A top Chinese official has repeated that the Dalai Lama's reincarnation must be approved by Beijing.
In his current incarnation, the Dalai Lama lives in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala
The remarks by Qiangba Puncog, the Chinese appointed chairman of the Tibetan regional government, were carried on the Chinese state Xinhua news agency.
A senior envoy of the Dalai Lama has criticised the claims, saying the Dalai Lama's reincarnation must be endorsed by the Tibetan people only and not by Beijing.
The Dalai Lama's succession has become a prickly issue in recent times, as the Tibetan spiritual leader is aging and his health has been declining.