China 'fixes' Tibet succession

14.11.18: PROTESTERS in the West have accused the Chinese government of finding a 'puppet' to fill the shoes of the late Dalai Lama.

Tension has been running high in Tibet following China's mishandling of the mourning of its previous religious leader, who died just over a year ago.

A new Dalai Lama, who is believed to possess the soul of the last one, is normally found by a mystical process of signs and divination. Some Tibetan Buddhists have cast doubt on the new candidate put forward by China and have proposed one of their own.

This latest scandal poses a further threat to the elderly Chinese leadership, who are increasingly out of step with more liberal views.

They have been under considerable pressure over the question of Taiwan and the island's growing democratic movement. Over the past two years there have been calls for a greater degree of independence from mainland China.

A Chinese government spokesman confirmed yesterday that the administration of Taiwan was under discussion.

There has been no official comment from China on the Tibet protests. PF