Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said today that the people in Tibet have been seeking a mutually acceptable solution to the issue with China since and that he is not a "splittist" though he is considered one.
In response to a question during a press conference in Delhi, the spiritual leader added that the Tibetans were "open" to a solution, while reiterating that he was not seeking Tibet''s independence from China.
"In 1974, we decided to not seek independence and seek a mutually acceptable solution. And, in 1979, we established a direct contact with the Chinese government. So basically, our side is open," the Dalai Lama said.
So, the Chinese government "wants me to fight for Tibet's independence", he added in a lighter vein, drawing laughter from the audience.
He said he preferred Tibet remaining with China, with "some kind of a reunion".
The Tibetan spiritual leader said, both sides can mutually benefit each other by harnessing their old links, and while China can help Tibet economically, Tibet can offer its knowledge to China.
To a question on China's stand on the next Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader said, "If I live for another 10-15 years, political situation in China will change. but, if I die in next few years, Chinese government will show the reincarnation must happen in China."
China has said that the successor to the Dalai Lama must be chosen according to the religious rituals and historical conventions as well as the backing from the ruling Communist Party.
Since he fled Tibet in 1959 to escape from the Chinese occupation, the Dalai Lama has been keeping China on tenterhooks about his successor.