Washington, May 24, 2001 - The Dalai Lama called in an interview broadcast Thursday for "interdependent" relations between China and Tibet, suggesting his native Himalayan territory needs Chinese help to modernize. "Tibet is really backward," Tibet's exiled spiritual leader told Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America. "Spiritually, of course, it is highly developed... as is Tibetan culture. But materially it's very backward." Tibet still "must catch up to all of the world's material advancement," he said. "My stance is that we're not seeking independence but... mutual benefits and eventually resolution" of a longstanding disagreement regarding China's sovereignty over Tibet, he said. "The world is changing. In reality, the concept of sovereignty - complete independence - is no longer there. Each nation is heavily interdependent. "If you use intelligence," he said, "complete separation or complete isolation is not workable. I think that?s the reality." RFA's complete interview with the Dalai Lama is available on the World Wide Web at www.rfa.org. Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting news and information to listeners in Asia where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Created by Congress in 1996, RFA aims to deliver such news reports - along with opinions and commentaries - and to provide a forum for a variety of voices and opinions. RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Khmer, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Mandarin, Laotian, Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan, and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest journalistic standards and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content.