Berlin renews call for China to hold talks with Tibet

16th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier renews his call for China to begin talks on the Tibet question.

16th April 2008

Berlin -A German Foreign Office spokesman said Steinmeier had again called on the leadership in Beijing to launch talks with representatives of Tibetan religion and culture during a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.

The foreign office spokesman said Steinmeier had stressed during the phone conversation that Berlin backed the "one China policy," which essentially accepts that there is one China and that mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are all part of that China.

At the same time, he said Germany understood the wish of the Tibetan people for "far-reaching cultural autonomy."

Steinmeier has spoken several times with Yang since the recent eruption of protests and violence in Tibet and both ministers had agreed to continue their dialogue on the Tibetan question.

At the end of last week in Washington, Steinmeier had joined US Foreign Secretary Condoleezza Rice in calling on China to start talks with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

However, China sees such calls as representing attempts to become involved in its internal affairs.

Meanwhile, the German political institute, the Friedrich Naumann Institute, which has links to the nation's liberal Free Democrat Party, hit back at claims in the Chinese media that it had played a role in helping to orchestrate the recent worldwide wave of Tibet protests.

China's state-run news agency Xinhua had reported that a conference held last May and sponsored by the institute had helped to organize the protests as part of the buildup to this year's Olympic Games.

The Friedrich Naumann Institute chief Wolfgang Gerhardt rejected the reports as "absolute rubbish."


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