The spokesperson of the Tibetan government in exile (Central Tibetan Administration) Tenzin Lekshay has said that Chinese President Xi Jinping should understand the “aspirations of Tibetan people” and “resolve the sino-Tibet conflict”.
His comments come in the backdrop of Xi Jinping’s surprise visit to the region. It is after 30 years that a Chinese President has visited the troubled region, the last being Jiang Zemin in 1990.
Speaking to our diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Lekshay called for the resumption of the “dialogue between representatives of his holiness Dalai Lama and the Chinese government.”
State media showed Xi in Tibet’s capital Lhasa being greeted by locals in ethnic clothes waving Chinese flags in what is expectedly a choreographed move.
The general secretary Communist Party of China Central Committee was also present at the Potala Palace Square. Potala Palace was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas till 1959 when China occupied the region.
WION: Your reaction to Xi Jinping’s Tibet visit?
Tenzin Lekshay: Xi Jinping’s visit to Tibet just came in the news and was not highlighted before, was secretive. What we believe, is his first visit after becoming the President of China, which signifies that Tibet is still very important to China. So in spite of the fact, that so many problems happening inside China, he visited Tibet. Therefore, it shows, surely signifies Tibet still matters a lot to China.
WION: Any message in terms of the visit of Xi you think?
Tenzin Lekshay: As expected if u look back in 2011, when he was the vice president, he visited Tibet. 10 years after he is visiting again. This year again, China marks 70 years of the so-called peaceful liberation of Tibet, which Tibetans rejected. So, therefore, this year, they try to show to world everything inside Tibet is good.
But however taking this visit as a very significant thing, we believe Xi Jinping should understand aspirations of Tibetan people, and when he is in Tibet and to resolve the sino tibet conflict which is there since 1959, more than 50 years have gone. It is very important for him for the sake of future of China and Tibet we should resume the dialogue between representatives of his holiness Dalai lama and Chinese govt.