New Delhi (AFP) - A potential successor to the Dalai Lama Monday warned that Chinese military installations and other projects in Tibet could have disastrous environmental consequences for Asia.
Urgyen Trinley urged India to voice its concerns over Chinese development activities in his Himalayan home country.
"During the more than 50 years since China took over Tibet, there has been a great deal of development and activity including military installations by the Chinese that have impacted the Tibetan environment," Trinley told AFP.
"The fact China has control of Tibet does not mean they have the right to do whatever they want to the Tibetan environment," Trinley, who fled Tibet to India in 2000, said.
India, which fought a brief but bloody border war with its giant neighbour in 1962, accuses China of large scale construction of military infrastructure on its frontiers.
"A great deal of mining and dams are in Tibet now," the Buddhist monk, who resides in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, said in an interview in New Delhi.
"Whatever happens to the Tibetan environment will definitely impact its neighbours and also eventually all of Asia," Trinley said through an interpreter.
"India has the deepest connect with Tibet and I would hope for a more clear expression of concern for the Tibetan environment from India," the spiritual leader added.
Trinley said he was in the national capital to educate "monks and nuns who live in monasteries in the Himalayan region" on environmental issues.
Tibetans have long chafed at China's rule over the vast Tibetan plateau, accusing Beijing of curbing religious freedoms and eroding their culture and language.
Trinley is recognised by both China and the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the Karmapa Lama, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage, one of Tibetan Buddhism's four major schools.
Recent appearances with the Dalai Lama have fuelled speculation he is being groomed as the Nobel peace laureate's spiritual successor.