A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said on May 13, 2003, that the issue of Tibet is raised “on a regular basis” in U.S. diplomatic contacts and dialogue with China.

Responding to a question on President Bush’s recently-released Tibet Negotiation Report, Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman of the State Department, told the daily press briefing that while there is no schedule concerning the next step that the Administration will take on the Tibet issue, it is raised with the Chinese government “on a regular basis.”

Following is the relevant transcript from the briefing.

Question: It’s clear from the Tibet Negotiation Report that the administration has been pushing the Tibet issue with the Chinese Government. Can you give us an idea of what the next step in that area might be? Are there more meetings planned?

Mr. Reeker: The report you refer to, of course, is the report we send to Congress as mandated under the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002. It was sent by the White House yesterday.* It discusses steps taken by the President and the Secretary of State to encourage the government of the Peoples’ Republic of China to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, as well as the current situation of negotiations between those two sides.

It was transmitted to congressional leaders May the 8th, in fact, last week, and it is posted on the Department’s website. So if anybody wants to look at it, they should feel free to go to the website and find it there.

In terms of next steps and next meetings, I don’t really have a particular schedule. It is an issue that we bring up. We discuss human rights with China on a regular basis. Tibet is part of that discussion and our concerns about that remain, and it is something we bring up in our diplomatic contacts and dialogue with China.

[*The report was sent by the White House on May 8, 2003.]