Dalai Lama on China-India Border Dispute

From exile in India, the Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama said that words and not bullets must solve the current border dispute in the Doklam plateau region between Beijing and New Delhi. He assured that any military conflict would result in a loss for both sides and no real progress.

“This century should be a century of dialogue,” the spiritual leader said in the Indian capital. “One-side victory, one-side defeat is old thinking. Destruction of your neighbor is destruction of yourself. The only way is through talks.”

Chinese and Indian militaries are currently facing each other at a standstill on the disputed Doklam Plateau. It all started in June when India’s army moved into the region to expel a Chinese construction crew building a road that would give Beijing more influence in the region than India was willing to allow. Even though those close to the situation have reported to journalists that closed-door diplomatic efforts between the two countries have stalled, analysts are describing this instance as the most tense since the bloody 1960s border clash between both sides. Since then, the two have often disputed over the 3,500-km-long mountain border.

“Two big nations don’t have the ability to eliminate the other or defeat the other,” argued the Dalai Lama who has won support from India’s government. “So you have to live side by side.”

Meanwhile, China still disregards the spiritual leader as a dangerous separatist.

Still, the Dalai Lama believes another door for dialogue may open following the next Communist Party Congress.

“Some of my friends say, after the 19th party meeting, some old politburo members may change because of age,” says the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. “So my friends say, after the 19th party meeting, there could be some possibility, some change.”

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.