China says only it can choose Dalai Lama’s successor, not him

Beijing, Sept 27: China has said that exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, cannot choose who will succeed him when he dies, and that Beijing will make the decision.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a news conference that Dalai Lamas have never decided on their own successors.

“I would like to point out the title of the Dalai Lama is conferred by the central government and is otherwise illegal. The 14th Dalai Lama was approved by the then republican government,” the Daily Mail quoted Hong, as saying.

“There has never been a practice of the Dalai Lama identifying his own successor,” he added.

China has said that religious law requires that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama be born in a Tibetan area under Chinese control.

But the Dalai Lama has opposed Beijing’s involvement in selecting its leaders.

The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that if he is to be reincarnated he will leave clear written instructions about the process.

He said in a statement that when he is ‘about 90′ he will consult Buddhist scholars to evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue at all.

“Bear in mind that, apart from the reincarnation recognised through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China,” he said. (ANI)