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Committee approval sets stage for US House vote on support for Tibetan autonomy resolution

US Congress.

(TibetanReview.net, Oct04’20) – The US House of Representatives is to vote on a resolution expressing support for autonomy for the Tibetan people and offering them support on a number of issues after it was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Oct 1.

The bipartisan House Resolution 697, “A resolution affirming the significance of the advocacy for genuine autonomy for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China and the work His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has done to promote global peace, harmony, and understanding,” was introduced last year by Reps. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Chris Smith, R-NJ, and Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

The resolution affirms the cultural and religious significance of the goal of genuine autonomy for the people of Tibet, as well as the deep bond between the American and Tibetan people.

It supports the efforts by the Dalai Lama and Tibetan leadership to achieve genuine autonomy through negotiations with the People’s Republic of China without preconditions.

It praises the Dalai Lama’s commitment to global peace, nonviolence, human rights and environmental protection and sustainability.

And it urges swift enactment of the Tibetan Policy and Support Act, which the House overwhelmingly passed in Jan 2020 and currently awaits passage by the Senate. 

The resolution also stresses the urgency of addressing the climate crisis—including on the Tibetan plateau—and working toward environmental and economic justice and equality.

The resolution also encourages American journalists, diplomats, officials and ordinary citizens to seek the same level of access to Tibet that Chinese citizens have to the United States. In this connection, the State Department implemented this summer the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which for the first time denied entry to the United States to Chinese officials responsible for keeping Americans out of Tibet.

And it calls on the secretary of state to minimize the impact that the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu might have on the State Department’s ability to report on Tibetan communities and offer them support.

The resolution also asserts that it would be beneficial to continue years of bipartisan, bicameral engagement with Tibetan leaders, including engagement between members of Congress and the Dalai Lama.

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