Hollywood actor/ political activist Richard Gere has voiced hope that China could one day have a Tibetan leader – the same way as United States has a black president.
Gere, a Buddhist, is particularly passionate about Chinese/Tibetan relations.
The actor was in Washington to urge Congress to support Tibet in the country’s fight against oppression by the Communist government in neighbouring China.
And Gere is hopeful that the historic election of U.S. President Barack Obama will inspire China’s citizens to one day elect a Tibetan leader.
“Thirty years, 20 years ago, who would have thought there could be a black president of the United States? Things change rapidly and it’s usually in crisis and tragedy that things change the most,” the Daily Star quoted him, as saying.
I can see a time when there may well be a Tibetan-Chinese prime minister or president or whatever form of government there is then. But the words have to be spoken,” he added.
The ‘Pretty Woman’ star is also confident about the role international governments could play in persuading Chinese officials to take a softer line with Tibet.
“I think the economy and our fear of losing the Chinese market is a straw dog. I don’t buy it at all,” he said.
“China has so committed itself to the world economic system that it can’t go back now. They can’t function without us and they can’t function without Europe.
“I think we are actually in a very strong position vis-a-vis China,” he added.