But his proposals, including autonomy for Tibetans outside the present boundary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, have been described by Beijing as a "back door to splitting the motherland".
The mood worsened last year after the riots in Lhasa and other Tibetan communities surrounding Tibet.
The 74-year-old Dalai Lama put on a brave face during the wide-ranging and candid interview.
However, he admitted there had been no contact with Beijing after the talks with the Chinese government became deadlocked last year.
"We are simply waiting" for Beijing to send signals, he said.
On the future of the relationship between the Chinese government and the Tibetan community, the Dalai Lama pointed out that there were growing signs of frustration and resentment among the younger generation.
As long as he lived they would follow his instructions on non-violence, he said, but after he was gone they would have a free hand, something he called "quite serious".
The Tibet issue reflects wider ethnic problems in China.
While acknowledging the Chinese Communist Party as adaptive to new realities, the Dalai Lama described China's policy on ethnic minorities as "a failure".
He said Beijing's approach to the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Tibet was not realistic.
"They always look from only one angle - how to keep, how to control. Only that angle. They don't care about what the local people are feeling."
Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama called the recent riots in Xinjiang "very sad", saying he totally disagreed with violence and that "that kind of riot is no help to solving the problem".
The Chinese embassy in the UK was shown the interview and asked for a response, but declined to do so.
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