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8october2991Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Wednesday reached out to China, saluting a Beijing-based novelist who has defied China by seeking reconciliation with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. On a visit to Washington, His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented an award to Wang Lixiong, who helped spearhead a petition by more than 300 prominent Chinese who last year questioned a crackdown on major protests in Tibet.

Wang, who is married to leading Tibetan poet Woeser, told the crowd that the petition signers were "in no way what the Chinese propaganda professed us to be -- anti-China. We are the opposite, we dearly love China."

"But loving China does not amount to loving the government. Daring to criticize the government is done for the good of China, but a government that cannot accept criticism can only bring harm to China," he said to a standing ovation.

He regretted that China had rejected His Holiness the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" of seeking greater rights for Tibetans within the context of Chinese rule.

"The false propaganda," Wang said, "has made it difficult for the majority of Chinese to understand the truth about Tibet and they have no way of knowing about His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Middle Way."

He alluded to the risks for himself, voicing concern over Liu Xiaobo -- a prominent dissident who helped him on the petition and was later imprisoned as he led a separate campaign for democracy and human rights.

Organizers of the ward, presented by an US based Tibetan NGO the International Campaign for Tibet, said that Wang's wife and Tibetan woman writer Tsering Woeser, another rare voice in Beijing for the Tibetan viewpoint, was not allowed to travel to the United States.

The Dalai Lama, who has met Wang several times previously, praised him as courageous.

"Often the Chinese unfortunately describe these people as Western anti-Chinese forces," he said.

"No, certainly not," he said. "I always say our supporters are not pro-Tibetan but pro-justice, pro-nonviolence."

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