His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President George W. Bush

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with US President George W. Bush in the White House in Washington, DC on November 9, 2005. (White House)

President George Bush, who visited Beijing on November 19 and 20, 2005, has said that he has urged the Chinese Government to invite the Dalai Lama so that they can hear directly from him about not seeking Tibetan independence.

Addressing the media in Beijing following his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao on November 20, 2005, Bush said he had suggested this so that the Chinese leaders can hear the same thing that the Dalai Lama told him when they met in the White House on November 9, 2005. The Dalai Lama had reiterated to President Bush his commitment to seeking genuine autonomy for Tibetans, under his Middle Way Approach, within the People?s Republic of China.

Following is the full text of the relevant excerpts from President Bush’s remarks.

President’s Remarks to the Travel Pool in China
St. Regis Hotel, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
November 20, 2005

QUESTION: Do you feel that you got the commitments that you sought from President Hu on issues like currency reform and trade? And also, are you concerned about a crackdown reported on Chinese dissidents ahead of your visit?

The PRESIDENT: I’m always concerned about somebody who is trying to express themselves in the public square, express their opinion, being cracked down by a state. And it’s — again, in my discussions with President Hu, I talked about a variety of concerns, one, that the NGOs here in China ought to be treated fairly; secondly, that we have given the Chinese government a list of dissidents that we believe are improperly imprisoned.

I talked about the Dalai Lama. I thought it would be wise for the Chinese government to invite the Dalai Lama so he can tell them exactly what he told me in the White House the other day, that he has no desire for an independent Tibet. I talked about the Catholic Church, the need for this government to invite leaders from the Vatican to come and discuss religious freedoms in China. So we discussed a lot of areas of concern about the condition of the dissidents and people who want to express themselves.