The Tibetan exile movement must press forward with its talks with the Chinese government despite almost no progress from years of negotiations, the Dalai Lama said Friday.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, the exiled spiritual leader warned that it could be decades before any benefits of such talks with China are obvious.
"So far, dialogue failed, but that does not mean in future no possibility," the Dalai Lama said in his private compound in this Indian hill town where he has lived since fleeing Tibet more than five decades ago.
He said that increasing sympathy for the Tibetan cause among Chinese intellectuals indicates that Beijing's policies could change. He also said there had been vague signs from Beijing that some of the top Chinese leadership might be ready to moderate its stand on Tibet.
Some Chinese leaders now believe that "policy regarding Tibet now should be more openly, more peacefully. I heard that. True or not? We'll have to wait."
Waiting, he added, is something the Tibetans understand.
"We wait 51 years, now another 10, 20 years we can wait," he said, breaking into laughter.
Information for this report was provided by AP.