BEIJING – China accused the Dalai Lama of being deceitful Monday after he reportedly alleged that Chinese agents trained Tibetan women to assassinate him by planting poison in their hair for him to touch during blessings.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the Tibetan spiritual leader's allegations, reported in the London-based Sunday Telegraph newspaper, were not worth refuting, but added that he generally spreads false information.
"The Dalai always wears religious clothes while carrying out anti-China separatist activities in the global community, spreading false information and deceiving the public," spokesman Hong Lei said at a routine daily news briefing.
The nationalistic tabloid the Global Times further scorned the allegations in a commentary, saying that if China had wanted to kill the Dalai Lama it could have done so any time without waiting until he was 76 years old.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader told the Telegraph he had been warned that the Chinese government was training female Tibetan agents to put poison in their hair or scarves and to seek his blessings or touch his hand.
Hundreds of thousands of people take pilgrimages each year to northern Indian town of Dharmsala, where the Dalai Lama lives under tight security. Huge crowds also surround him during his travels abroad. The Tibetan leader usually places his hand over the heads of devotees seeking his blessing.
He told the newspaper he may ending up being the last Dalai Lama because of Chinese interference in finding his reincarnation after his death.
Associated Press writer Nirmala George in New Delhi contributed to this report.