Tibetan Sikyong Penpa Tsering calls for closer relations

Tibetan Central Administration chief Penpa Tsering on Monday expressed hope that Taiwan and Tibet can strengthen their mutual ties.

“There are many aspects in which we can work together,” said Penpa Tsering, who took office in May as the Tibetan government-in-exile sikyong.

“We still have to find and understand how we can work together, how we can collaborate on issues other than politics – not necessarily just politics,” he said in an interview with the Central News Agency in a three day trip to New Delhi. “I am really looking forward to strengthening our relationship in the future.”

He expressed the hope that Taipei would offer scholarships to Tibetan students and promote more exchanges between the two sides.

Taiwan is a good place for Tibetans to learn Chinese language and study international relations, he said, adding that studying in the country would help Tibetans understand China.

Stating that resolving the problems between Tibet and China remains his priority at the head of the government in exile in Dharamshala, India, Penpa Tsering also called for dialogue between the Taiwanese and Chinese authorities.

“There should be no use of force” in Taiwan, he said, adding that the cross-strait violence would benefit neither side and could escalate into a war involving more powers.

“Any conflict can be resolved through negotiation or through non-violent means,” he said.

Meanwhile, Penpa Tsering said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dalai Lama has no plans to travel immediately.

When asked if the Dalai Lama would like to visit Taiwan after the pandemic ends, he did not give a definitive answer.

The question “will depend on the type of invitation coming from Taiwan and how the negotiations are going.” [conducted] between the Taiwanese government and us, ”he said.

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