By now it is an open secret the degree to which respect for the Dalai Lama is growing in China within the leadership and business circles and amongst the ordinary people. The BBC’s exclusive report on China’s super-rich communist Buddhists is the latest proof.
An aspect of the Tibetan leader little noted by scholars is the extensive contacts he had with the revolutionary leaders who created modern China. The Dalai Lama was in China for almost a year from 1954 to 1955. During this period he learnt Chinese and the ideals of socialism as explained to him by his Chinese hosts. More importantly, the Tibetan spiritual and political leader met with the top echelon of the Chinese communist leadership, including Chairman Mao Zedong, who, according to the Tibetan leader, treated him as a “father would treat a son.”[Source]