The Dalai Lama said on Wednesday that the India-China standoff at Doklam is ''not very serious'', while stressing that both the countries have to live in peace. Further, the revered leader also invoked "Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai", a catch phrase that defined Sino- India ties in the 1950s.
Asserting that any problem has to be resolved through talks, the 81-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader said the theme of 21st century should be dialogue.
"That's the only away. One side's retreat and defeat is an old-time thinking. In modern times, every country is dependent on each other," he said, speaking at the Rajendra Mathur Memorial Lecture organised by the Editors Guild of India at New Delhi. The spiritual leader, who calls himself a "chela"(disciple) of India, also needled China saying he can do morein India, which has freedom.
"Where there is no freedom, I don't like". "There is some tension, but I do not think it is veryserious. We need to make distinction between people andgovernments. The other day, I mentioned that Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai is the only way. India and China have to live side by side," the Dalai Lama said, even as he added that "propaganda and wrong information make things complicated".
The Dalai Lama, who had fled a Chinese State crackdown in Lhasa and took shelter in India in 1959, said occassionally the two neighbours use "harsh words", and added as a reminder that the Chinese forces eventually withdrew though they had reached Bomdilla in 1962.
Queried about any possible resumption of talks between the Central Tibetan Authority and the Chinese side, he said it may take place after the 19th national congress of the Communist Party of China, which is slated later in 2017.
"But nothing is definite," he said. India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector for more than 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road inthe area.
China claimed it was constructing the road within its territory and has been demanding immediate withdrawal of the Indian troops from the disputed Doklam plateau.
Bhutan says Doklam belongs to it but China claims it to be its territory and says Thimphu has no dispute with Beijing over it. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had recently said both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place, favouring a peaceful resolution of the border standoff.
With PTI inputs