement, said, "In essence, the entirety of the Tibetan population having legitimate rights within the constitutional framework of the People's Republic of China to enjoy genuine national regional autonomy is the legitimate requirement of the Tibetan people. Therefore, the need of such an autonomy, equally and uniformly practised amidst all the Tibetan people, has already been emphasised; notjust once but many times. We would like to once again state that this basic principle cannot be changed at all."

June 30-July 1: A fourth round of meetings between the Tibetan representatives and the Chinese leadership is held in Bern, Switzerland. The Tibetans say that the trip is designed to "move the ongoing process to a new level of engagement aimed at bringing about substantive negotiations to achieve a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibetan issue". Meanwhile, China continues publicly criticize the Dalai Lama and reiterates its long-standing preconditions to negotiations.

July 10: During a visit to China, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asks Chinese leaders to "reach out to the Dalai Lama", saying that the exiled Tibetan leader is no threat to China.

Sep 3: Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche requested the Tibetans and the Tibet Support Groups in the United States not to stage protests when China President Hu Jintao visits that country later this month, citing that the efforts to resolve the issue of Tibet has reached a crucial "make or break" stage. He said, "Over aggressive agitations like burning the national flag of China will achieve no more than further hardening and alienating the attitude of the Chinese leaders.

Oct 11: In its annual report for 2005, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China said, "The future of Tibetans and their religion, language, and culture depends on fair and equitable decisions about future policies that can only be achieved through dialogue. The Dalai Lama is essential to this dialogue. To help the parties build on visits and dialogue held in 2003, 2004, and 2005, the President and the Congress should urge the Chinese government to move the current dialogue toward deeper, substantive discussions with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, and encourage direct contact between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership."

2006

Feb 15: Envoys of the Dalai Lama visit China from February 15 to 23, 2006 and took part in the fifth round of talks with their Chinese counterparts in Guilin, Guangxi Province of China. In a press statement following the visit, Special Envoy Lodi Gyari said, "This round of discussion also made it clear that there is a major difference even in the approach in addressing the issue. However, we remain committed to the dialogue process and are hopeful that progress will be possible by continuing the engagement."

March 10: In his official statement on 10 March, the Dalai Lama made public the fact that his envoys have informed the Chinese Government of his desire to go on a pilgrimage to China. In the statement, the Dalai Lama said, "my envoys reiterated my wish to visit China on a pilgrimage. As a country with a long history of Buddhism, China has many sacred pilgrim sites. As well as visiting the pilgrim sites, I hope to be able to see for myself the changes and developments in the People's Republic of China."

The Dalai Lama also said, "... in the fifth round of talks held a few weeks ago, the two sides were able to clearly identify the areas of major differences and the reasons thereof. They were also able to get a sense of the conditions necessary for resolving the differences."

April 3: The Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration issued the third appeal to the Tibetan people and Tibet supporters to restrain from actions that create personal embarrassment to Chinese leaders. The statement said, "President Hu Jintao will soon pay an official visit to America this month and the Kashag would like to once again strongly appeal with utmost importance and emphasis to all the Tibetans and Tibet Support Groups to refrain from any activities, including staging of protest demonstrations causing embarrassment to him. This appeal is not only to create a conducive atmosphere for negotiations but also not to cause embarrassment and difficulty to His Holiness the Dalai Lama whose visit coincides with President Hu Jintao's visit to America."

April 3: The official China Daily reported that a senior Chinese official on religious affairs, Ye Xiaowen (director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs), said that China could discuss a possible visit by the Dalai Lama to China and that the visit was not impossible for consideration. Ye made the statement on the sidelines of a seminar held in Beijing.

China Daily, however, reported Ye as saying this is conditional to the Dalai Lama completely dropping "his pursuit of Tibetan "independence."

April 14: The United States Congress received the State Department's mandatory annual Report on Tibet Negotiations. The report detailed the initiatives taken by Administration officials, from President Bush to the Secretary of State and others officials, to encourage substantive negotiations between envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership.

May 11: Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Craig Thomas (R WY) introduced the 14th Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Act, as part of a campaign to award the Dalai Lama, Tibet's leader in exile, the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the U.S. government's highest honors. This Act is to award a congressional gold medal to the Dalai Lama of Tibet in recognition of his many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, non-violence, human rights, and religious understanding.

May 25: The United States Senate passed the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Act (S 2784) without amendment by unanimous consent.

