Washington: The Dalai Lama said that Chinese leaders show through their strident denunciations of him that they are "childish" and lack their full brains, but voiced hope that China will change in time.
Tibet`s exiled spiritual leader enjoys widespread global popularity, speaking to arenas full of thousands during a recent visit to the United States. But he is demonised by China, which has called him a "wolf in monk`s clothing”.
In a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the Dalai Lama said that China`s rulers were hoping to convince both Tibetans and Chinese that he was a negative force but lacked any sense of nuance.
"They want 100 percent negative. So they use these words. They actually disgrace themselves," the Dalai Lama said in the magazine`s current edition. "I mean, childish! Very foolish! Nobody believes them.”
"Usually, with human beings, one part of the brain develops common sense. But with those Chinese leaders, particularly the hardliners, that part of their brain is missing," he said.
"When I met with President (Barack) Obama last year, I told him, `You should make a little surgery. Put that part of brain into the Chinese,`" the Dalai Lama, who met again with Obama on July 16, said with a laugh.
The Dalai Lama, who fled China`s rule of Tibet for exile in India in 1959, says he is seeking greater rights for Tibetans and accepts China`s rule. Beijing insists that he is a "splittist" trying to divide the country.
Vice President Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to take over as China`s leader, attacked the Dalai Lama as he visited Lhasa on Tuesday to mark 60 years since China cemented control over the Himalayan region.
"We should fight against separatist activities by the Dalai group... and take measures to address root causes, and smash any attempt to undermine stability in Tibet and the national unity of the motherland," Xi said.
The International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group that works closely with the Dalai Lama, said that Chinese authorities imposed stringent security for Xi`s visit, with reports at least 100 people were rounded up and that Tibetans not involved in official events were told to stay at home.
In the Rolling Stone interview, the Dalai Lama said he was hopeful that China would change with time. He praised Premier Wen Jiabao for his calls for political reforms.
"Chinese intellectuals and artists, more and more say they want political change, more freedom. So therefore, it is bound to change," the Dalai Lama said.
"In the next 50 years, I think it is almost certain things will change, whether I live the next 50 years or whether I don`t."
At age 76, the Dalai Lama appears to be in good health. But he has devoted attention to his succession, fearful about China`s insistence it has to approve the next Dalai Lama -- presumably to groom the boy to be pro-Beijing.
The Dalai Lama recently said he was ending his political role, with Tibetans in exile electing their own prime minister. The monk said the reforms would make life easier for his successor, who will be the 15th Dalai Lama.
"By my resignation, I already made the role separate from the political world. So it will be much safer for the next Dalai Lama," he said.
The Dalai Lama has repeatedly said he wants to return to Tibet. In the interview, however, he played down the issue.
"The Tibet issue is not an issue about the Dalai Lama. It is about six million Tibetans and their culture. So unless the Chinese government addresses the real issues, talks about my return to Tibet are irrelevant," he said.
The Dalai Lama said he was not concerned about whether he can be buried at the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
"If the airplane I`m on crashes, then finished! Follow bin Laden!" he said, referring to the September 11 attacks.