On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama told the Associated Press that he isn’t particularly worried about Donald Trump in the American White House. His Holiness said that he’s confident that the real estate mogul will moderate his policies in accordance with pragmatic needs.
The exiled leader of Tibet and Buddhist figurehead spoke to the press after a four-day visit to Mongolia. He said that he is looking forward to meeting with President-elect Trump after his inauguration on Jan. 20. It was not verified that the two would be meeting, yet, however. The Dalai Lama visited President Barack Obama four times during his eight-year term in office. During his last visit in June, China said that it would damage U.S.-China relations, claiming that the religious leader is lobbying for an independent Tibet.
The Dalai Lama told the press that he regards the United States as the leader of the free world, and isn’t dismayed by Trump’s remarks during his campaign, despite their hostility to marginalized groups.
‘I feel during the election, the candidate has more freedom to express. Now once they are elected, having the responsibility, then they have to carry their cooperation, their work, according to reality. So I have no worries.’
‘I think there are some programs to go to United States, so I will go to see the new president.’
China protested the visit to Mongolia from His Holiness, and claims that it would interfere with Beijing’s economic ties with the region. Unconfirmed reports state that China has balked on talks regarding financial matters, as well as visits from the government heads because of the Dalai Lama’s visit.
According to Fortune magazine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the Dalai Lama is trying to damage relations between the countries he visits and China:
‘We hope the international community can further see clearly the anti-China, separatist essence of the Dalai Lama, and appropriately and cautiously handle Tibet-related issues.’
Traditionally, as head of the Tibetan Buddhist religion, the Dalai Lama is considered the head of the country. The Dalai Lama, however, stated that his visit had no political purpose and that he has not supported Tibetan independence since 1974. The Buddhist leader has advocated for Chinese rule over Tibet, albeit with greater participation and stronger protection for its long-held Buddhist traditions.
The video below, courtesy of The Washington Post, shows the Dalai Lama’s press conference.
Back in March, The Dalai Lama told ABC News that he had no right to comment on the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency. However, in September, he did provide his own hilarious impersonation of “The Donald” on Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan.
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