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Dalai Lama Says He is Ready to Meet Chinese leadership to Find a Mutual Solution - 2003-09-24

“To find a mutual agreement or solution, I am ready to meet the Chinese leadership or if I get a chance to meet the Tibetans inside Tibet and explain or clarify my position; I believe this would be very beneficial,” the Dalai Lama told VOA Tibetan Service.

In an exclusive interview with the Tibetan Service of the Voice of America, the Dalai Lama says that he is very happy to re-establish contact with the Chinese government and he is ready to send his envoys to China for talks, mainly to build up confidence and trust and clear up misunderstandings and suspicions among the Chinese leadership. “I have reiterated like a Mantra that I am not seeking independence, I am not trying to separate Tibet from China. I am only seeking a genuine autonomy for Tibet, but the Chinese leadership has had a hard time understanding my position. Therefore, meeting face to face to clear up this suspicion is very important,” said the Dalai Lama. “The Tibetan issue is such a complex issue that it cannot resolved overnight, it will take time.”

He said that over the last 20 or 30 years, there have been great changes in China, mainly in the economic sphere, although not so much in political freedom or the freedom of speech. However, because of economic development and also because of contact with the outside world, naturally there have been changes in the people’s thinking—more and more Chinese have expressed their desire and the aspirations for democracy, freedom and rule by the law in the recent years. He said that he has always believed that these changes within China would have a positive impact on resolving the Sino-Tibetan problem and he believes the time for that resolution is not too far away.

He said that it has been almost a year since the exile Tibetan side re-established contact with the Chinese leadership, but there have not been positive changes in the Tibet Autonomous Region, and he regrets that.

“In fact, under the present Chinese policy towards Tibet, there is a greater risk of Tibet going its separate way from China because repression will make the Tibetans feel that we do not want to live in this family. Therefore, the best solution is a Middle Way approach which will maintain the unity and integrity of China, and Tibet will not go its separate way. . . . I believe that a genuine autonomy for Tibet would be the best and the long-term solution for stability and unity for China, and a number of Chinese intellectuals have supported and welcomed my Middle Way approach, saying that it is the best solution for resolving Sino-Tibetan problem,” said that Dalai lama. The Dalai Lama also said that he has no political ambition or resurrects the old system. He also has desire to go on a pilgrimage in China, to visit some of the holy places in China.