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Biden Administration to continue Tibet support programs, to quickly appoint new Tibet official

(TibetanReview.net, Feb04’21) – While reaffirming the “One China” policy, the administration of US President Joe Biden has made it clear this week that it will continue to promote policies supporting human rights for Tibetans living under Chinese rule, working with allies to press Beijing to engage in dialogue with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

“We urge Chinese authorities to respect the human rights of Tibetans, and the preservation of Tibet’s environment as well as the unique cultural, linguistic, and religious identity of Tibetan traditions,” the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Feb 3 quoted a State Department spokesperson as saying Feb 2.

“The United States supports meaningful autonomy for Tibetans,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

For this purpose the US government will consider the use of “all appropriate tools,” including visa restrictions and financial sanctions to hold accountable any Chinese officials found responsible for human rights abuses in Tibet. It will also press for access to Tibetan areas of China for travel by US officials, journalists, and tourists, the official was cited as saying.

He has reaffirmed that pursuant to the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, signed into law in 2018 by former President Donald Trump, “the Department has [already] applied visa restrictions on PRC officials who have restricted access of foreigners to Tibet”.

The new Secretary of State Antony Blinken was reported to have pledged to quickly appoint a new State Department Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues to replace former coordinator Robert Destro, who resigned with other officials appointed by the outgoing administration of President Trump.

“The Secretary is committed to working with the United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues at the State Department and with the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom to promote religious freedom for Tibetans in China and around the world,” the spokesperson has said.

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