China blasts Dalai Lama over negotiations doubts

China blasts Dalai Lama over negotiations doubts

Beijing: China’s state media launched a scathing attack Tuesday on the Dalai Lama over recent comments expressing doubt over the usefulness of new talks between Beijing and his Tibetan government-in-exile.

The Xinhua News Agency commentary issued Tuesday came as the sides were believed to be preparing for their first negotiations since Beijing hosted the Olympics in August. The Tibetan envoys arrived in Beijing on Thursday, although it is not clear whether any actual talks have taken place.

Previous rounds have produced no substantive results. The Dalai Lama said Monday his efforts to secure Tibetan autonomy have failed to bring positive changes and he is unsure whether new talks will produce any breakthroughs.

“By stressing his ‘disappointment’ over the contacts and negotiations, the Dalai Lama deliberately adopted a pathetic posture only in an attempt to draw public attention and sympathy," Xinhua said.

Questioned whether talks between the sides were under way, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang refused to say.

“I believe the competent authorities will release information in due course," Qin said at a regularly scheduled news conference.

The attack employed Beijing’s standard rhetoric for disparaging the 73-year-old Nobel laureate, but was unusual in its intensity and seemed designed to counter any attempt by his envoys to gain an upper hand going in the talks.

The Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, says he does not seek Tibet’s separation from China but wants meaningful autonomy that would ensure the survival of the Himalayan region’s unique Buddhist culture.