News and Views on Tibet

Opinion: Did Trump fail the “Tibet Test”?

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US President Donald Trump smiles (The Guardian)
US President Donald Trump smiles (The Guardian)

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. 

8 Responses

  1. It looks to me like Trump is fighting the 3 most visible cancers of the modern world.

    1) CCP China’s Expansion: A threat to freedom of speech and religion. (not the 1.5 billion people who were Buddhist once and works tirelessly to fuel the world economy today)
    2) Drug Traffickers (mostly hispanic that supplies to destroy stability in USA)
    3) Terrorism (Radical muslims who had for centuries used violence and destroyed many communities including the popular Nalanda University which was ransacked and destroyed by a Muslim persian king named Baktiar Khilji)

    This is solely my own personal opinion.

  2. A more appropriate question to ask of ourselves is are we failing to take full advantage of the situation? Is our interest only in garnering some support of human rights kind and to receive aid?

  3. “If you think you live in a free country, ask if your NBA athletes feel free to say, ‘I STAND WITH THE DEMOCRATIC LOVING PEOPLE OF HONG KONG’. If the answer is no, then you are part of the Chinese empire.” -Edward Lucas, The Times Columnists.

  4. This is nonsensical.

    Trump is the only American president in recent history to have never mentioned the word “Tibet” publicly even once.

    Several of the policies mentioned here are part of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018, which was authored by Democratic Representative and Tibet supporter Jim McGovern and passed by a bi-partsian majority in both houses of Congress. This was not Trump’s accomplishment.

    The US Congresses achievements on Tibet, which are the result of advocacy by Tibetan Americans and organizations, are not Trump’s accomplishments.

    Unlike his predecessor, Trump took 4 years to appoint a Special Coordinator for Tibet, leaving the post vacant while Tibet burned.

    His Holiness has event explicitly said that Trump has a “lack of moral principle.”

    Frankly speaking, a vote for Trump is a vote for a president that separated 5,000+ refugee children from their parents and put them in cages, many of whom will grow up orphaned. It is a vote for a president who has normalized and refused to condemn White supremacy.

    With all do respect, both as a non-Tibetan, and as a long term ally to the Tibetan community and freedom movement, there is no basis for saying that Trump is good for Tibet.

    No one is saying that Biden will be a champion for Tibet but objectively, he has laid out a better platform that speaks to specific actions he (not Congress) will do to support Tibet.

    1. Dear Nick Gulotta, I truly appreciate your work with SFT and grateful for people like you (non-Tib) who work with so much passion and enthusiasm for Tibet cause. I respect you but i do not share your opinion. There are many people that i respect who are genuinely good but that doesn’t mean that i agree with them.
      Like the writer has listed down all that has been accomplished during the Trump administration, no one is able to refute that and yet “Trump is not good for Tibet”. Why is that? In the hatred of Trump (for whatever karmic reason one gets triggered by him) we should never forget that CCP China is the biggest evil. I am not against Chinese people or China as a country but with CCP in power, China will only prolong the suffering for the whole world. Chinese virologist whistleblower Dr Li Meng Yang has stated that she made the decision to reveal about the CCP virus because Trump is the President and that he is the one who can help not only Americans but also the Chinese from the CCP regime. She states that if he wasn’t the President that she would not dare to go to the US because she knows only too well how evil the CCP regime is and what they’re capable of. So, Trump inspires confidence and hope.
      As for His Holiness saying that Trump lacks moral values, take it with a pinch of salt. HHDL has never met Trump nor had any interactions so HH’s opinion of Trump is 2nd hand and influenced by his closeness to some democrat members and of course by msm propaganda and narrative just like we all have been fed with day and night. People don’t realize how brainwashed they’re getting when all they watch is CNN starting with Erin Burnett to Anderson Cooper to Chris Cuomo to Don Lemmon.Then start all over again and all they hear is orange man bad. A co-worker of mine who is glued to CNN used to come to work everyday with a lot of anger in her against Trump but didn’t even know that there was fighting going on between Armenia and Azerbaijan or that there is a historic peace deal in the middle east. She felt cheated because as her family comes from Greece she has an interest in what was happening in that area.
      No matter how much you dislike Trump for whatever reason there is no denying that he is bringing abut a lot of hope, aspiration and self reliance in people and communities. Watch some of the “Walk away campaign testimonial” on youtube. Many from minority communities have found freedom and empowerment from walking away from the bondage of victimhood and dependency. People want to feel equal not less than therefore deserving handouts.
      As for the refugee children being separated from their parents, its again something the msm blew out of proportion. Trump administration was basically carrying out the same policy of the previous Obama admin. In fact the famous cage pics were all from Obama’s time. Just do some research and sift from the fake news. Obama also deported the most number of immigrants. Its in the record Obama has not denied it. As for Biden, there are more and more allegations of his family’s dealings with Chinese with connection to CCP officials. Biden is so compromised he would put US on the path to becoming a tributary state of CCP China. If Biden were to win we can almost say the world is China’s.

