Beijing: China on Wednesday said it was not aware of the ill health of the Dalai Lama and that Beijing has the right to choose his successor, not the Tibetan spiritual leader.
The Dalai Lama, 83, has been admitted to a hospital in Delhi with a chest infection but is reported to be in a stable condition.
Beijing calls the Dalai Lama a secessionist, a charge denied by the spiritual leader who fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising and has been living in India since then.
Last month, the Tibetan monk said that his successor might come from India. Beijing had reacted angrily, saying it was the Chinese government which had the say on the issue.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated it on Wednesday.
“I am not aware of the physical condition of the 14th Dalai Lama. As for the reincarnation, this is clear that particular inheritance of the system of Tibetan Buddhism has fixed rituals and we have relevant regulations to respect this heritage (system),” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said here.
Lu was answering a question about the Dalai Lama taking ill and his successor.
“The 14th Dalai Lama was himself recognized according to the fixed religious rituals and was approved by the then central government. So reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should be following national laws and regulations and the religious rituals,” Lu added.
Beijing says it reserved the right to appoint the Dalai Lama’s successor in line with the conventions set by Chinese emperors.
However, many Tibetans believe that the soul of a venerated Buddhist monk will reincarnate in the body of a child after his death.
The current Dalai Lama was born in 1935 and identified as the reincarnation of his predecessor when he was two years old.
India is home to some 100,000 Tibetans, many of whom fled Tibet along with the Dalai Lama.