After talks broke down between Beijing and representatives of the Dalai Lama, Chinese officials have already begun talking about the septuagenarian religious leader’s passing. From The Globe and Mail:
The 73-year-old Tibetan leader, who has suffered a bout of ill health and hospital treatment in recent months, has already given up most of his political duties. Now he faces taunting from Chinese officials, who yesterday spoke openly of his “poor health” and his “passing away.”
The Dalai Lama, hugely popular in the West and in the exiled Tibetan community, has been the nemesis of the Chinese government for decades. Beijing accused him yesterday of planning “apartheid and ethnic cleansing” in his Tibetan homeland.
In a report later, China’s state news agency said the government is looking to the “post-Dalai Lama era.” It quoted an official who made repeated references to the advanced age and “poor health condition” of the Tibetan leader.
The remarks are certain to deepen the gulf between Beijing and the Tibetan exiles, who are planning a major summit from Nov. 17 to 22 to decide on a new strategy in the aftermath of the failure of the latest talks between the two sides.
According to an AFP report, the Dalai Lama would like to continue talks with China.