Earlier, Chinese President Hu Jintao has said he hopes the talks, in Shenzhen, just over the border from Hong Kong, will have a positive outcome. According to a Dalai Lama spokesperson, China saw the talks as a “PR exercise". Western governments have been pressing China to renew dialogue with the Dalai Lama. The two sides have met several times since 2002, but without any concrete results.
The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile have been based in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959, nine years after China sent troops into the region. The Dalai Lama has repeated his position that he wants increased autonomy for Tibet within China, not independence.