Chinese leaders 'don't understand variety of cultures', prefer to remain in India: Dalai Lama
Tokyo: Tibetian spiritual leader Dalai Lama has slammed the Chinese leadership, saying they "don't understand the variety of different cultures" while at the same time lauding India as a centre of religious harmony.
The 86-year-old spiritual leader made these remarks on Wednesday (November 10) during an online news conference anchored in Tokyo, English-language news channel Al Jazeera reported.
Dalai Lama further criticised the leaders of China, saying that the "narrow-minded Chinese Communist leaders" did not appreciate the unique culture in Tibet and Xinjiang.
He said that the problem emanates from "too much control by Han people," the largest ethnic group in China. "I know Communist Party leaders since Mao Zedong. Their ideas (are) good. But sometimes they do much extreme, tight control," Dalai Lama was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.
Along with his followers, the Dalai Lama fled to India from Tibet in 1959 during an invasion by the Chinese forces. China calls the Buddhist monk a 'separatist', seeking to secede Tibet from China.
During the event, Dalai Lama also praised Taiwan, saying the island was the true repository of China's ancient culture since, on the mainland, it was now "too politicised".
Furthermore, the leader said he had no plan to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, he expressed a wish to visit again to see old friends.
"I prefer to remain here in India, peacefully," he added while praising it as a centre of religious harmony.