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Bush urges China to open talks with Dalai Lama

WASHINGTON — President Bush called China's President Hu Jintao on Wednesday and raised concerns about the crackdown in Tibet, joining a growing chorus of international protests about Beijing's tough tactics.

The White House said Bush encouraged Hu to engage in "substantive dialogue" with representatives of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader.

China's crackdown in Tibet is in response to the most sustained uprising against Chinese rule in almost two decades — a challenge that has put China's human rights record in the international spotlight ahead of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

China on Wednesday showed some signs of relenting, allowing the first group of foreign journalists to visit Lhasa, the regional capital, since the violence began.

China also said Wednesday that 660 people implicated in protests and riots had surrendered. It was unclear how many of them surrendered voluntarily and how many will be charged.

Information from the New York Times and Associated Press was used in this report.

Bush urges China to open talks with Dalai Lama 03/26/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:45am]
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