Aug 15: Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, who was re-elected to a second term as the Chairman of the Cabinet of the Central Tibetan Administration, said that he will make more efforts towards dialogue with the Chinese leadership based on the Dalai Lama's Middle Way Approach. In a statement following the taking of oath of office for his new term before the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, Rinpoche said, "It is clear to me that the recent electoral mandate is not for an individual but is a show of support for me and my administration's steadfast commitment to the mutually beneficial Middle-Way policy and the programmes initiated by us during the past five years. Consequently, I am more determined and will courageously pursue these policies and programmes."

Sep 13: The US House of Representatives passed a bill to award the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal. The bill enjoyed broad bipartisan support, with 387 cosponsors drawn from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate, representing more than two-thirds of Congress. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Representative Tom Lantos (D-CA) were the principal sponsors of this resolution.

Nov. 13: A senior administration official said that President George Bush will meet President Hu Jintao during the APEC summit in Vietnam this week during which he will stress the importance of "a strong dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama to move toward some resolution of a very longstanding issue." Giving a background briefing at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C. on President Bush's trips to Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, the Senior Administration Official responded to a question on issues that will come up during his meeting with President Hu Jintao, saying, "I'm sure the issue, as it has before, the Dalai Lama will come up between the two leaders because of the importance that we have placed on believing that a dialogue needs to be a strong dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama to move toward some resolution of a very longstanding issue."

Nov. 14: Special Envoy Lodi Gyari gives a major briefing on the current status of discussions with the Chinese Government at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He said, "Some detractors in the Chinese Government seem to believe that the aspirations of the Tibetan people will fizzle out once the Dalai Lama passes away. This is a most dangerous and myopic approach. Certainly, the absence of the Dalai Lama would be devastating for the Tibetan people. But more importantly his absence would mean that China would be left to handle the problem without the presence of a leader who enjoys the loyalty of the entire community and who remains firmly committed to non-violence. It is certain that the Tibetan position would become more intractable in his absence, and that having had their beloved leader pass away in exile would create deep and irreparable wounds in the hearts of the Tibetan people." He further added, "The Dalai Lama's world view, his special bond with the Tibetan people and the respect he enjoys in the international community all make the person of the Dalai Lama key both to achieving a negotiated solution to the Tibetan issue and to peacefully implementing any agreement that is reached. This is why we have consistently conveyed to our Chinese counterparts that far from being the problem, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the solution."

2007

Feb 6: Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet (Kalon Tripa), paid a courtesy call on Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Tom Lantos.

Feb 15: The Canadian Parliament, meeting in the Capitol city of Ottawa, adopted a motion by unanimous consent that "urges the Government of the People's Republic of China and the representatives of Tibet's government in exile, notwithstanding their differences on Tibet's historical relationship with China, to continue their dialogue in a forward-looking manner that will lead to pragmatic solutions that respect the Chinese constitutional framework, the territorial integrity of China and fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people for a unified and genuinely autonomous Tibet."

The motion was introduced by Ms. Peggy Nash, a Member of Parliament from Toronto where most Tibetans in Canada reside. The draft resolution has been championed by Senator Consiglio Di Nino, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, as an initiative that parliamentarians around the world could take up in their own legislatures.

Feb 15: The European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, France, adopted a resolution on the dialogue between the Chinese Government and Envoys of the Dalai Lama. The comprehensive resolution includes recommendations to the European Union on a more vigorous approach in support of the dialogue and, specifically, "urges the government of the People's Republic of China and the Dalai Lama to continue and resume, notwithstanding their differences on certain substantive issues, the dialogue without preconditions and in a forward-looking manner that allows for pragmatic solutions that respects the territorial integrity of China and fulfils the aspirations of the Tibetan people."

March 10: The Dalai Lama in his statement on the anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising, said, "Since the resumption of direct contacts between the Tibetans and Chinese in 2002, my representatives have conducted five rounds of comprehensive discussion with concerned officials of the People's Republic of China. In these discussions, both sides were able to express in clear terms the suspicions, doubts and real difficulties that exist between the two sides. These rounds of discussion have thus helped in creating a channel of communication between the two sides. The Tibetan delegation stands ready to continue the dialogue anytime, anywhere. The Kashag will provide the details in its statement."

March 10: United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that 'A negotiated agreement' between Tibetan envoys and Chinese authorities 'would ensure internal stability in Tibet and bolster China's reputation in the world.'

