(TibetanReview.net, Nov17’22) – In the face of China’s continued stand that there is no Tibet issue to be resolved, and given the seriousness of the ever-deteriorating situation of the local Tibetan people, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China has on Nov 16 called on Congress and the Biden administration to push for a resolution to the decades-long Sino-Tibetan conflict.
Releasing its latest, 2022, annual report, the commission has expressed dismay that China’s officials “continue to show no interest in responding to the Dalai Lama’s request for dialogue and continue to disseminate false information about Tibet’s history.”
However, the report has made it clear, “To strengthen the longstanding, bipartisan US policy of promoting dialogue, the Administration and Congress should ensure that calls for dialogue are based on the Tibetan people’s right of self-determination under international law and use available resources to counter disinformation about Tibet from [People’s Republic of China] officials.”
The Commission—which consists of nine Senators, nine Representatives and five senior administration officials, including Under Secretary of State Uzra Zeya, who serves as President Biden’s Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues—monitors human rights and the development of rule of law in China.
Negating China’s claim of having peacefully liberated Tibet, and its contention that no Tibet issue exists, the commission’s annual report documents the Chinese government’s “egregious human rights violations” inside and outside the country. In Tibet—which China has illegally occupied for over 60 years—those violations included crackdowns on religious freedom, freedom of speech and language rights. There were also several self-immolations in Tibet this year, the report has noted.
“The only way to ensure human rights in Tibet is by protecting the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination through peaceful dialogue with Chinese leaders,” Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has asserted Nov 16, referring to the report.
Along with Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Commission Co-Chair Rep. Jim McGovern earlier this year, in July, introduced a bipartisan bill that will pressure China to end its occupation of Tibet through peaceful negotiations with envoys of the Dalai Lama.
The bill, called the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, will make it official US policy that the Tibetan people have the right to self-determination—and that China’s current policies preclude them from exercising that right.
By recognizing Tibet’s status as unresolved under international law, the legislation will pressure China to resume negotiations with the Dalai Lama’s envoys for the first time since 2010, noted the ICT.
The Congressional-Executive Commission’s report has documented a range of human rights violations in Tibet during the current reporting year, with particular focus on issues such as religious freedom, language rights, freedom of speech, and the devastation of the environment, all as a result of China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
The commission has recommended that the Congress and the administration work with the UN and likeminded countries to set up visits by UN special procedures and human rights experts to Tibet to independently assess the situation there.
It has also called on both to monitor and report on state-run boarding schools in Tibet; work with allies to protect Tibetans’ religious freedom, including their right to select their own religious leaders; and encourage China to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s envoys.
It has further called on Congressional and White House officials to urge Chinese authorities to release Tibetan political prisoners, including the Panchen Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist leader who has been missing since China abducted him in 1995 when he was just 6 years old.