Tibet: News International China Now Needs To Open Up: Tibet's Leader

China Now Needs To Open Up: Tibet's Leader

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07january20111Dharamshala: Tibet's spiritual and political leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Tuesday (January 4) took part in his first video conference discussion with three prominent Chinese intellectuals which lasted just over an hour. Unlike the communist regime, His Holiness is open to dialogue with China, and is always trying to reach out to ordinary Chinese in order to discuss issues, including Tibet.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said "geographically, we are faraway - thousands of miles, but still we can see each other's face clearly, also we can communicate with one another via online video, it shows that we have reached the 21st Century."

"Such a video communication via Internet can not feel each other's breath, however I was very pleased to meet people living in China, and hope in the future it will be continued, I believe that China will definitely change, one day we could meet face to face."

A total of 319 questions were asked, with His Holiness responding to questions from the three Chinese intellectuals. Chinese writer Wang Lixiong, initiated the online video discussion in 2011. He also moderated the video conference discussion from Beijing. The other two Chinese participants were Law Professor and civil rights activist Teng Biao and prominent Human Rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who were in Shenzhen.

Teng Biao and Jiang Tianyong were the prominent human rights lawyer during the Chinese crackdown on Tibetans in 2008, they jointly issued a statement saying "we are willing to provide legal assistance to Tibetans." During the video conference, the lawyers questioned the Dalai Lama about Wikileaks and about interaction with Chinese scholars.

Teng asked, "open communication and understanding between Chinese and Tibetan people, particularly between Chinese and Tibetan intellectuals, is very important and a constructive initiative to solve the Tibetan problem peacefully. If you are willing to promote it, how do you promote such exchanges and understanding between two sides? What are the main obstacles to further development?

"I have made efforts to communicate with Chinese friends ahead of Tienanmen events, I have also asked the same to Chinese friends who were living in US and Canada. Despite some suspicious staring by our friends from the mainland. Anyway, after Tienanmen events, then the communication with Chinese people becomes quite strong, particularly after the 2008 crisis in Tibet more and more Chinese have started paying attention to the Tibetan issue," His Holiness the Dalai Lama replied.

His Holiness said that whenever he met with Chinese and foreign friends, professors, and scholars, he talked about the need for China to be an open society. "whenever I met with Chinese and foreign friends, I usually told them, China now needs to open up."

The Tibetan spiritual leader has reiterated that his faith in the Chinese people on the issue of Tibet remains unshaken. "I have met with several hundred Chinese scholars and writers to discuss Tibet, many Chinese intellectuals and writers fully support the Tibetans' middle-way policy towards achieving genuine autonomy, our present middle-way policy which is not a "we win, you lose" kind of stand, would be beneficial to both China and Tibet."

"The recent report emerging out of Wikileaks indicated that, you told the U.S. ambassador to New Delhi that the world should focus its attention on the environmental problems in Tibet which cannot wait and that the Tibetans can wait for five to 10 years for a political solution. Is that true? What solutions do you suggest for it and what are your actual views on this?" Jiang asked.

"As I said before, there will be no change in my stand, 'Middle-way Approach would be beneficial to both China and Tibet, but, the large-scale environmental problems in Tibet are a matter of great sadness to me. It is not only sad for Tibet, these are problems looking from a wider perspective, Tibetan environmental problems may impact many of the rivers which flow through large areas of Asia, where more than a billion people in the region depend on the water that comes from rivers that originate on the Tibetan plateau," His Holiness replied.
Last Updated ( Monday, 10 January 2011 09:54 )