The Dalai Lama said on October 22, 2002, that the Chinese authorities are showing a new willingness to renew contact and asked the Tibetan people to recognize this as a positive signal.

Addressing around 800 Tibetans who had gathered in Graz to attend the Kalachakra Initiation, the Dalai Lama said it was important for the Tibetan struggle to show to the international community that we are flexible in order to achieve a mutually beneficial solution to the Tibetan issue, the Tibet Bureau reports.

The Dalai Lama referred to the visit to Tibet and China by Special Envoy Lodi G. Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen in September and the subsequent statement by Kalon Tripa (Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet) Samdhong Rinpoche, which contained an appeal in connection with President Jiang Zemin’s visit to the United States and Mexico.

“We cannot say how this contact will proceed,” the Dalai Lama said. “It is very difficult to say. However, it is better to have a contact than not having at all. We can see how it develops in the following months,” he added.

The Dalai Lama told the Tibetans that when the Chinese authorities are showing a new willingness to renew contact it would be good on the part of Tibetans to reciprocate with restraint.

“During the next few months as Kalon Tripa has appealed, we must recognize the positive signal the Chinese Government made and accordingly the way we express and react becomes crucial,” the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama said the statement by Kalon Tripa was coming from the democratically elected Tibetan leader and deserved serious attention by all Tibetans. “During the next few months if they (the Chinese Government) continue to make more positive progress, that is mutually beneficial to both Tibetans and Chinese, then we need to continue with this positive path. Otherwise, we have to act according to the situation,” he added.