TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Tuesday, March 19, the Dalai Lama suggested that his potential successor, believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be the same Dalai Lama reincarnated through the ages into different bodies, was likely to be born in India.
On March 20, Chinese authorities naturally had a rebuttal for the exiled political leader, claiming that any reincarnation of the Dalai Lama would have to “comply with Chinese law and regulations.”
Telling Reuters that his successor may come from India, the Dalai Lama also anticipated such a reaction from Beijing, and noted that the issue of his successor is very concerning for the Chinese government.
“In the future, in case you see two Dalai Lamas come, one from here, in free country (India), one chosen by Chinese, then nobody will trust, nobody will respect (the one chosen by China). So that’s an additional problem for the Chinese! It’s possible, it can happen.”
Responding to the declaration that a Tibetan leader chosen by Beijing would not be respected, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, speaking on behalf of the atheist communist party, said the following, as reported by Newsweek.
“The reincarnation system is respected and protected by such legal instruments as Regulations on Religious Affairs and Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas."
Geng Shuang also suggested that since the current Dalai Lama was previously approved by China’s central government before his exile in 1959, this was evidence that the Chinese government respects “religious rituals and historical conventions.”
Therefore, according the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson's reasoning, the “reincarnation of living Buddhas…must comply with Chinese laws and regulations.”
The laughable response from Beijing amounts to a declaration that the Chinese Communist Party plans to appoint their own successor for Tibetan Buddhists in China, and has no intention of allowing the traditional religious institutions of the Tibetan Buddhists to operate autonomously from the Communist state.
As the Dalai Lama suggested, it is very likely the world will witness the appointment of two different Dalai Lamas after the current 14th Dalai Lama passes away.