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6_November_2012-001Dharamshala: The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has urged the Chinese government to adapt and reform in the wake of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) once in a decade power transfer, taking place behind closed doors Today (Thursday.)

Addressing a press conference at the Intercontinental Yokohama Grand Hotel in Japan on Monday, November 5, the Tibetan spiritual leader criticised corruption within the current regime, imploring China's new present (expected to be Xi Jinping) to build a more "harmonious and stable society," and close the gap between rich and poor.

"I think there's no other alternative except some political change. Some political reform," he said.

"For that reason you need an independent judiciary, free press, and rule of law. These are very important.

"Economic reform is already there. A lot of development that has brought some good things. I think millions of Chinese people's livelihoods have improved, but without other regulations and methods there is this huge gap between rich and poor."

Citing the example of an impoverished elderly Chinese farmer he had met two weeks previously, he went on: "I asked about the conditions in his village. Really terrible, very poor, lots of difficulties. The local authority is supposed to be helping (the Chinese people). Supporting them. No. They are only concerned about their money, and use their position, their power, only for their own pocket money."

His Holiness, who last year ceded his political leadership (a role carried out by the Dalai Lamas of Tibet since 1642) to democratically elected leader Lobsang Sangay, "to benefit Tibetans in the long run," advocated democracy as the "best political system," stating: "The world belongs to humanity and different nations belong to the people. Not religious leaders, not the queen or king."

Calling on the CCP to create a harmonious and open society, His Holiness outlined the fact that China has a greater budget for internal security than for national defence, adding: "Secrecy and using force brings suspicion and fear.

"That's just the opposite of harmony. The methods used are secrecy, censorship and bullying."

Addressing a Japanese journalist's question about anti-Japanese protests in cities across China in September, during which Japanese businesses and cars were attacked following a row over disputed islands in the East China Sea, His Holiness blamed an overemphasis on nationalism in China, stating that a "lack of information" led Chinese people to associate the Japanese with Second World War atrocities.

"Basically China needs Japan and Japan needs China," he said. "East needs west and west needs east. That's today's reality."

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, whom the CCP describes as a "splittist" seeking an independent Tibet, enjoys a wide following in Japan, which has a significant Buddhist population.


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