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'Maybe in a Year or Two...': The Dalai Lama Says He May Visit China as 'Things Are Changing'

If the Dalai Lama makes this trip, this will be the first in six decades since he fled Lhasa after a failed uprising against Beijing in 1959.


Updated:October 3, 2019, 8:40 AM IST
'Maybe in a Year or Two...': The Dalai Lama Says He May Visit China as 'Things Are Changing'
File photo of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. (Image: PTI)

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has hinted at the possibility of him visiting China in a year or two, something he says, has been made possible by the perceived changes taking place there.

In a recent interview with the Mint, the spiritual leader was quoted as saying, “Things are changing. I think within one year or two years, there is possibility of my visit to China." Ever since Beijing took control over Tibet in 1951, they have refused to hold talks with the Dalai Lama, who they consider as a ‘splittist’ leader. If he indeed makes the trip, this will be the first in six decades since he fled Lhasa after a failed uprising against Beijing in 1959.

However, for the spiritual head, the ‘Chinese problem’ is that of the Chinese Communist Party and some individuals within the party. “For example, the (1989) Tiananmen event, former Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng was the main person who created suppression,” the Mint quoted him as saying.

But the Dalai Lama believes that this parochial view of the issue is slowly changing. “For the Tibet issue, now, a number of Chinese leaders realize that over 70 years their policy regarding Tibet is unrealistic. There is too much emphasis on use of force that has resulted in a dilemma over how to deal with Tibet," he said.

He also reiterated his position on Tibet and explained that he is still committed to remain with China albeit their culture is free from any kind of oppression. “We are very much willing to remain within the People’s Republic of China, but all Tibetan areas should have the same rights, there should be preservation of Tibetan culture and our own language,” he was quoted as saying.

The history of Tibet from the very beginning has been inextricably linked to India and has often been a cause of tensions between New Delhi and Beijing. The Tibetan government in exile headed by its president Lobsang Sangay is based in Dharamshala and India is also home to 150,000 Tibetans in exile. The Dalai Lama’s presence in India has been a major friction point between the two countries.

Chinese officials have already warned that Beijing will reject any reincarnation of the Tibetan spiritual leader and India endorsing a Dalai Lama chosen by the Tibetan government in exile would become a major political issue between the two countries.

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