US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has telephoned China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi late on March 19, 2008, repeating her pleas for restraint and calling for a dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

“She was able to reiterate very directly with the foreign minister our views urging Chinese restraint in dealing with protestors,” Sean McCormack told reporters of the 20-minute call.

“Nobody wants to see violence … So we have strongly urged Chinese restraint in these regards,” McCormack said.

“She also urged the Chinese government to have a dialogue with the Dalai Lama as we have in the past,” McCormack added.

“Implicit in what we’re saying is that they should engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama and our view is that he is a man of peace and reconciliation,” McCormack said when asked if China should drop preconditions.

“We don’t really get into this issue of preconditions,” the spokesman said.