NEW DELHI: The 14th Dalai Lama on Friday said India was no longer “over-cautious” in dealing with China over the Tibet issue and expressed satisfaction that the Manmohan Singh government was “more firm’ as compared to past in its bilateral engagement with Beijing.
In an exclusive interview to HT while en-route to Tokyo, the Dalai Lama said: “Earlier, I used to say that the Indian government was over-cautious with China over Tibet. But now, I have changed my opinion and I see that India is standing more firm in dealing with it. I saw this shift when I was allowed by the Indian government to go to Tawang in November 2009 despite reservations from Beijing. Another example of this was that a day after visiting Chinese defence minister Liang Guanglie claimed last September that there were no PLA troopers in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), the Indian Army chief contradicted it, saying as many as 4,000 Chinese personnel are in the occupied area.”
According to him, trust between India and China will only develop once situation in Tibet returns to “absolutely normal”. “The boundary dispute cannot be solved if there is fear and suspicion between the two countries,” he said.
Talking about the change of guard in Chinese leadership after the 18th National Peoples’ Congress this month, the Dalai Lama said he would prefer to “wait and watch” the power transition from President Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping before taking a call on Beijings’ change in attitude towards Tibet.
“It is difficult to say if China will adopt a moderate line on Tibet under Jinping’s leadership… Let Xi take over China and maybe I can give a call after watching his policies on Tibet.”