15-member diplomatic delegation visits Lhasa; Dai Binguo and NSA Narayanan discuss Tibet; Wen says ‘channel for dialogue’ with Dalai Lama open, if he renounces Tibet independence; Beijing unhappy with Washington over shipping of ICBM parts to Taiwan
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  • Tibet continued to generate concern around the world in the aftermath of the riots that rocked the region. In order to explain its position on the issue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry organised the visit of a 15-member diplomatic delegation to Lhasa during the week there in a tour organized by the Chinese Foreign Ministry1. There was however no representatives from the Indian mission in Beijing, which on its part clarified that they received the invitation at the last moment2.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo conversed with NSA M.K. Narayanan over the telephone to explain China’s position on the anti-government unrest in Tibet. The Chinese Foreign Ministry noted that Dai Bingguo “explained China’s standpoint and deep concern and hoped India could continue to understand and support China’s actions.” The Ministry further added that Mr. Narayanan noted that India “does not allow Tibetan people to be engaged in political activities that are against the Chinese government3.” Earlier in the week, the Chinese government officials had summoned Indian Ambassador in Beijing Nirupama Rao to register concern over the incident of the storming of the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi.

    In a related development, Chine Premier Wen Jiaboa stated that the ‘the channel for dialogue’ was always open for discussion between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama over the Tibet issue, but only if the Dalai Lama abandoned his claim for ‘Tibet independence’, uses his influence to stop the violence in Tibet, and recognises that both Tibet and Taiwan were inseparable parts of China4.

    In other developments, Beijing expressed its concerns to Washington over the incident of shipping of cone-shaped fuses used in intercontinental ballistic missiles to Taiwan. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang demanded a thorough investigation into this matter5.