(TibetanReview.net, Aug14, 2012) With preserving sovereignty over Tibet as one of its most fundamental ‘core interests’ – on a par with its commitment to defending its claimed sovereignty over Taiwan – China views Tibet among the most sensitive issues in its relations with the US and other countries, according to an internal US Congressional report Aug 2 cited by PTI news agency Aug 11.
“China lobbies strenuously to prevent world leaders from meeting with the Dalai Lama, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner and 2006 recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal,” the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) was quoted as saying in its latest report on US-China relations. The report, meant for internal circulation among US lawmakers, has noted that President Barack Obama had met the Dalai Lama twice – in Jan 2010 and Jul 2011 – despite China’s objections.
China blames the Dalai Lama and his supporters, as well as the international community for the continuing unrest in Tibet against Chinese rule. It contends that the Dalai Lama and his supporters direct or fan the restiveness in Tibetan areas, including the spate self-immolations, which have garnered world headlines and shown in unfavorable light Beijing’s Tibet policies, the report has said.
The report has also noted that China blames the international community, particularly the United States, for supporting the Dalai Lama and his agenda of meaningful autonomy for Tibet, arguing that this has encouraged forces intent on “splitting” Tibet from China.
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Meanwhile, on Aug 9, Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) have sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling for the United States to “increase diplomatic and international pressure on the Chinese government to reverse the crisis in Tibet,” according to Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet Aug 10. The congressmen have said that while the Department regularly raises the Tibet issue with Chinese officials, they believed a “visible, public, and coordinated diplomacy is necessary for the Chinese government to feel pressure to alter its content.”
The Congressmen have asked the US government to “demonstrate its support for Tibetans as part of its ‘pivot to Asia’ and suggested the hosting of an international conference on Tibet. They have also recommended periodic, public meetings, such as a contact group, on Tibet among governments and suggested discussing the formation of such a contact group at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting in Sep’12.