Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, criticized the leaders of China on Wednesday, saying they "don't understand the variety of different cultures" there and there is too much control by the main Han ethnic group.

But he also said he had nothing against "Chinese brothers and sisters" as fellow humans and he broadly supported the ideas behind communism and Marxism.

The 86-year-old Dalai Lama, taking part in an online news conference anchored in Tokyo, was answering a question about whether the international community should consider boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics over the suppression of minorities, including those in the western region of Xinjiang.