President George Bush phoned Chinese President Hu Jintao on March 26, 2008 to express his concerns about the situation in Tibet and to call for access to journalists and diplomats to Tibet. Bush also “encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives,” according to a statement by the White House.
Following is the full text of the statement.
Statement by the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 26, 2008
President Bush called President Hu Jintao of China today. The President raised his concerns about the situation in Tibet and encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives and to allow access for journalists and diplomats. On Taiwan, the President said that this weekend’s election provides a fresh opportunity for both sides to reach out and engage one another in peacefully resolving their differences.
The two Presidents also discussed North Korean denuclearization. President Bush expressed appreciation to President Hu for the important role China has played within the Six-Party framework. The two presidents pledged to continue to work closely with the other Six-Party partners in urging North Korea to deliver a complete and correct declaration of all its nuclear weapons programs, and nuclear proliferation activities and to complete the agreed disablement. On Burma, President Bush expressed his concern that the regime intends to hold a referendum that was drafted without input from democratic or ethnic minority groups. He discussed with President Hu the need for the Burmese leadership to make changes to the referendum process to make it free, fair, and credible to the Burmese people and the international community.