BEIJING – China urged the Dalai Lama again on Monday to show support for the Beijing Olympics, in an apparent effort to link the demand more closely with continued talks.
The statement from a Chinese spokesman to the official Xinhua News Agency included other previously issued conditions for talks: that the spiritual leader renounce support for Tibetan independence and that he curb the "violent terrorist" activities of the Tibetan Youth Congress and other "criminal" groups.
Though the basic demands are old, Chinese media have recently been portraying them as a new, concessionary approach. Xinhua's report, which appeared aimed at stating China's position more clearly and publicly, also gave the list of demands a new label, calling them the "four not-supports."
Du Qinglin, head of the United Front Work Department, the department in charge of the talks, told the envoys that the Dalai Lama must "openly and explicitly promise with action not to support activities that disrupt the Beijing Olympics," Xinhua quoted an unnamed spokesman for Du as saying.
The spokesman also said the leader must not support the Tibetan Youth Congress — an exile group that disagrees with the Dalai Lama's stance and supports Tibetan independence.
The Dalai Lama has said he supports the Beijing Olympics, but China has accused him of being insincere.
The leader has also repeatedly denied that he seeks Tibetan independence and said he is committed to nonviolence.
"If the Dalai's side fails to accept and manage such a simple and commonsensical 'four not-supports,' then the necessary atmosphere and conditions could hardly be met for further contact," the spokesman said, according to Xinhua.
The remarks come after meetings last week in Beijing between Chinese officials and two envoys sent by the Dalai Lama from his exile base in India. During the visit, Tibetan envoys Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen took a tour of Olympic venues and met with Du.
A statement issued Saturday from the Tibetan side said another round of talks would take place in October, but said it wished the Chinese leadership had taken "more tangible" steps during the talks. The Chinese side failed to agree to a proposal to issue a joint statement committing the two sides to talks, it said.
It was the second round of such talks, started after deadly anti-government rioting broke out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa in March. Beijing has accused the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and his supporters of fomenting anti-government riots and protests.
Some experts believe Beijing agreed to the talks to ease international criticism that it was too heavy-handed in its response to the March violence.
China says 22 people died in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, while foreign Tibet supporters say many times that number were killed during the demonstrations and a subsequent government crackdown.
China has governed Tibet since communist troops marched into the Himalayan region in the 1950s. he Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid a failed uprising in 1959, has said he wants some form of autonomy that would allow Tibetans to freely practice their culture, language and religion.