Dalai Lama: China's Xi, leader-in-waiting, has 'no alternative' but reform


His Holiness the Dalai Lama attends a press conference in St Paul's Cathedral before receiving the 2012 Templeton Prize on May 14, 2012 in London, England. The honor is awarded to people who 'affirm life's spiritual dimension'.


Oli Scarff

The Dalai Lama today said China's next leader, Xi Jinping, "will have no alternative except some political change, so political reform," reported Reuters.

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The exiled Tibetan leader, whose support for a free Tibet has earned him few friends among China's communist leadership, also told reporters in Japan today the "extreme" nationalism in the Chinese education system is a recipe for disaster, reported Agence-France Presse

Vice President Xi will be the one who has to deal with the demanding young generation brought up with "too much emotion," suggested the revered Buddhist leader, according to AFP

Xi is set to be named Communist Party head at a high-profile meeting on Thursday, a step toward his expected takeover of the presidency from President Hu Jintao in March, said Reuters

"Hu Jintao started to build harmonious society, stable society," the Dalai Lama said, adding, but "I think gap [between the] rich and [the] poor must be reduced" in China, reported AFP

He also criticized the government's use of force to suppress dissent. 

"Using force brings suspicion, fear. That's just opposite of harmony," Reuters cited the Nobel Laureate as saying, and with the "use of secrecy, censorship and bullying ... there is something wrong in their system," he concluded, according to AFP

China accuses the 77-year-old monk of inciting unrest in Tibet, where there have been a raft of self-immolation protests. The Dalai Lama denies the accusations.