Palo Alto, California: On his last full day in Palo Alto, His Holiness began his engagements with an interview to the Chinese language service of KTSF, “an independent, full-power station, reaching over 1.4 million Asian-Americans throughout 10 Bay Area counties.” The interview was conducted by Mr. Jaron Lin, host of the Talk Tonight program.
Questions ranged from Buddhist view on how the universe came into being, the future of the Dalai Lama institution as well as on the Tibetan issue. In response to a question on Tibetan-Chinese relation, His Holiness said the following: “Whether the Chinese government admits or not, there is problem. That is why the government has to station a large number of security personnel and military force. There is tight control and censorship, which means there is something wrong. So now this problem is neither good for Tibetan or for the People’s Republic of China as a whole. We have to solve this problem, as well as the Xinjiang problem. You have to deal with these problems. So far, unfortunately those hard liners feel difficult to face the reality. The reality is there but they try to avoid it and try to hide it. That is why they have censorship. This kind of situation cannot remain for ever. As Deng Xiaoping stated, there is the need for seeking truth from fact. Firstly, fact must be genuine fact, not artificial or official artificial fact. Also, in today’s world when we are in information era, you cannot hide these things.”
His Holiness said among the top Chinese leaders, former party secretary Hu Yaobang was very open minded and had very realistic thinking. In 1980 he visited Lhasa and publicly admitted their past mistake. His Holiness added, “He was a really wonderful and realistic communist leader. I always feel if Hu Yaobang had remained or his policy was carried then today the Tibetan problem and many other problems would have been solved.”
His Holiness said, “So now it seems the leaders themselves are facing dilemma on how to solve the problem. They have already carried lot of suppressive policy and there is immense resentment from Tibetan people.”
His Holiness said he saw hopeful signs. He added, “Wen Jiabao publicly praising the thinking of late Hu Yaobang and his handling of these problems. Also, Wen Jiabao publicly expressed that People’s Republic of China now needs some political liberalization. Economic liberalization led by Deng Xiaoping really brought about big change. Now that is 30 years ago and it is highly necessary to carry out political liberalization. So these are hopeful signs. In recent years and particularly in recent months among Chinese intellectuals and many sensible people voices have increased for transparency, human rights, religious freedom, free information and stopping the practice of censorship. This kind of people’s wish cannot be stopped. After all, the country actually belongs to the people, not to one party or individual leader. Finally people’s wish, people’s voices makes a difference. Therefore, basically I am optimistic. Things will change.”
He said, “We Tibetan are not anti Chinese. We very much respect Chinese people. After 2008 crisis, I publicly stated that as far as government is concerned my faith is becoming thinner and thinner, but my faith towards Chinese people has never shaken. The Chinese people are cultured people basically, hardworking and realistic.”
“I want to say that the young Chinese brothers and sisters must study what is reality and how to deal with that reality realistically,” he added.
Asked what he wanted to convey to the viewers, His Holiness said, “Basically, the relation between Tibetan and Han people is thousand of years old. Sometimes it has been very friendly and good, and sometimes difficult. So now, at this moment there is some difficulty. But because of thousand of year of close relations as a Tibetan naturally he had genuine sense of concern about the well being of 1.3 billion of human beings there. I always pray that one day they not only material prosperity but freedom as freedom provides mental peace and mental happiness. Material development provides physical comfort. Then billions of people’s life becomes meaningful. That is my wish and my prayer.”