The dragon capitulates

According to Gordon Brown, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is ready to speak with the Dalai Lama.

“I spoke to Premier Wen this morning and I made it absolutely clear that there had to be an end to violence in Tibet,” Brown said.

“The premier told me that, subject to two things that the Dalai Lama has already said — that he does not support the total independence of Tibet and that he renounces violence — that he would be prepared to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama.”

Has the pressure of the torrent of net information about China’s repression in Tibet and the need for the Chinese to smooth the way for the Olympics assisted with this concession?

Prince Charles, a long term friend and supporter of the Dalai Lama, has already indicated he will not be attending the Olympic Games in Beijing.