In a statement released on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10, 2007, Pelosi said that 'The lack of progress on freedom and human rights in Tibet is an international concern.? Saying that the Chinese government is stalling in the negotiations, Pelosi said it is critical for these discussions to resume as soon as possible.'

March 13: The House International Affairs Committee of the United States Congress holds a hearing on "Tibet: Status of the Sino-Tibetan Dialogue." Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky, who is the US Special Coordinator on Tibetan Issues; Special Envoy Lodi Gyari; and ICT Chairman Richard Gere, testify at the hearing. Gyari testified that the dialogue process with the Chinese leadership has reached a stage where "if there is the political will on both sides, we have an opportunity to finally resolve

this issue." In his statement, Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the Committee, said, "Beijing must understand that the stalemate in the Tibetan talks is not in China's own interests. With each day that the Chinese government refuses to enter into serious dialogue over the issue of Tibet and fails to take tangible steps to provide true autonomy to the Tibetan people within the borders of the People's Republic of China, the stain on the moral authority of China grows broader and deeper." He added, "China must meet the good faith efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his envoys with good faith of its own. China states that it is a country dedica-ted to peace as it develops and strengthens. Proof of its "peaceful rise" must first come from within its own borders."

March 16: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in Beijing that the "The door (of dialogue) is always open" referring to the talks with the Dalai Lama. Wen made the remarks at a press conference held following the conclusion of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature. Wen said, "as long as he recognizes Tibet is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, and as long as he gives up his attempts to split the country, we are willing to carry out consultations and dialogue on his personal future."

April 25: The Congressional Human Rights Caucus, headed by Representative Tom Lantos and Representative Frank Wolf, held a briefing "On the Panchen Lama's 18th Birthday: A Look at Religion in Tibet Today." Lodi Gyari, Special Envoy of H.H. the Dalai Lama, Commissioner Felice Gaer of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, T. Kumar of Amnesty International, Mickey Spiegel, Human Rights Watch, and Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet testified at the briefing.

April 26: The European Parliament adopted its Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2006 in which it "calls on the Council and the Commission to raise the issue of Tibet and to actively support the strengthening of the dialogue between the Chinese Government and envoys of the Dalai Lama".

April 27: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi goes to San Francisco to meet with the Dalai Lama who is on a visit there. This is Pelosi's first meeting with the Dalai Lama after becoming the Speaker. Pelosi took the opportunity to express her continued support for the current dialogue on Tibet's future between the Dalai Lama's representatives and Beijing, during a frank and warm conversation.

May 10: Special Envoy gives a briefing on the status of the negotiations with the Chinese leadership at the French Think Tank, Asia Centre, in Paris. Talking about the five rounds of talks held so far, he says, "These have gone a long way towards establishing a climate of openness that is essential to reaching mutually agreeable decisions regarding the future of the Tibetan and Chinese people. It is our belief that these discussions should continue so that we can finally resolve the problem to our mutual satisfaction. Towards this end, we have been taking several initiatives to create a congenial atmosphere for the talks."

June 29-July 5: Special Envoy Lodi G. Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, accompanied by two members of the Task Force, Sonam N. Dagpo and Bhuchung K. Tsering, visited China for the sixth round of discussions with the Chinese leadership. During this trip three sessions of discussion were held over a day and a half in Shanghai and Nanjing. The Executive Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, Zhu Weiqun, and the Vice Minister, Sithar (who has been recently promoted to this post), led the discussions from the Chinese side. The Tibetan delegation conveyed their serious concerns in the strongest possible manner on the overall Tibetan issue and made some concrete proposals for implementation if the dialogue process is to go forward.

Dec 23: The Task Force on Negotiations (TFN) holds its 14th meeting, presided over by Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, attended by the members of the TFN including, Kalon Tripa, Kesang Y Takla, Kalon for the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), Kalon Tempa Tsering, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi, Kasur Tashi Wandi, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New York, Kalon Ngodup Dongchung, Kalon for the Department of Security, Lodi Gyari, special envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, Kasur Tenzin Geyche, secretaries of the DIIR and others. In this meeting TFN unit discussed ties between Dharamsala and Beijing and in particular the results of the sixth round of talks with the Chinese leadership held in China from 29 June to 5 July 2007.

2008

April 25: The Kashag released a press statement on Xinhua report of China's willingness to meet the envoys of the Dalai Lama. The statement emphasized on the importance of the Chinese leaderships' understanding of the Dalai Lama's positive role in the Sino-Tibetan dialogue. It expressed the Tibetans eagerness to make a visit to Tibet.

