(TibetanReview.net, Jun09, 2018) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told congress that he will openly and in all major aspects call on China to properly address the issue of Tibet in keeping with the latter’s universal rights obligations. Answering a series of written questions from members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo, who took charge on May 2, 2018, has said that he will, in particular, publicly ask China to engage in direct dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama, without preconditions, to resolve the Tibetan problem, according to Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet Jun 7.
Pompeo has said, “I will recommend that the United States express publicly, and at the highest levels of government, that Chinese authorities need to engage in meaningful and direct dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions, to lower tensions and resolve differences.”
Pompeo has also said he will raise concerns about the lack of regular access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) for US citizens. And he has committed to ensure that US journalists, civil society, legislators, and scholars have full access to China, including the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas.
And he has undertaken to fully implement the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 and in particular to “urge China to cease restrictions on the human rights of Tibetans as well as their religious, linguistic, and cultural traditions and practices.” He has committed to press “for respect for human rights, including freedom of religion and belief, in my conversations with Chinese officials, and advocating for the release of Tibetan political prisoners.”
The situation thus far has been that although President Donald Trump and then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had met senior Chinese leaders several times, they have not publicly raised Tibet with their Chinese counterparts. In fact, the Trump Administration is yet to appoint its Special Coordinator on Tibetan issues as legally required.
On the Chinese government’s interference in religious freedom and the reincarnation process, Pompeo has undertaken to “press the Chinese government to respect the legitimacy of Tibetan Buddhists’ religious practices,” including on “decisions of Tibetan Buddhists in selecting, educating, and venerating the lamas who lead the faith, such as the Dalai Lama.”