Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said Tibet can remain in China only if Beijing recognised the region’s culture and autonomy. Tibet will benefit from China’s economy, he said.

“Historically and culturally, Tibet has been independent,” he said during a lecture on “Role of Ethics and Culture in Promoting Global Peace and Harmony” in New Delhi, The Hindu reported. “So long as the constitution of China recognises our culture and Tibetan autonomous region’s special history, they can remain [part of China].”

The lecture was organised by the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and the Antar-Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s exile. He fled to India in 1959 after an unsuccessful uprising against Chinese rule and then set up a government-in-exile in Dharamsala. China, which considers Tibet to be an integral part of its territory, sees the Dalai Lama as a separatist leader.

The celebrations began earlier this month with an event at Dharamsala. The Dalai Lama is likely to tour the country throughout the year.

The Dalai Lama also stressed on the importance of the Tibetan identity. Times have changed and economic cooperation was the more rational option, he said. “There was a time when every French looked at the Germans as enemies. But today they are in the European Union. Similarly, we can work together.” He had said Tibet can exist within China just like the European Union nations stick together in March too.

He also spoke about the ethnic violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and told Burmese Buddhists “to recall the face of the Buddha when they feel antagonistic”.

The Dalai Lama called for the revival of ancient Indian traditions and including them in the modern education system. “India can combine ancient knowledge of the mind and emotions with materialistic modern education” to help solve the world, he added.