Thondup, who worked for many years to advance the Dalai Lama’s efforts to begin talks with the Chinese leadership, addressed questions on this issue during a public talk at the International Campaign for Tibet on July 26, 2005.
Giving a broad overview of his involvement, particularly in the period following his meeting with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979, Thondup optimistically supported the present contact between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership, as a continuation of serious attempts by both sides over the years to find a solution to the Tibetan issue.
Among those who attended the reception after the talks were former Congressman Benjamin Gilman and former US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Julia Taft.
In 1959, after the Dalai Lama escaped to India and established the Tibetan government-in-exile, Thondup was much involved in the critical work of foreign affairs. It was during this period that the United Nations General Assembly passed three resolutions on Tibet. In 1979, Thondup began serving as liaison between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government. In June 1991, he was elected to the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) and served as its Chairman and as Minister for Security. Since his departure from the Kashag, Thondup has resided in Hong Kong and India. Although he no longer serves in an official capacity, Gyalo Thondup maintains an active interest in Tibet-China issues. He last visited Washington, D.C. in December 1991.