The Chinese authorities last met with representatives of the Tibetan exile leadership five years ago. Since then, no progress has been made towards a resolution of the China–Tibetan dispute. Meanwhile, protests against Chinese rule have continued, with over a hundred self-immolations by Tibetans. The Chinese government has responded with tighter controls on movement, worship, speech and information in Tibetan areas, together with increased mechanisms for surveillance. But the reason for the failure to resolve the issue is not because of tensions on the ground. It’s because of the inability of the two leaderships to agree on what the issue is.
There are two major views of the Tibetan situation. One view sees it as a minority question, where structural inequities in a society have been exacerbated by problems of religious difference and economic tensions. Chinese officials typically adopt this view, adding that these tensions have been exaggerated by outside agitators.
The other perspective, often found among Tibetans and Westerners, sees Tibet as a nation annexed by a large neighbour and denied its history. Expressing that view in China is likely to lead to a sudden end to any conversation, if not a visit by the police. The mutual distrust between holders of these two views incapacitates any talks between them. [Source]