Dalai Lama says Chinese leaders ‘don’t understand’ diversity


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TOKYO (AP) – Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said that Chinese leaders “do not understand the variety of different cultures” and that the ruling Communist Party’s penchant for strict social control can be detrimental.

The 86-year-old Buddhist monk also said on Wednesday that he wanted to stay at home in India, where he has lived since 1959 after an uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet failed, rather than get involved in “politics. complicated “between China, run by the officially atheist Communist Party, and strongly Buddhist Taiwan.

Speaking at an online press conference hosted by the Tokyo Foreign Correspondents Club, the Dalai Lama said there were no plans to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and declined to comment on Xi’s plans. to remain in office for a third term of five years.

“The Chinese Communist leadership, they don’t understand the variety of different cultures,” he said. “In reality, too much control will hurt people. “

China exercises rigid control over all religions and in recent years has intensified a campaign of cultural assimilation targeting Tibetans, Turkish Muslim Uyghurs and other minority groups.

The Dalai Lama said he did not want to get involved in “local and political difficulties” but was determined to make contributions to “brothers and sisters” in Taiwan and mainland China. “This situation is quite complicated,” he said.

“Sometimes I really feel like this simple Buddhist monk (doesn’t) want (to get involved) in complicated politics,” he said with a laugh.

The Dalai Lama retired from politics in 2011, but remains a major force in the preservation of Tibetan traditions.

China castigates him as an advocate for Tibet‘s independence and has not had direct contact with his officials for more than a decade.

The Dalai Lama says he is simply pleading for the substantial autonomy of Tibet and the protection of its native Buddhist culture.

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