The second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism is the Panchen Lama and he’s traditionally chosen by the Dalai Lama. But Chinese Communist Party leaders have endorsed their own ‘Panchen Lama.’ They named him on Sunday to a committee that advises the National People’s Congress—China’s legislative body.
The 20-year old Gyaincain Norbu’s appointment to the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference is seen as an effort by the Chinese regime to raise the profile of their candidate.
The announcement came on the heels of the Dalai Lama’s high profile visit to Washington, D.C. to meet with United States President Barack Obama.
The Dalai Lama chose a young Tibetan boy named Gedhun Choekyi Nyima to be the next Panchen Lama back in 1995. The boy and his family “disappeared” soon after and are thought to be held under some form of house arrest.