The Dalai Lama is expected to meet US President George Bush, the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Congressional leaders during his 10-day visit to Washington, DC, starting from November 8, hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet and the Mind & Life Institute.
In September 2002, Lodi Gyari led a Tibetan delegation representing the Dalai Lama to China to participate in the most serious round of Tibet-China talks since the early 1990s. Since then, the Dalai Lama’s representatives have undertaken four further trips to meet with Chinese officials from the United Front Work Department. In a formal statement following the third visit, which took place in September 2004, Lodi Gyari described the meetings as ‘the most extensive and serious exchange of views’ between the parties to date. The Envoys’ official statement after the latest round of talks in Berne, Switzerland, in July 2005, reported that the Chinese side conveyed the information that: ‘The Central leadership of the Chinese Communist Party attached great importance to the contact with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’ (full statement available here).
Although a section of the Chinese leadership may be holding the view that the Tibet ‘problem’ will disappear when the Dalai Lama dies, there is increasing interest among some Chinese officials and policy-makers in dialogue with the Dalai Lama, with some scholars stating that Beijing risks missing an historic opportunity to permanently resolve the Tibet issue. These scholars maintain that by dealing with the Dalai Lama and finding a mutually satisfactory solution on Tibet with him, the Chinese leadership can ensure the internal stability of China and bolster China’s international image. If the Dalai Lama were to pass away without a solution to the Tibetan issue, China will lose the only partner who has the legitimacy, authority and willingness to consider China’s interests too.
Details of the Newsmaker event and Dalai Lama visit
The National Press Club ‘Afternoon Newsmaker’ News Conference, Wednesday, November 2, 2005 at 2 p.m, National Press Club (Zenger Room). The Special Envoy of the Dalai Lama, Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, will discuss ‘Tibet and China: An historic opportunity for dialogue’.
While in Washington, the Dalai Lama will give a public talk on ‘Global Peace through Compassion’ on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 3pm at the MCI Center.