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Tibetan leader to visit Washington DC as China warns top US lawmaker against any Taiwan trip

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(TibetanReview.net, Apr10’22) – Amid reports that China had warned US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi against her plans to visit Taiwan, the Sikyong (executive head) of the exile Tibetan administration, Mr Penpa Tsering, is to undertake his first United Sates tour since assuming charge on May 27 last year. The Sikyong is visiting Washington DC from Apr 25 to 29 on an invitation from Pelosi, as well as Canada and Germany after that.

China will take firm and robust measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity and the US side shall bear all ensuing consequences, China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 7 cited Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian as saying. He has demanded that Pelosi’s planned visit be cancelled immediately.

Neither Pelosi’s office nor the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority of Taiwan had confirmed or denied the reports of her planned visit. However, reports that “Pelosi is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Sunday” after her trip to Japan later this week in a show of support for Taiwan amid “concerns over cross-Straits relations following the Russia-Ukraine crisis” have been seen on Taiwan media and Japan’s Fuji News Network on Apr 7, noted China’s official globaltimes.cn Apr 7, justifying the official reaction.

Pelosi has since tested Covid-19 positive, leading to the postponement of her trip. She is said to be asymptomatic.

Meanwhile, Penpa Tsering has said in an interview with the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Apr 5 that he will be visiting Washington DC from Apr 25 to 29 at an invitation from Pelosi.

“We have received an official invitation from the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has been a strong supporter and advocate for Tibet,” Tsering has told RFA.

“We will also be meeting with the State Department’s special coordinator for Tibetan issues Uzra Zeya and with many other government and non-governmental officials.”

The Central Tibetan Administration headed by him is seeking a middle way solution of autonomy for an ethnographically contiguous Tibet under Chinese rule as envisaged by the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, while a section of Tibetans is demanding independence, whatever the odds may be. China has trashed the middle way demand as an indirect plan for independence, after holding nine rounds of talks from Sep 2002 to Jan 2010 with envoys of the Dalai Lama.

Upon assuming charge as Sikyong after his election victory, Penpa Tsering, who is a former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, set up a Permanent Strategy Committee for his plan to push for the resumption of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue on Tibet’s status under Chinese rule.

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