China made a conciliatory offer to Tibet, saying it would welcome talks with that region’s exiled Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. However, a report in the official Beijing Review said the government stands by its position that independence for Tibet cannot be discussed. The Dalai Lama, 53, who fled to India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, is regarded by many as a key to peace in Tibet. China’s conciliatory gesture came a week after authorities crushed anti-Chinese protests in the troubled Himalayan territory. Chinese troops are still patrolling the streets of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, residents reported.