It turns out that allotting lamas has been a state sanctioned system since 1792, and the modern day Chinese are adherents:
As the Dalai Lama ages, speculation swirls around the mystery of his reincarnation – and the question of who will assume religious and political leadership of the Tibetan diaspora after he dies.
The Dalai Lama has played with the idea of controlling his reincarnation and possibly designating his successor before he dies, in order to pre-empt Chinese efforts to control the selection of the next Dalai Lama, as they did for the current Panchen Lama.
Regardless of what novel methods the Dalai Lama adopts, conflict instigated by China – and divisions that dilute the authority and prestige of the exile religious establishment headquartered in Dharmsala, India – are inevitable.
The new governor of the Tibetan Autonomous Region declared that designation of the next Dalai Lama would strictly adhere to the state-controlled model dating to the Qing Dynasty: selection by lot from a golden urn under government supervision.
The Dalai Lama has apparently been grooming the young leader of the Kagyu or Black Hat sect – the Karmapa – as the leader of Tibetan Buddhism in exile.