Following months of undisclosed negotiations, Beijing has an open attitude to the Dalai Lama's wish to go to China's Mount Wutai on pilgrimage, according to reports from two Chinese-language news websites.
After the Dalai Lama's recent comments indicating that he may not have a successor, Boxun News and Mingjing News over the past few days have reported that Beijing has been negotiating with the Dalai Lama's representative over his wish to visit the Chinese mountain that is sacred to Buddhists.
The reports said that representatives of China and the Dalai Lama have been in frequent communication over the issue in Southeast Asian countries, and the negotiations have apparently been going well. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader has expressed his strong desire to return to China, and Beijing has not shown disapproval, according to the reports.
Reports also claimed that representatives are currently discussing ways the Dalai Lama could return to China and his possible itinerary when in the country. If the Dalai Lama is going to return to China, he might return with the stated aim of visiting the sacred mountain on pilgrimage, reports said.
In a phone interview with the Central News Agency, the Dalai Lama's representative to New Delhi Tempa Tsering denied the reports, saying that there has not been formal contact between the Dalai Lama and Beijing since 2010.
"We will welcome the reports if they are true but we don't have any information concerning this issue," he said.
The Dalai Lama, in a recent interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, said the tradition of his post could end with him, adding that Tibetan Buddhism is not dependent on a single person. The Dalai Lama said he does not think Tibetans needed a Dalai Lama anymore. The Dalai Lama, 79, has stated previously that he will not be reborn in China if Tibet is not free and that no one, including China, has the right to choose his successor "for political ends."
Beijing has called on the Dalai Lama to respect the historic practice of reincarnation. Beijing criticised the Dalai Lama's hint that he may choose not to be reborn, saying it will damage the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism.