Biden Administration’s Tibet official committed to all-out efforts for China-Tibetan dialogue

Under Secretary Uzra Zeya, US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. (Photo courtesy: State Department)

(, Jan14’22) – Seeing her role as the US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues as a reflection of President Joe Biden’s commitment to center human rights and democratic values in the US foreign Policy, Uzra Zeya has on Jan 14 called on China for direct Sino-Tibetan dialogue without preconditions. She has also said Jan 13 that the elevation of her additional charge again to the undersecretary level showed the seriousness of the Biden Administration’s commitment to human rights.

Speaking in interviews with the exile Tibetan administration’s Jan 14 and the Tibetan Service of Jan 13, Zeya, who is also the undersecretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights, has said she was fully committed to working with the international community and to engaging with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) officials on “advancing human rights of the Tibetan people and preserving their unique historical, religious, cultural and linguistic rights, including calling upon the PRC to end interference in the selection and veneration of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders.”

She has said her role also included calling on the PRC to end its surveillance and harassment of Tibetan diaspora communities all over the world including in the US.

She wanted the PRC to engage in direct dialogue without preconditions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve differences and achieve meaningful autonomy for Tibetans.

And as mandated by a recently enacted US law, she is also calling for increased access to Tibet for US and other officials including journalists to reciprocate such rights already enjoyed by officials and others from the PRC. 

She has also spoken of her mandate as including efforts to protect the environment and the water resources of the Tibetan plateau and the “very significant humanitarian needs of the Tibetan refugees”.

She has vowed to work intensively with partners throughout the US government, the US congress, and with likeminded partners and governments in the international community in efforts to restore the Sino-Tibetan dialogue, which she sees as the cornerstone of the special coordinator’s role.

She has expressed deep concern over the human rights abuses perpetrated by the PRC against the Tibetan people, including over the currently stepped-up Sinicization efforts.

She hopes to engage directly with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the course of carrying out her role.


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