May 4: Special Envoys of the Dalai Lama held an exclusive informal consultation and brain storming session with the Executive Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department and its Vice Minister. The urgent meeting was to discuss the critical situation in Tibet, where the Chinese authorities heavily cracked down on peaceful protests.

June 30-July 5: Dalai Lama's Special Envoy visited China for the seventh round of discussions with the Chinese leadership. The envoys met with Du Qinglin, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on 1 July, and had a daylong discussion with Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun and Vice Minister Sithar on July 2, 2008. Back in India, during a press conference, Gyari said, "We felt disappointed that the Chinese officials are not willing to take the movement forward."

July 18: The Dalai Lama made a press release that the issue of Tibet is the issue of the six million Tibetan people, and it has nothing to do with the personal welbeing of the Dalai Lama.

Oct 30-Nov 5: Gyari Lodro Gyaltsen and Kalsang Gyaltsen, Special Envoys for the Dalai Lama, visited China for the eighth round of discussions with the Chinese leadership. on october 31, he presented the "Memorandum for Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People" to the Chinese leaders. In Beijing they met with Mr. Du Qinglin, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on November 4, 2008. They also had a day-long discussion Mr. Zhu Weiqun, Executive Vice Minister, and Mr. Sithar, Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on November 5, 2008. An official from the Tibet Autonomous Region, Pema Trinley, Executive Vice Governor, was also present in the Chinese side. They had a briefing, organized by the United Front, by experts on Chinese Constitution and the Law on Regional National Autonomy at the China Tibetology Research Center. It was moderated by Mr. Lhakpa Phuntsok, Director of the Center.

Nov 17-22: Special General Meeting was held in Dharamsala, and the main agenda of the meeting was Middle Way Approach of the Dalai Lama for the solution of the Tibetan issue. The meeting concluded with the resolution that the Tibetan people strongly support the Middle Way Approach.

Nov 19: At a press conference in Dharamsala, Gyalo Thondup expressed shock over China's attempt to deny a statement made by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 that "except for independence all other issues can be settled through discussions." He said, "Deng Xiaoping is no longer with us today. But to put the record straight I would like to clarify in front of international media that during my first visit to China in 1979 I met the paramount leader Deng Xiaoping on March 12, 1979. He told me "except independence all other issues can be settled through discussions." A few days before, in response to a Japanese reporter's question whether Deng Xiaoping had stated in the late 70s that "except independence all other issues can be settled through discussions" as repeatedly claimed by the Tibetan side, Mr. Zhu Weiqun, executive ViceMinister of China's Central United Front Work Department, which handles contacts envoys of the Dalai Lama, reportedly said it was not true.

2009

March 10: In his 10 March anniversary statement, the Dalai Lama urged the Chinese government to give genuine national regional autonomy to Tibet, citing that such arrangement is not against the Chinese constitution. He asked the Tibetans to put efforts in making friendship with Chinese and clarify the Tibetan political crisis.

Aug 6-8: A Sino-Tibetan conference 'Finding Common Ground' was held in Geneva attended by Chinese and Tibetan scholars, educators, writers and human rights advocates to make the Sino-Tibetan dialogue process move ahead and reach to the Chinese people. The aims of the conference are to inform the Chinese people about the Tibetan plight and reality of the situation of the Tibetan issue. Addressing the conference, the Dalai Lama said that he wanted to hear from Chinese scholars and people how to solve the Tibetan issue based on the Middle Way Approach.

Sep 26: Lodri Gyaltsen Gyari told Voice Of America's Tibetan Service that His Holiness' delegation does not have any direct contact with the Chinese authorities at present. He added, "Keeping contact with the Chinese authorities is not a hobby, but is necessary for the improvement of the problems of the six million Tibetan people. Keeping contact with the Chinese authorities is important and is not without results.

Nov 3: The Dalai Lama told local media at the Funaya Hotel in Matsuyama, the capital of Shikoku, that, "I am not demanding independence for Tibet. I am seeking only genuine autonomy, as enshrined in the constitution of the People's Republic of China."

2010

Jan 18-20: The Fifth Tibet Work Forum held before the Tibetan exile representatives arrive in China. The meeting was attended by 300 members of the Party, government and military.

Jan 20-21: Two day meeting of the Task Force on Negotiation was held at Gyankyi to discuss the ninth round of Sino-Tibetan dialogue to be held in Beijing a few days later.

