China said Tuesday that a boy who disappeared 25 years ago after being picked by the Dalai Lama as Tibetan Buddhism’s second-highest figure is now a college graduate with a stable job.
Very little information has been given about Gedhun Choekyi Nyima or his family since he went missing at age 6 shortly after being named the 11th Panchen Lama.
China, which claims that Tibet is part of its territory, named another boy to the position, Gyaltsen Norbu, who is rarely seen and is believed to spend most of his time in Beijing. He is generally viewed as a political figure under Beijing’s control and shares none of the Dalai Lama’s global fame.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Gedhun Choekyi Nyima “received free compulsory education when he was a child, passed the college entrance examination and now has a job.” Zhao said neither the now-31-year-old man or his family wishes to be disturbed in their “current normal lives.” No other details were given.
The tussle between Beijing and the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in 1959, concerns who will determine the future of Tibetan Buddhism, which still commands heavy sway over the people of the Himalayan region that China says has been its territory for centuries but which many Tibetans believe was largely independent.
Read more: yahoo