China said today that the Dalai Lama was playing “tricks” on the world, after the Buddhist monk announced plans to step down as political head of the exiled Tibetan government.
“He has often talked about retirement in the past few years. I think these are his tricks to deceive the international community,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.
“The government-in-exile is an illegal political organisation and no country in the world recognises it.”
The Dalai Lama said today he would seek an amendment allowing him to resign his political office when the exiled Tibetan parliament meets next week in the northern Indian hilltop town of Dharamshala.
The 75-year-old monk, who is seen by Beijing as a “splittist” bent on independence for his Himalayan homeland, intends to stay on in his key role as Tibet’s spiritual leader, albeit in exile.
The Dalai Lama was just 15 when he was appointed “head of state” in 1950 after Chinese troops moved into Tibet. He fled his homeland in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
“The Dalai is a political exile under a religious cloak long engaged in activities aimed at splitting China and he is also the mastermind of a political clique of Tibetan independence activists,” Jiang said. Agencies