Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Wednesday said that Tibetans had the power of truth while the Chinese government had the power of guns, ANI reported.

“We have the power of truth. Chinese communists have the power of gun,” he said. “In the long run, power of truth is much stronger than power of gun.” The spiritual leader, who is in Bihar’s Gaya city for the next two weeks, said that Tibetan culture and customs should be preserved.

One of the highest number of Buddhists in the world are in China, the spiritual leader said, adding that this population was slowly beginning to realise that the “kind of Buddhism we [Tibetans] practice is true”, according to Hindustan Times.

China and Tibetan Buddhists are at loggerheads over Dalai Lama’s successor as Beijing insists that the tradition of reincarnation should go on. However, Tibetans allege that this was China’s attempt to “impose” a successor.

According to Tibetan tradition, the Dalai Lama reincarnates after his death – and the new person is appointed his successor. China, however, claims the next spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism has to be approved by its government.

Last month, the spiritual leader underplayed the debate on his successor. “All of you discussed a lot about my reincarnation,” he said, addressing a meeting of Tibetan religious leaders, according to PTI. “I am 84 or 85 years old and I am quite well. So why are you in a hurry about my reincarnation?” In the same event, the religious leaders had adopted a resolution that only Dalai Lama could decide how his reincarnation would occur.

Dalai Lama has said in the past that it was not mandatory for the tradition of reincarnation to be continued. In July, China said that any successor to the Dalai Lama should be chosen from within the country and India’s interference in the matter will affect bilateral ties. In March, the Dalai Lama had said it was possible his successor could be found in India after his death. He had also warned that a successor chosen by China would not be respected.