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Report: US urge China to create conditions for sustainable Tibet resolution talks

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct14’23) – Decrying the lack of any official contact between the two sides after 2010, the US State Department has said in a new report to Congress Oct 10 that a negotiated resolution to the Tibet-China conflict provides the best hope for long-term regional stability. It has urged China to create the conditions for a sustainable agreement.

The statutorily mandated annual Report to Congress on Tibet Negotiations says: “The US government believes that a negotiated resolution that leads to meaningful autonomy for Tibetans and ensures they are able to freely practice their religion, culture, and language provides the best hope for long-term stability in the region.”

The latest report, mandated by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, covers the period of May 1, 2022 to Apr 30, 2023. Under the Act, “The President and the Secretary should encourage the Government of the People’s Republic of China to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet.” It requires reports on negotiations to detail steps taken by the President and the Secretary.

In keeping with these requirements, the report lists a series of US government efforts to encourage a renewal of the dialogue process and establish the conditions for a sustainable settlement during the period.

The report noted that Under Secretary of State Uzra Zeya, who also serves as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, had called on China to return to dialogue at an event hosted by the US Mission in Geneva on the human rights implications of the Dalai Lama’s succession.

President Joe Biden was stated to have raised concerns about China’s policies in Tibet during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Nov 2022.

US officials were stated to have called out China’s mass DNA collection in Tibet, forced separation of over 1 million Tibetan children from their families and other outrageous human rights abuses.

The report pointed out that the US designated Chinese officials Wu Yingjie and Zhang Hongbo with the first sanctions for serious human rights abuses in Tibet under the Global Magnitsky program.

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Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has expressed disappointment Oct 13 that the report failed to provide details regarding meetings by President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken with Chinese leaders on how Tibet was raised.

It has noted that during the reporting year, Biden had one meeting (Nov 2022) with Chinese President Xi and a phone call with him (Jul 2022). Also, Blinken had three meetings (Jul 2022, Sep 2022 and Feb 2023) with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and two phone calls with him (Nov 2022 and Feb 2023). Other White House and State Department officials, including the US Ambassador to China, were stated to have had at least six meetings with Chinese officials during the period.

ICT has also expressed concern that the State Department report does not detail any elevation of greater American efforts to support the dialogue, despite the extended period of time since the last negotiations between envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership.

In light of the 13 years that have passed since the ninth round of dialogue, the United States must redouble its efforts to bring the PRC back to the table and effectively help in bringing about a negotiated settlement on Tibet, ICT has said.

The report’s release came as Sikyong (executive head) Mr Penpa Tsering of Central Tibetan Administration arrives in the US tomorrow to meet with State Department officials, members of Congress, journalists and others.

He arrives in Washington, DC, on Oct 15 for several days of engagements, including speaking at the National Press Club on Oct 18 at 2 pm EDT, said ICT.

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