Jan 22: Special Envoys met with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala before they left for Beijing for the ninth round of talks with the Chinese leadership.

Jan 26-31: Special Envoys, accompanied by Tenzin Atisha and Buchung K Tsering from the Task Force on Negotiation and Jim Passang from the Task Force Secretariat, visited China for the ninth round of discussions with the Chinese leadership. The Envoys presented "Note to the Memorandum" to clarify the concerns and misinterpretation on the Memorandum by the Chinese leadership. The Envoys called upon the Chinese side to stop the baseless accusations against the Dalai Lama and labelling him a separatist. Instead, urge the Chinese leadership to work with him to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibetan problem based on the Memorandum.

Feb 10: Returning to Dharamsala after holding the ninth round of talks with the Chinese authorities in Beijing, Lodi Gyari, the head of the Tibetan delegation, issued a statement. In it he said, "In Beijing, we had a session with Mr. Du Qinglin, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference as well as Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on January 30. We had a day-long discussion with Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun and Vice Minister Sithar on January 31, 2010. Mr. Nyima Tsering, a Vice Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region People's Congress, also participated in these meetings." He also said, "We called upon the Chinese side to stop the baseless accusations against His Holiness and labeling him a separatist. Instead, we urge the Chinese leadership to work with him to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibetan problem based on the Memorandum. This will ensure stability, unity and the development of a harmonious society. The Chinese side laid out "Four Not to Indulge In" points to outline their position. They also provided us with a detailed briefing on recent developments relating to Tibet, particularly on the important Fifth Tibet Work Forum."

Feb 18: The Dalai Lama met with US President obama in the White House. The White House's statement noted that the "President commended the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" approach, his commitment to nonviolence and his pursuit of dialogue with the Chinese government." This appears to be the first time that a White House has specifically praised the 'Middle Way' approach, the Dalai Lama's long-standing effort to protect Tibet's identity through negotiation of autonomy within the People's Republic of China.

March 10: The Dalai Lama advised Tibetans everywhere to build closer relations with the Chinese people and try to make them aware of the truth of the Tibetan cause and the present situation in Tibet.

March 23-25: The 21st meeting of the Task Force on Negotiation held at Dharamsala, presided by the Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche.

Sep 20: Reaffirming its policy on encouraging direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government, the US government said that "dialogue is the best way to resolve the issue of Tibet. our policy on Tibet is that we have engaged very intensively with the Chinese in support of building a dialogue more directly between the Dalai Lama and Tibetans and the government in Beijing," US Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg said in response to a question after delivering a speech on "Impact of US-China Relations in Asia". "I think ultimately these issues have to be resolved between dialogue between the two of them. We don't think these are issues that outsiders can resolve," he said, adding that the Obama Administration thinks that dialogue will be in everyone's interest. "So we have strongly encouraged that. "The issues of religious and cultural rights in Tibet are a part of the US government's broader commitments to human rights, he said."So we think within the framework of dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama as represented is the best way to try to address those issues," he said.

Dec 18: Following serious concerns expressed by the EU, US and Canada about the wave of self-immolations by Tibetans, the British government has strongly called for the resumption of meaningful dialogue to resolve the underlying grievances of Tibetan communities. Foreign office Minister Hugo Swire said: "We urge the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint. At the same time, I join Baroness Ashton in calling on Tibetans not to resort to extreme forms of protest such as self-immolation, and urge their community and religious leaders to use their influence to stop this tragic loss of life. We strongly support the resumption of meaningful dialogue to resolve the underlying grievances of Tibetan communities."

Dec 5: The EU urged Chinese authorities to allow free access to all Tibetan areas for diplomats as well as for international journalists, while encouraging the resumption of a meaningful dialogue between Tibetan and Chinese representatives.

2011

Jan 20: During a Chinese Business Council in Washington, US, Hu Jintao urged that the US must recognize that Taiwan and Tibet are "issues that concern China's territorial integrity and China's core interests."

March 10: The Dalai Lama expressed his hopelessness regarding the ongoing Sino-Tibetan dialogue due to lack of positive response from the Chinese leadership, but he reconfirmed that the stand to continue the dialogue would continue.

June 5: The US government has reaffirmed its policy to promote a substantive dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives, and to help sustain Tibet's unique religious, linguistic and cultural heritages.

