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Dalai Lama Makes Appeal to China

May 24, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Dalai Lama again appealed to China for talks on Tibetan rule Thursday, saying the two sides ``need to find a way to live together.″

In a graduation speech at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, the exiled Buddhist leader and one-time political leader of Tibet said an autonomous Tibet within China would benefit from China’s economic successes.

The Chinese people, in turn, would ``draw inspiration″ from the culture and spiritual traditions of Tibet.

``Despite the great suffering the Tibetan people have endured and continue to face at the hands of the Chinese authorities, I believe that we need to find a way to live together in a manner that will allow both Chinese and Tibetans to live in dignity,″ he said.

``However, the relationship can only work if it is based on mutual respect for the values and traditions of the other,″ he said in a speech to graduates.

The speech ended a two-day visit to Washington in which the Dalai Lama met President Bush at the White House residence over Chinese objections.

Bush aides stressed that he received the Dalai Lama in his capacity as a religious leader and that the visit did not indicate a shift in policy toward China.

Beijing sealed its control over Tibet with a 17-point agreement signed with representatives of the Dalai Lama in Beijing on May 23, 1951, after Tibetan forces surrendered to the Chinese army.

A major uprising against Chinese rule in 1959 was suppressed by China. The Dalai Lama then fled to India, where he repudiated the agreement and heads a government in exile.

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