- NET Web Desk
The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Wednesday stated to visit China and meet his old friends, as he was “growing older”, but “prefers to remain in India peacefully”, as the nation, he believes is a “centre of religious harmony”.
The 86-yrs-old spiritual leader stated the following, while addressing an online press conference hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan asserted that Chinese authorities “don’t understand the variety of different cultures”, thereby suppressing cultures and age-old traditions, especially the ones which belong to minorities, including those residing in the western region of Xinjiang province.
“I know Communist Party leaders since Mao Zedong. Their ideas (are) good. But sometimes they do much extreme, tight control,” – he stated from his base in Dharamsala of Himachal Pradesh, India.
On being asked about visiting Taiwan, which has been another region, facing the geopolitical threats of Chinese military deployments, the Dalai Lama said he would avoid traveling to the region, as he believes relations between both the nations are currently “quite delicate”.
However, he lauded the Taiwanese residents on striving to preserve Chinese culture including Buddhism.
“I think mainland Chinese brothers and sisters can learn a lot from Taiwanese brothers and sisters.” – he added.
Responding to his comments, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, during a regular press briefing said Beijing was “open” to hold talks with the 14th Dalai Lama, but would not engage into any kinds of dialogue with “the so-called Tibetan government-in-exile”, which China considers as an “out-and-out separatist political group.”
Recently, the Dalai Lama handed over responsibility to elected leader of the Dharamsala-based Central Tibetan Administration, which Beijing claimed “illegal”.
Reacting to the act, the Chinese authorities ruled-out recognition to the successor or heir that is nominated either by the Dalai Lama or by his followers.
“The reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and other grand Living Buddhas has been subjected to approval by the central government since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911),” an official white paper issued by the Chinese government in Beijing claimed.
“The ordinance stipulated that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and other grand Living Buddhas had to follow the procedure of drawing lots from the golden urn and that the selected candidate would be subject to approval by the central government of China,” the white paper further reads.
It may be mentioned here that the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a Chinese crackdown on an uprising by the local population in Tibet.
He has been granted political asylum by the Indian government. And since then, the Tibetan government-in-exile also has its base in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.