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House Bill adopted asking US to push China to negotiate to resolve Tibet’s disputed status

Must Read, Feb16’24) –The US House of Representatives has on Feb 15 approved a bipartisan legislative bill that refutes China’s claim that Tibet has been part of China since ancient times; recognizes the Tibetan people’s right to independence and self-determination; empowers the State Department to actively counter China’s disinformation about Tibetan history, people and institutions; and urges the US government to explore activities to improve prospects for dialogue leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet.

The bill also makes it clear that Tibet is not just Tibet Autonomous Region or Xizang (or Xizang Autonomous Region), as claimed by China, but also includes the Tibetan territories that constitutes or form parts of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces of the People’s Republic of China today.

The bill, titled as “Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act” (“Resolve Tibet Bill” in short), was introduced by Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, was approved with 392 “yes” votes and 28 “Nays”, with 11 not voting.

“This achievement moves us closer to making the bill into law. We are now positively looking forward to the bill’s approval by the Senate,” Said Sikyong (executive head) Mr Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration. He extended gratitude to Representative Jim McGovern and Representative Michael McCaul as well as all the members who supported the Bill in the House.

He felt that “the enactment of this bill will strengthen and reinforce the Middle Way Approach policy and the Central Tibetan Administration’s commitment to dialogue to resolve the Tibet-China conflict in the best interest of both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.”

“A vote for this bill is a vote to recognize the rights of the Tibetan people. And it is a vote to insist on resolving the dispute between Tibet and the People’s Republic of China peacefully, in accordance with international law, through dialogue, without preconditions. There is still an opportunity to do this. But time is running out,” McGovern has said.

“Tibetans are democracy-loving people who wish to freely practice their religion and have their distinct identity acknowledged and respected. I’m proud to play a small part in supporting this dream for the Tibetan people,” Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., has said.

Rep. Kathy Manning, D-NC, has said: “Since 2010 Beijing has also refused to meet its international obligations to engage the Dalai Lama and his representatives to resolve the Tibet issue through dialogue. At the same time Beijing has unleashed a disinformation campaign to mislead the world about Tibet and its history. For this reason, we must pass H.R.533, which calls the PRC out for its repression and its unwillingness to engage the Tibetan people.”

And Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, has said: “Amid these threats to Tibetans in Tibet, the Chinese Communist Party also seeks to extend its repressive reach abroad, targeting for surveillance and harassment Tibetan diaspora communities in the United States, in India and in Nepal. The Chinese Communist Party has long engaged in crimes against humanity in Tibet and against Tibetans, plain and simple.”

“It is US policy that the dispute between Tibet and China must be resolved in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, by peaceful means through dialogue without preconditions,” Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet, which has actively lobbied for the Bill, has noted the bill as saying.

Following the Feb 15 vote, focus will now shift to passing the Senate version of the legislation, introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Todd Young, R-Ind.


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