A State Department spokesman said yesterday that the U.S. is “encouraged” by recent visits of the Dalai Lama’s envoys to China and Tibet and hopeful that the process will lead to substantive dialogue towards a resolution on Tibet.

Text of the briefing transcript:

Question: Could you confirm the visit by the Dalai Lama to the Secretary and also to Secretary Dobriansky?

Mr. Boucher: The Dalai Lama, as a Nobel Laureate and a revered religious leader, will be in Washington for the events surrounding the second anniversary of the September 11th attacks. During his previous visit in 2001, he met with both the President and Secretary Powell. He’ll meet with appropriate U.S. officials this time in his capacity as a religious leader.

The Secretary will see him on Wednesday morning. I would expect Undersecretary Dobriansky to see him as well, but I don’t have a time for that meeting as well.

I would also say that we’re encouraged by the two visits that envoys from the Dalai Lama made to China over the past year. We hope that this process leads to a substantive dialogue and a resolution of their longstanding areas of difference.

The United States recognizes Tibet as part of China, in case you want to know.

Question: Thank you very much. One last thing. Sorry, thanks for your patience.

The Dalai Lama said he wants to go visit Tibet with no preconditions. The Chinese Government said he has to admit China — Tibet is part of China as a condition to go. Do you take a position on that?

Mr. Boucher: We have taken the position as far as the status of Tibet that I just gave you. In terms of dialogue, progress and discussions between the Chinese and the Tibetan envoys, I think we’ll have to leave that to them.


Question: Are you going to take a position on the preconditions under which the Dalai Lama should be allowed to visit —

Mr. Boucher: I said, as far as those matters, we’ll leave it to them.