Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Thursday said India and China have to “live side-by-side”, referring to the clashes between the two countries over a disputed section of the border, The Time magazine reported.

On June 15, at least 20 Indian personnel were killed and 76 injured following the clash between Chinese forces and Indian troops in Galwan Valley in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control. It was the worst violence on the border since 1975. The Chinese have given no figures on their casualties and wounded.

“India and China have some sense of competition in recent times,” the spiritual leader told the magazine in an interview. “Both over a billion population. Both [are] powerful nations yet neither one can destroy the other one, so you have to live side-by-side.”

After a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959. He went into exile in the town of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, where he still lives. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

The disengagement between both India and China began on Monday after the phone conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 5. The Ministry of External Affairs had said that the special representatives from both sides agreed to complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously. On Thursday, China had said the situation along the LAC is “stable and improving”.