Amidst an increase in protests against China by pro-Tibetan activists, President Bush said that Chinese leaders should open up talks with the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama.

Bush gave his remarks at a press conference with Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

"We both agree that it would stand the Chinese government in good stead if they would begin a dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama," Bush said. "They'll find -- if they ever were to reach out to the Dalai Lama, they'd find him to be a really fine man, a peaceful man, a man who is anti-violence, a man who is not for independence but for the cultural identity of the Tibetans being maintained."

Bush also called on China to engage in talks with the Tibetan leader after he awarded him the Congressional Medal of Freedom last October.