By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, November 2: US lawmakers on the eve of President Donald Trump’s visit to China introduced a concurrent resolution in the House of Representative on Wednesday asking President Trump to make Tibet issue an important factor in US-China relations and to encourage China to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his envoys.
President Trump will be visiting China next week as a part his Asia Tour from November 4 to November 14. He arrives in Beijing on November 8.
Co-sponsored by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Representative Eliot Engel along with Representative Ted Yoho and Representative Brad Sherman, the resolution suggests the administration to be consistent with the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, to establish a US consulate in Lhasa and to immediately appoint a Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.
The resolution reminded of China’s implementation of increasingly ‘repressive policies’ in Tibet since His Holiness the Dalai Lama was honored with Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.
The repressive policies include travel restrictions against Tibetans and United States citizens; restrictive regulations on religious affairs; censorship of Buddhist literature and information; demolition of Tibetan Buddhist sites; imprisonment of Tibetan prisoners of conscience; and declaring prerogative over the selection of the next Dalai Lama.
Representative Engel in his statement said, “China’s systematic oppression of the Tibetan people is increasing in intensity and cruelty. So when the President travels to China in the coming days, I hope he makes it clear that human rights and democratic values are central components of American foreign policy.”
“This resolution calls on the Trump Administration to continue America’s principled support of Tibetan people’s right to preserve their own distinct cultural identity,” he said adding how the Congress has long supported the cause of the Tibetan people.
Co-sponsor Representative Ros-Lehtinen said that China’s repression of the Tibetan people represents a serious threat to the region’s stability and the President Trump must put it at a higher priority in US foreign policy.
“This resolution sets a clear blueprint for Tibet policy in US-Chinese relations, outlining where the US needs to take a stronger hand and stand up to Beijing’s bullying,” she said, “As we mark the 10-year anniversary of the Dalai Lama receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, US policy must work to reverse China’s dangerous behavior and finally achieve a negotiated solution that includes meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people.”
Tibet advocacy group, International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) welcomed the resolution as a ‘timely reminder’ for China. Matteo Mecacci, President of ICT said, “The US Congress has been at the forefront in shaping US policy on Tibet and its strong call on the Trump Administration is a timely reminder to Chinese leaders and the Communist Party that the international community will continue to hold them accountable for the violation of the Tibetan people’s rights.”