(TibetanReview.net, Aug14, 2015) – President Barack Obama has been asked by ten powerful US Senators Aug 11 to raise concern with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping over human rights conditions in China, particularly on the issue of recognition of reincarnations of lamas in Tibetan Buddhism, when the two leaders meet in Washington, DC, in Sep 2015, report PTI news agency Aug 12.
The senators have written that there were no doubt many important issues in the US-China bilateral relationship, with expectations that China’s recent actions in the East and South China Seas, economic and trade issues, climate change, as well as the recent Chinese cyber attacks against the US, will figure prominently in the discussions.
“While these issues deserve a full and robust exchange of views, so too do human rights…Mr President, we recognise that managing the US-China relationship is an enormous and complex task. We firmly believe that a full and frank discussion of our concerns regarding human rights and civil society in China would serve to strengthen our relationship,” the Senators were reported to have written in the letter which was released to the press.
The letter was signed by Senators Ben Cardin, John McCain, Pat Leahy, Kelly Ayotte, Sherrod Brown, Tom Cotton, Tammy Baldwin, Susan Collins, Robert Menendez and John Cornyn.
The Senators hoped that the President’s administration would continue to urge China to end the “harassment, detention, and other mistreatment of individuals” who seek to peacefully practice their religion, and express their views or seek legal redress.
“In particular, we hope that you will emphasise to President Xi that China should respect the basic and universally recognised right of religious freedom, to include refraining from persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and from interference in the centuries-old system of recognizing reincarnate Tibetan Buddhist lamas,” the letter was quoted as saying.