Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference on March 19, 2019
Q: The Dalai Lama said in an interview that it was possible that once he died, his incarnation could be found in India. And he warned that any other successor named by China would not be respected. What’s China’s comment?
A: I knew you would come up with this question, and let me give you an authoritative reply.
Reincarnation of living Buddhas, as a unique institution of inheritance in Tibetan Buddhism, comes with a set range of rituals and conventions. The Chinese government implements the policy of freedom of religious belief. 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.
The institution of reincarnation of the Dalai Lama has been in existence for several hundred years. The 14th Dalai Lama himself was found and recognized following religious rituals and historical conventions and his succession was approved by the then central government. Therefore reincarnation of living Buddhas including the Dalai Lama must comply with Chinese laws and regulations and follow religious rituals and historical conventions.