Amid protests in New Delhi by Tibetans against the government for according a red carpet welcome to Chinese president Xi Jinping, the community's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama called the Indo-Chinese relationship as 'important to Asia'.
The Dalai Lama is in Mumbai to address a gathering to mark the 108th Foundation Day of Indian Merchants' Chamber and its ladies' wing.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner said, "The two countries are very powerful and important as they are not only the most populous nations in the world, but also one of the ancient. If they join hands, the relationship will be good for Asia."
The Dalai Lama also said good Sino-Indian relations based on mutual trust will benefit not just Asia but the whole world.
"I have faith in the new leadership. He (Xi) is open-minded and his way of working is quite realistic," the 79-year-old Buddhist monk said.
Calling India a nation that sets a precedent for the world for its centuries-old practice of "religious harmony and spirituality", he said that China must learn and imbibe these virtues as well.
"I had told the same to Hu Jintao [former Chinese president] when he visited the country that he should learn some good things from India," the 14th spiritual head of the community said.
On the contentious border issue, he said it should be resolved through understanding and not by use of force.
"Tibet's problem is also India's problem. Before 1950, there was not a single soldier on the northern border and it (the border) was peaceful. Sooner or later you have to solve the problem, not by force but by understanding. And understanding comes through talks," he said.
Reacting to the detention of Tibetans by police following their protest against Xi's visit, the Dalai Lama said," Tibetans are law abiding citizens. But the rest is upto the Government of India."
(With inputs from PTI)
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