      1. Hi Tenzing la,

        I am not quite sure who you are by your name but I am sure that our respect for each other is mutual. We fundamentally disagree in our outlook on American politics but please consider the following:

        I will share that I believe that His Holiness is not only capable of making judgements about world leader’s moral characters but that we should give him more credit than to believe that his point of view is in some way compromised by the bias of nefarious media institutions.

        Further, I think it’s important to share that there are a lot of good reasons why Trump is not good for Tibet. Dechen Tsering la and Tendor la both wrote great articles about this on Phayul and in Foreign Policy. I hope you will read and consider them.

        A few that are important for me:

        – When meeting with Xi Jinping last year Trump told him that building concentration camps for Uighurs was the right thing to do.

        – He refused to make a statement on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre saying “who cares about it.”

        – He downgraded the Special Coordinator for Tibet position to an undersecretary-level position after leaving it vacant for the last four years as Tibet burned. This really sends the wrong message to Beijing that the US is not seriously committed to supporting Tibet.

        By contrast, Joe Biden has actually outlined a plan for Tibet, which has specific actionable steps that he has committed to: When he is elected, we will have to hold him accountable to these.

        No one is stating that Joe Biden is the ideal candidate or that the Obama Administration was good on Immigration. However, the fact remains that Trump separated more than 5,000 children from their families; enacted a Muslim Ban; and African Ban; called Mexicans rapists and murderers; has wreaked havoc on the asylum system; and continues to enact xenophobic policies each day. There’s never been a clearer contrast between two candidates in this regard.

    2. “Frankly speaking, a vote for Trump is a vote for a president that separated 5,000+ refugee children from their parents and put them in cages, many of whom will grow up orphaned. It is a vote for a president who has normalized and refused to condemn White supremacy.”

      Frankly speaking lol. The cages for kids were constructed, used and abused under the Obama Administration, Trump had nothing to do with it. And, Trump has condemned White Supremist many times. But you just want to paint the President as a racist, facts be damned.

      What White Supremist, exactly? The ones that are looting, rioting and burning down Dem run cities?? Its getting to the point if a white person in America wave the American flag out of patriotism, media will turn him into a white supremist. Ludacris situation.

      Trump has been a total asshole to China, its not a stretch of the imagination to think that China would much rather prefer Biden to win.

      Maybe, Nick, you are pro-CCP, like your friend in NY, the fake Tibetan cop who got busted for spying on Tibetan American citizens. Yah, he claims to be a Liberal too. You two got that going.

      If you are a Tibetan and not a wumao or a lil pink, please stop regurgitating RUSSIA! RUSSIA!! RUSSIA!!! Fake News queen, Rachael Madcow and do yourself a favor by doing some research with an honest and open heart.

      Never forget, you virtue-signaling Lefties are the self-appointed Moral Exemplars of the world, if you guys cant stop lying all the time, then surely we are all DOOMED!!! :S

  5. Robert Destro’s role as Tibet coordinator was downgraded by Trump. So Tibet issue has effectively been reduced in importance and will not command enough visibility.

    Also severity of “ a nation’s reprimand to a communist state “ has directly proportional relationship to increase in support for Tibet cause. Remember that USA can be bad and mean to both China and Oppressed Tibetans.

    Tibetans including the author here seems to assume that talking and acting tough on China automatically means support for Tibet issue. This is an erroneous view, and the adage “ my enemy’s enemy is my ally “ no longer applies in the complex, inter-connected geopolitics of today.

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