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Chinese Tibetologists hold talks with Australian officials
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21:37, July 25, 2008

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Visiting Chinese Tibetologist delegation on Friday held meetings with Australian officials, members of parliament and scholars, and briefed them about the situation in Tibet.

While meeting with Nic Manikis, Director of Office of Multicultural Affairs in Australian Capital Territory, Professor Sherap Nyima, head of the Chinese Tibetologist delegation, said the Chinese government has taken special measures to protect Tibetan culture and attached great importance to improve the education in the autonomous region.

Before 1851, only two percent of children received education, but now, 98 percent of children can go to schools with more than 1000 schools being established, of which 6 are universities, said Nyima, who is the Vice-President of the Central University of Nationalities of China and an expert on Tibetology.

Responding the concerns of Gary Humphries, the federal parliament senator, about the temples in Tibet. Nyima told him that temples in Tibet have been well protected by the local government .

"There are more than 1700 temples in Tibet with more than 46,000 lamas. It is a big amount in terms of its population of 2.8 million," the Tibetologist said.

Nyima assured Australian officials that the Chinese government had promised to maintain its policy towards the minorities as well as its support to the economic development in Tibet, after the incident in Lhasa on March 14.

"Only a tiny part of Tibetans took part in the incident, how could that change the determination of the central government to maintain its policy in Tibet?" Nyima said.

Grant Dooley, assistant secretary of North Asia Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Australian government has always maintained its policy that Tibet is part of China. He also hoped that the talks between the Chinese government officials and the private representatives of Dalai Lama could have some results so that the Tibetan issue can be solved.

During its stay in Canberra, the Chinese delegation also held talks with scholars and experts on Chinese affairs in Australia National University, including Richard Rigby, Executive Director of Chinese Institute of ANU and exchanged ideas and opinions about the Tibetan affairs.

The Tibetan delegation arrived in Australia on Wednesday for a five-day visit before heading for New Zealand to continue its tour.


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