Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), June 12 (ANI): Some Chinese, it seems, are listening to Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on the issue of granting Tibet autonomy status.
Travelling to The Netherlands last week, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader had a private meeting with Chinese pro-democracy activists.
The Dalai Lama and about 30 Chinese emigres, mainly from Europe, discussed the need for dialogue between Tibetans and Chinese and for reform in China.
This trust between Tibetans and Chinese is crucial in reaching a solution for Tibet, he emphasized during the meeting, which took place on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.
Reaching out to overseas Chinese - whether activists, journalists, Buddhists, or ordinary people - is a priority for the Dalai Lama.
This soft diplomacy has taken on greater importance after talks with the Chinese government last fall broke down.
Although the Dalai Lama says his faith in the Chinese government is "thinning," he insists that his faith in Chinese people "is never shaken."
China contends that he aims to split the country by advocating a free Tibet.
The Dalai Lama stresses that he wants autonomy for Tibet under China with better conditions for Tibetans, not independence from Beijing.
Last year, the Dalai Lama sought to defuse nationalistic anger among Chinese worldwide over disruption of the Beijing Olympic torch relay by pro-Tibet activists.
For the Dalai Lama, reaching out to Chinese people remains an urgent priority, says Chhime Chhoekyapa, joint-secretary in the Dalai Lama's exiled government offices in Dharamsala.
"Governments will come and go. The most important thing is to reach out to Chinese everywhere so they understand His Holiness's stand. In the future, Chinese and Tibetans will have to live together," Chhoekyapa added. (ANI)