Dharamsala: Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay has said it would be in China's own interest to help Tibet find a 'middle way' for autonomy within the Chinese state structure, the Tibetan government-in-exile said.

“The 'one country, two systems' model is already practiced in Hong Kong and Macau. Beijing even seems willing to grant Taiwan more autonomy,” Lobsang said in an interview with Germany's Deutsche Welle in Berlin, but added this is perhaps because Chinese people live there, whereas Beijing is wary of Tibetans.”

China's moral authority in the world hinged upon it finding a solution to the Tibetan question, said Sangay, according to a post on official website of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

'Without morality, Beijing will be feared perhaps but it won't be respected and yet this is intrinsic to great power status,' he said.

On recent refusal by South Africa to grant visa to the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, Sangay said he was very disappointed.

He said he had nothing against doing business with China but that one should not throw all one's principles overboard.

Reiterating Dalai Lama's stand against self-immolation protests in Tibet, Sangay said such acts by the Tibetans were an act of despair.

“However, we do not encourage anybody to choose this form of protest,” he insisted. 'Life is very valuable,' he said and pointed out that the Dalai Lama had also spoken out against them.

He said any sign of support from famous people or governments was important. “Such support could once again create hope,” he added.

The CTA based in this north Indian town said till now, 11 Tibetans have set themselves afire to protest China's policies, for their demand of freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland.

The Dalai Lama along with many of his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.

His government-in-exile that never won recognition from any country is based here.

India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.

(Agencies)