(TibetanReview.net, Jul10’23) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has on Jul 9 evening met with the Joe Biden Administration’s top human rights official after she landed in India’s capital New Delhi the day before, prompting the Chinese embassy to vent spleen on both the sides.
Uzra Zeya, the US Under Secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights, as well as the Special Coordinator on Tibetan issues, is visiting India and Bangladesh over Jul 8-14, while the Dalai Lama was on his way for a month-long sojourn in the Union Territory of Ladakh, which borders his Chinese occupied homeland.
The meeting with the Dalai Lama took place in the presence of the Sikyong Mr Penpa Tsering, the executive head of the Tibetan administration in exile; Ms Norzin Dolma, the minister of information and international relations; Ms Tencho Gyatso, president of Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet, along with several other senior Tibetan officials, reported the hindustantimes.com Jul 10.
The report cited people familiar with the matter as saying the current situation in Tibet and China’s policies in the occupied region were among the issues discussed at the meeting.
The US delegation was stated to include Donald Lu, assistant secretary for South and Central Asian affairs; US ambassador Eric Garcetti; and USAID deputy assistant administrator Anjali Kaur.
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The Chinese reaction came in a series of tweets from the embassy spokesperson Wang Xiaojian who said, “Xizang (Tibet) affairs are purely internal affairs of China and no external forces have the right to interfere”.
Questioning the very concept of US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Xiaojian has called it “pure offense and a move of political manipulation to interfere in China’s internal affairs”, adding that “China has always been firmly opposed to this and has never recognized it.”
The Chinese statement further said, “The US should take concrete actions to honour its commitment of acknowledging Xizang as part of China, stop meddling in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Xizang-related issues, and offer no support to the anti-China separatist activities.”
On the Tibetan side, the Chinese spokesperson has said, “The so-called ‘Tibetan government-in-exile’ is an out-and-out separatist political group and an illegal organization completely in violation of China’s Constitution and laws.”
Zeya has previously visited Dharamshala and met with the Dalai Lama in May 2022, when also China protested and criticized the setting up of the “special coordinator on Tibetan issues” to which she was appointed in 2021.
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Ahead of her arrival in India, Zeya said in a tweet that she looked forward to “productive meetings with Government of India & civil society leaders building on momentum of @narendramodi’s historic State Visit” to the US last month.
India and the US are working together for a “more open, prosperous, secure, inclusive & resilient” world, she said.
Zeya, who will also travel to Bangladesh during her July 8-14 tour, is expected to meet senior government officials in India to discuss the US-India partnership, including “advancing shared solutions to global challenges, democracy, regional stability, and cooperation on humanitarian relief”, the US state department said.
She is also expected to advance shared solutions to global challenges, and bolster humanitarian support for refugees across the region.