The (atheist) Communist Party, who are in control of China's government have declared that all future Tibetan living Buddha reincarnations are to be submitted to religious affairs officials for approval. It is believed that living Buddhas are members of the Clergy who are continuously reincarnated to re-take their positions.
The Panchen Lama is the second most powerful position in the Tebetan Clergy. The Dalai Lama selected a six year old boy as the the reincarnation of this position. Chinese authorities detained the reincarnation in 1995 and he has not been seen in public since.
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