China has accused the Dalai Lama of being deceitful 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.
After the Tibetan spiritual leader's allegations were reported in the Sunday Telegraph, the Chinese foreign ministry said the accusation was not worth refuting.
It added today that the Dalai Lama generally spreads false information.
A spokesman said: "The Dalai always wears religious clothes while carrying out anti-China separatist activities in the global community, spreading false information and deceiving the public."
Nationalistic Chinese tabloid the Global Times has poured further scorn on the allegations in a commentary, saying that if China 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 Sunday Telegraph that 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 go on pilgrimages each year to the northern Indian town of Dharmsala, where the Dalai Lama lives under tight security.
Huge crowds 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 might end up being the last Dalai Lama because of Chinese interference in finding his reincarnation after his death.