US official on Tibet issues asks other countries also to impose Tibet access sanctions on China

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Robert A Destro, US State Department’s Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

(TibetanReview.net, Dec05’20) – The US Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues has on Dec 4 called on other countries to pass their own versions of a US law that denies access to the US for Chinese officials known to be involved in restricting visits to Tibet, reported the PTI news agency Dec 5.

Robert A Destro, who is also the US State Department’s Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, has said that together with partners around the world, the US had and would continue to call on China to provide unhindered access to foreigners travelling in Tibetan areas, including for diplomats and journalists, just as other countries give Chinese diplomats, journalists and citizens access to their respective countries.

“The US adopted the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act to press for greater access and transparency. Today, I call on our like-minded friends and partners to pass their own versions of the Act” Destro was quoted as saying in his remarks at a virtual event titled Religious Freedom in Tibet: The Appointment of Buddhist Leaders and the Succession of the Dalai Lama.

The Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump in Dec 2018, calls for denying access to the US for Chinese officials known to be involved in restricting visits to Tibet.

Mr Destro has said it was no accident that China was claiming the right to direct the selection of the next Dalai Lama, seeing it as a process to remake or, in its own words, to “Sinicize” Tibetan Buddhism in its own Communist image.

“Nor is it a surprise that the Chinese Communist Party is ramping up its efforts to eliminate the Tibetan language and Tibet’s culture. It’s doing precisely the same thing with our Uyghur and Kazakh Muslim brothers and sisters in Xinjiang, and in its efforts to replace the teachings of Jesus and the Prophets with the state-inspired drivel of a ‘patriotic’ church,” Destro has said.

“This is what information warfare looks like. In all it says and does, the Chinese Communist Party aims to control not only the information landscape, but the very thoughts of all whose perspectives and approaches to life in community differ from those of the Communist Party,” he has added.

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