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10thjuly2011chinaDharamshala: - While in Washington, DC, USA, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet participated in a two-day conference on the Tibetan-Chinese relationship. Dr. Chen Kuide of Princeton China Initiative organized the conference, which began on July 9. Around 100 Chinese writers and democracy supporters participated, along with Tibetans and others.

His Holiness began with a general analysis of the situation in China, not just regarding Tibet but regarding China as a whole.

Detailing his own history with the Chinese government, he claimed that on his first visit to Beijing in 1954-55, he felt positively about China. Agreeing with many of the principles underlying Marxism and socialism, he had even expressed interest in joining the Chinese Communist Party.

Time, however, showed His Holiness that while he admired the principles of Marxism and socialism, he did not agree with the way the Chinese government was operating in practice. The government, according to His Holiness, became filled with corruption and that it had become a "capitalist communist party."

His Holiness expressed a desire to know how the 1.3 billion people living in China truly feel about their government. Viewing the distorting of information and media censorship that occurs in China as "immoral," he added that the Chinese people have the right to know the reality.

Relating this distorting of information to the Tibet issue, he said that in 2008 the Chinese government had characterized him as a "demon." He spoke of how important it was for the Chinese people as a whole to discover the truth about the Tibet issue so they can help resolve it.

Understanding and addressing the truth, instead of resorting to force and violence, is important in resolving problems in China, he claimed.

His Holiness then spoke about his own devolution of political power and the recent election of Kalon Tripa (prime minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile). He then introduced Dr. Lobsang Sangay, who was with him at the conference, as the winner of the election.

While taking questions from the audience, His Holiness talked about his Middle Way Approach,

When asked if he would continue to operate by the Middle Way Approach, Kalon Tripa-elect Dr. Lobsang Sangay said that would be up to the Tibetan people to decide. His Holiness echoed support for this approach, saying that when he originally laid out the Middle Way Approach he had wanted it to be up to the people.

His Holiness also claimed that those Chinese who accuse him of being a separatist should realize that he has retired. The issue of Tibet is not about the Dalai Lama, but about Tibet, he claimed.

His Holiness expressed hope that democracy in China was possible, claiming that what was needed were transparency, an end to media censorship, and complying with rules that meet international standards.
While China has the opportunity to contribute to the world's development as an international player, His Holiness said, the respect and trust needed from the international community were currently missing.

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