By Ugyen Gyalpo
“If you think you live in a free country, ask if your politicians feel free to meet the Dalai Lama. If the answer is no, then you are part of the Chinese empire — you just haven’t realised it yet.” -Edward Lucas, The Times Columnists.
It is true that Trump never met His Holiness. It’s also true that this “Tibet test” that Edward Lucas coined, Trump failed. But this “Tibet Test” should not be the only benchmark to determine a nation’s reprimand to a communist state, especially in the case of this administration. In the last three and half years, Trump has rattled China more than any US presidents combined. His administration crushed Huawei, a telecom giant whose 5G launch would have sent the Orwellian regimes reach to the western world on steroids. He also banned WeChat and Tiktok, and delisted many Chinese companies from the U.S exchanges. He has also closed few Chinese consulates in the United States triggering tit for tat from the Chinese side as well. If that is not standing up against a Communist regime, I don’t know what it is then.
As we speak, China is on the verge of attacking Taiwan and according to the military and political pundits, the imminent attack will likely occur on the week of the US elections. But the U.S administration has officially signed military alliance with Taiwan indirectly supporting its independence and sovereignty defying China’s condemnation.
The last time His Holiness visited the United States was back in July 15, 2016 when the sitting President was Barack Obama. If His Holiness would have travelled just as frequently like he did in the Obama and the Bush era, meeting with His Holiness would have been anybody’s guess. Am I right?
Besides the trade war with China, America has so far taken many measures against Chinese Communist Party that we tend to forget amidst the venomous bipartisan politics of this divided country. The bigger picture of controlling China’s rise and its threat to the free world and democracy is vastly ignored. I am recollecting many of the bills and measures that were passed against China. Although many of the bills were initiated by the Democratic Party but it has always found bipartisan support and hence the approval and signature from the U.S President. I may have left a few though.
1. The United States signed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act
2. The United States passed the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act that sought to sanction and punish Chinese officials involved in the Uighur concentrations camps.
3. The U.S. House of Representatives passes the McGovern Bill to hold China Accountable for Human Rights abuses in Tibet and passed Tibet Human rights bill.
4. The United States Congress passed The Tibet Policy and Support Act. The legislation also established that the succession of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including a future 15th Dalai Lama be left solely to the Tibetan Buddhist community, without interference from the Chinese government.
5. A Bill to recognize Tibet as an ‘independent country was introduced in US House of Representative by Scot Perry. It is awaiting introduction in the senate.
6. The U.S. revoked Hong Kong’s special status after China passed the National Security Law.
7. Amidst China’s growing threat of military takeover of Taiwan, the U.S is selling arms to Taiwan to help build up its defense.
8. The U.S has stepped up joint naval exercises in the South China Sea securing freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.
9. The United States has blocked American pensioner’s funds from being invested in China’s bond and equity markets.
10. The United States has forced Chinese companies to be delisted from U.S. stock exchanges.
11. The United States has incentivized US companies to move plants out of China.
12. The United States has banned all member of the Chinese Communist Party from entering the United States
13. Appointed Assistant Secretary Robert Destro as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan
(Views expressed are his own)
The author is a blogger at ‘The Roar of the Snow Lion’. He is a Tibetan living in Woodside, New York.