The US draws a red line for China to handpick next Dalai Lama
AFP Published Sep 19, 2019
The US is hoping to make clear that Beijing would face international opprobrium if it tries to take over the reincarnation process.
A bill recently introduced in the US Congress would call for sanctions on any Chinese official who interferes with Tibetan Buddhist succession practices. (Photo: File | Representational)
Washington: As Tibetans start grappling with the once-unthinkable prospect of the octogenarian Dalai Lama's passing, the United States is looking to lay down a red line against China handpicking his successor.
Through a warning from a senior official and legislation under consideration in Congress, the United States is hoping to make clear in advance that Beijing would face international opprobrium if it tries to take over the reincarnation process.
At 84, the 14th Dalai Lama has slowed his once incessant travel down a notch and earlier this year was hospitalized for a chest infection, although there is no indication he faces serious health issues.
Nonetheless, both Tibetan activists and Beijing are keenly aware that his death will mark a major setback in his push for more autonomy for the Himalayan region, depriving the cause of a Nobel Prize winner whose moral teachings and idiosyncratic humor have made him one of the world's most popular religious leaders.
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