China has said the Dalai Lama is "playing tricks" on the world by announcing he will retire as the political leader of the Tibet government.
In a speech delivered in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala on Thursday, the Dalai Lama said he would ask the Tibetan parliament-in-exile to begin the formal process of his resignation next Monday.
China's foreign ministry described the move as a "trick."
"He has often talked about retirement in the past few years. I think these are his tricks to deceive the international community," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.
The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader's speech marked the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Communist Chinese authorities.
He said his departure was "to benefit Tibetans in the long run."
"As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader elected freely by the Tibetan people to whom I can devolve power. Now we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect," he said.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner also called on China's leaders to develop greater transparency.
"Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are essential," he said.
A wave of mass anti-China protests swept through Tibet in March 2008, the worst unrest there in over two decades.
MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti)