The Dalai Lama has presented an award to a Chinese writer who led a petition drive seeking reconciliation with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
During a visit to Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown section Wednesday, the Dalai Lama presented Wang Lixiong with an award from the International Campaign for Tibet.
Wang, who is based in Beijing, held a petition drive that enlisted the support of more than 300 prominent Chinese who questioned Beijing's crackdown last year on protests in Tibet.
In his acceptance speech, Wang said the signers of his petition are not anti-China. He said they dared to criticize the government for the good of their homeland. He also expressed concern for one of the petition signers, Liu Xiaobo, who has since been imprisoned for leading a campaign for democracy and human rights.
The Dalai Lama said he considers his supporters not pro-Tibetan, but pro-justice and pro-nonviolence.
The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also attended the ceremony, as did Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.