"There is no guarantee that some stupid Dalai Lama won't come next, who will disgrace himself or herself. That would be very sad. So, much better that a centuries-old tradition should cease at the time of a quite popular Dalai Lama.”
I was laughing so hard when I saw this quote. At first glance, it may look like the infamously humble Dalai Lama was bragging, but in reality, he may have been taken another shot at the Chinese government that has exiled him. The reason he gave? He would prefer that the last Dalai Lama be a strong and intelligent leader like himself, and not risk electing a dumber or unworthy Dalai Lama. This, many believe, is the Dalai Lama’s way to ensure the Tibetan community have an elected leader that is not in the control of China. China has repeatedly stated that Chinese government will choose the next Dalai Lama, and has set itself up for this. In 1995, even though the Dalai Lama had chosen a young boy as the Panchen Lama (the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism), China rejected the choice and made its own choice.
So while we all understand that China is becoming a superpower, and may already be, will we all sit and watch as it denies basic representation to many factions of its population? This is what the Hong Kong protests were about. And yet, this is a complicated question since so many nations have strong economic ties to China that they wish to protect. So what is the right course of action?