Dharamsala, Sep 17 : China must follow the world trend towards democracy and freedom of information, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said.
"No matter how powerful it may be, China must follow the world trend towards democracy and freedom of information," the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner told reporters of Hospodárske Noviny (a daily, predominantly economic, newspaper in Slovakia) in Prague Monday.
"China is a huge nation with an important role to play in the world, but in order to play that role it needs the world's trust. A closed society constrained by censorship doesn't earn that trust," he said, according to a post on the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration based here.
The Dalai Lama is currently in Prague at the invitation of the Forum 2000 Foundation established by his old friend Vaclav Havel who was president of Czechoslovakia (1989-92) and of the Czech Republic (1993-2003).
The Dalai Lama also expressed hope the new Chinese president, Xi Jinping, would continue to work for harmony among the Chinese people and the minority nationalities.
He, however, said the use of force and intimidation goes counter to this, and added Xi has launched a courageous movement to tackle corruption and that many of his friends say he has a more realistic way of thinking.
Acknowledging the importance of trade and business, the globetrotting monk said when the US was deliberating whether to grant the Most Favoured Nation status to China, he was in favour because it's not appropriate to isolate a nation of 1.3 billion people.
"Trade relations are important and the Chinese want to be part of the world economic community. However, that does not mean that other countries should not stand firm on matters of principle like human rights," he said.
The Dalai Lama along with many of his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.
The Tibetan government-in-exile that never got recognition from any country is based here. (IANS)