DHARMSALA, India — The Dalai Lama said Thursday that informal talks with the Chinese are continuing over his possible return to his homeland of Tibet — if only for a visit — and cautiously praised Chinese President Xi Jinping as a realist.
The Dalai Lama, 79, sat down for an interview in his temple in the north Indian town of Dharmsala before a celebration of the 25th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize, after a month of media speculation of a thaw between the exiled leader and the Chinese government.
The two sides have sparred for years over the future of Tibet. The Dalai Lama argues for autonomy for the Himalayan region he fled in 1959, while the Chinese accuse him of being a separatist. Just this week, another gathering of Nobel winners was canceled in South Africa after that country refused the Dalai Lama a visa, reportedly under pressure from China. [Source]