XI Jinping agreed to meet Dalai Lama in 2014

A file picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama being interviewed by Sonia Singh. Image:NDTV

DHARAMSALA, 15 May: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has nearly met with Chinese President Xi Jinping when the latter visited New Delhi in 2014, eminent Indian journalist Sonia Singh has disclosed.

Sonia Singh, the editorial director and president of the NDTV ethics committee has made the disclosure in her book Defining India: Through Their Eyes’ based on her interview with the Tibetan spiritual leader.

“In 2014, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Delhi for talks with Prime Minister Modi, I requested a meeting with him. President Xi Jinping agreed, but the Indian government was cautious about the meeting, so it didn’t happen,” Sonia Singh quoted the Dalai Lama as telling her in a rare conversation for her book, ‘Defining India.’

Hence, if India hasn’t interviened then, the Dalai Lama would have met with the Chinese President, according to the excerpts from tthe book.

Representatives of the Dalai Lama held nine rounds of talks with China until 2010 and in 2012, the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama resigned from their positions citing overall deteriorating situation inside Tibet and “lack of willingness and sincerity” from the Chinese side.

Since then the dialogue was open through only informal channels.

China has kept open informal channels of dialogue with the exiled Tibetan leadership even though official talks have been stalled since 2010, Reuters quoted CTA president Dr Lobsang Sangay as saying in its report dated 5 June 2014.

Sonia Singh hosts ‘The NDTV Dialogues’, a show focusing on understanding on key issues and a look at potential solutions has interviewed the Tibetan spiritual leader couple of times in the past as well.

Her book, published by the Penguin features 14 other interviews apart from the Tibetan Nobel Laureate which includes the likes of Amartya Sen, Aamir Khan, Raghuram Rajan, Sachin Tendulkar, Pranab Mukherjee, Arun Jaitley, Nirmala Sitharaman and Sania Mirza among others, share their stories and experiences on what changed their lives and how they define India

The piece published on NDTV concluded with a remark that a meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Xi could have also been used as a propaganda tool by the Chinese to outwit both India and the Dalai Lama, who is seen by some foreign policy strategists as India’s trump card against the Chinese. It’s not surprising then that the request for the meeting must have sent the ministry of external affairs into a spin leading to a denial of the request.

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