PM urges Dalai Lama to talk to China

By Fran O'Sullivan

Prime Minister Helen Clark wants the Dalai Lama to urgently start talking to China and its representatives over the violent unrest in Tibet.

She made the call in Beijing yesterday hours after she discussed China's response to the Tibetan riots in her 90-minute formal meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

The Dalai Lama has taken issue with China's accusation that the exiled Tibetan Government instigated the riots in Lhasa and other Tibetan regions.

Helen Clark said Premier Wen had told her the Tibetan situation was complex.

She said the Chinese had a clear point of view about the origin of the events and believed their response was appropriate for the circumstances.

"The world's eyes are on China and China is very conscious of that."

She had told him New Zealand's wish was to see a proportionate response, noting security forces could not stand by as people were attacked.

Asked whether New Zealand should emulate French President Nicholas Sarkozy's threat to boycott the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing in August, Helen Clark said: "We haven't considered not having our Governor-General attend."

Premier Wen was not available to speak to New Zealand reporters about his talks with the Prime Minister.

- NZ Herald

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