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China: Stance on Dalai Lama same after retirement

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:40 p.m. HST, May 19, 2011

BEIJING » The Chinese government-appointed governor of Tibet says the Dalai Lama's decision to give up political power won't boost or diminish the likelihood of his being able to return to the remote Himalayan region.

Padma Choling said Thursday that the Dalai Lama's retirement from the government-in-exile he set up in India was irrelevant to his ties with China.

Choling said what matters is whether the Tibetan spiritual leader meets Beijing's long-held preconditions for his return, including dropping his alleged separatist activities and aspirations for an independent Tibet.

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly denied seeking Tibet's independence from China.

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