Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday he has “no worries” about Donald Trump’s election as US president, adding that he expects the businessman will align his future policies with global realities. The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner’s remarks were his most extensive yet regarding the election of the real estate tycoon and reality television star who has called for putting America’s concerns first and shown little interest in Washington’s traditional espousal of global democracy and social justice.
Commenting at the conclusion of a four-day visit to Mongolia, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism said he looks forward to seeing Trump at some point following the January 20 inauguration. Such meetings usually draw protests from Beijing, which accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to split Tibet from China.
The 81-year-old monk said he has always regarded the US as the leader of the “free world” and wasn’t concerned about remarks made by Trump during the election campaign.
Some of those comments have been cited as offensive to Muslims, Hispanics and other US minority groups.
“I feel during the election, the candidate has more freedom to express. Now once they (are) elected, having the responsibility, then they have to carry their cooperation, their work, according (to) reality,” he told reporters in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. “So I have no worries.”
Tenzin Dhardon Sharling, spokeswoman for the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala, said she was not aware of any plans for a meeting between the Dalai Lama and Trump.
She said the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exile community have enjoyed good relations with successive US presidents and expected that to continue under a Trump administration.
“His holiness has always put great hope in the US as a champion of democracy. He hopes for continued support from the new president and his government,” she said in a telephone interview.
China had demanded Mongolia scrap his visit for the sake of the “general picture of a sound and steady development of bilateral ties.” Mongolia’s fragile economy is heavily dependent on China, and the countries are in talks for a USD 4.2 billion Chinese loan to help pull it out of a recession.
China has apparently delayed talks on the loan in response to the visit by the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959. Mongolian government spokesman Otgonbayar Gombojav said today that China had indefinitely postponed a visit to China next Monday by Mongolian officials to discuss the loan.