Aug 22-28: Lodi Gyari, Special Envoy of the Dalai Lama in Washington visited Australia on the invitation of Tibet Information Office and Australia Tibet Council. Gyari met government officials, members of Parliament, scholars, members of Tibetan community, Tibet Support Group members, Chinese scholars and democracy activists and shared his views on the state of Sino-Tibetan dialogue and on recent changes in the Tibetan political system in exile. In Canberra, the capital of Australia, Kasur Gyari was invited to brief the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on the status of the dialogue process with China, the Dalai Lama's recent devolution of his political power to the elected Tibetan leadership.

Oct 10: The 23rd one-day meeting of the Task Force on Negotiations (TFN) was held today at the Kashag Secretariat in Dharamsala. Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay presided over the meeting to review the dialogue process held between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and the representatives of the government of People's Republic of China. Members attending the meeting include the Dalai Lama's special envoys Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen; Dicki Choyang, Kalon for the Department of Information & International Relations; Ngodup Dongchung, Kalon for Department of Security; Kasur Tempa Tsering, Dalai Lama's Representative in New Delhi and other members based in India.

2012

May 30-31: At the Special Task Force meeting in Dharamsala, the two envoys submitted their resignation. They cited their reasons, "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. Furthermore, the United Front did not respond positively to the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People presented in 2008 and its Note in 2010. One of the key Chinese interlocutors in the dialogue process even advocated abrogation of minority status as stipulated in the Chinese constitution thereby seeming to remove the basis of autonomy. At this particular time, it is difficult to have substantive dialogue," stated the two envoys in their resignation letter.

June 3: The Kashag announced that Sikyong Lobsang Sangay had accepted the resignations of Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen as the envoys for the Dalai Lama in negotiations with the Chinese authorities.

June 20: The Dalai Lama, in an interview with the Reuters at the Houses of Parliament in central London, said that there is nothing coming from the dialogue with the Chinese government until and until the Chinese are serious in solving the Sino-Tibetan issue. He said, "Unless they [Chinese leaders] start a realistic approach for the Tibetan problem inside Tibet, there's not much to discuss." He added that a shift towards democracy and better human rights in China were inevitable but instead of dealing with these actions the Chinese government find it "easier just to suppress".

Dec 29-30: A two-day International Sino-Tibetan Dialogue Conference was held at Bankstown Sports Club, NSW. The conference was organized by Sino-Tibet Study Group, New York and ChineseTibetan Friendship Association, Sydney. About 100 Tibetan and Chinese scholars, human rights activists, media and students from the US, Europe, Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and India participated in the conference. Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in-Exile was the chief guest. At the end of the conference Sydney Declaration was announced. The Declaration supported the legitimate rights of the Tibetan people for independence and appreciated the Dalai Lama's Middle Way Approach to resolve the issue of Tibet.

Dec 31: A two-day meeting of the Task Force was held, chaired by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay. The meeting reviewed the deepening political crisis in Tibet, specifically the tragic spate of self-immolations, and discussed the urgent need for peaceful resolution of the issue of Tibet. The status of Sino-Tibetan dialogue and the procedure for appointment of envoys of the Dalai Lama was also discussed. The Task Force will be reconstituted with additional new members, and a meeting will be convened soon after the National People's Congress session in March this year, when the new Chinese leadership will assume full responsibility.

2013

Sep 5-7: A three-day meeting of the Task Force on Negotiations was held at the Kashag Secretariat in Dharamsala. This is the 26th Task Force meeting since its inception and 4th meeting since Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay took leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration. The Task Force on Negotiations has been expanded with inclusion of six new members. The new members are former Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Kasur Lobsang Nyandak, Mr Tashi Phuntsok, Secretary of Department of Information & International Relations, Mr Sonam Tsering Frasi, former member of Tibetan Parliamentin-Exile, Mr Phagpa Tsering, Deputy Director of Tibet Policy Insitute and Mr Kunga Tashi, Chinese Liaison Officer, Office of Tibet, New York.

Nov 29: Ten MPs from all Icelandic political parties except Prime Minister Sigmundur DavfS Gunnlaugsson's Progressive Party submitted a parliamentary resolution encouraging the Chinese government to resume peace talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives. The MPs suggest that peace talks could take place in Iceland. (ruv.is and Iceland Review Online report)

References

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Gyaltso, Tenzin. Path to Freedom.

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-- China's Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, 1978-1990: Prenegotiation Stage or Dead End?" Pacific Asia, University of British Columbia University. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2759468?seq=2

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Date:Sep 22, 2013
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