By Tenzin Dharpo
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the US congressional Delegation on stage during the public felicitation ceremony at Tsuglagkhang on May 10, 2017. Phayul Photo Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, MAY 11: Beijing has lodged a diplomatic protest with the United States government after a congressional delegation headed by House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi visited the exile capital of the Tibetan Diaspora here and met with the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the top rung of the exile Tibetan government’s leadership during a two day visit.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Wednesday that the meeting has undermined US’s promises and commitment of not supporting the Tibetan Independence movement. "The visit by the relevant delegates of the US Congress to meet the Dalai Lama sent a very wrong signal to the world about Tibet independence and goes against the United States' promises on Tibet. China firmly opposes this and has lodged solemn representations with the US," Shuang said.
However, the House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said that the purpose of the delegation was to initiate the stalled dialogue between the two parties and espouse commitment of United States towards human rights and environmental concerns in Tibet.
“To some in China, the authentic autonomous Tibet is inconceivable; to us it is inevitable. We must shorten the distance between the inconceivable to them and inevitable to us. I am sure with your devotion, determination and commitment to Tibetan values, culture, language and religions and under leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama who will live to be at least 113 years old, I am certain we will succeed,” Pelosi said yesterday at an official felicitation attended by the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The Tibetan leader pointed out, in foresight of any impending objection from Beijing, that the meetings should not be viewed as a retaliatory act against China and that he does not consider them as enemy but friend. “We must not consider China as our enemy but friend and the dire situation in Tibet is a problem for both Tibet and China, and must be addressed. Use of force only leads to distrust and fear, which eventually leads to discord and without harmony the problem can’t be addressed,” the Dalai Lama said at the gathering attended by hundreds of Tibetans and supporters waving the Tibetan and US national flags.
Yesterday, the visit by the bipartisan US delegation to Nepal and India culminated at an official felicitation ceremony organized by the CTA at the Tsuglakhang temple in McLoed Ganj.
US representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, Eliot Engel, Jim McGovern, Betty McCollum, Judy Chu, Joyce Beatty and Pramila Jayapal were joined by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan President Lobsang Sangay for the momentous event.