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US sanctioning China officials in forced Tibetan child assimilation drive

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(TibetanReview.net, Aug23’23) – Initiating substantive action to address China’s much-criticized repressive policy, including in the UN, of the forced assimilation of Tibet through the establishment of a Sinicization boarding school system for its children, the US State Department has on Aug 22 announced plans to sanction involved officials under its immigration law.

The State Department is taking steps to impose visa restrictions under the authority of Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on People’s Republic of China (PRC) officials for their involvement in the forcible assimilation of more than one million Tibetan children in government-run boarding schools, said Secretary of State Antony Blinkens in an announcement.

The announcement took note of the fact that “these coercive policies seek to eliminate Tibet’s distinct linguistic, cultural, and religious traditions among younger generations of Tibetans.”

At the same time the announcement urged PRC authorities to end the coercion of Tibetan children into government-run boarding schools and to cease repressive assimilation policies, both in Tibet and throughout other parts of the PRC.

The announcement made it clear that the US “will continue to work with our allies and partners to highlight these actions and promote accountability.”

* * *

The new visa restrictions will cover current and former Chinese officials for their involvement in the forcible Tibet assimilation policy, said the voanews.com Aug 22, citing a State Department spokesperson.

The announcement covers current or former PRC and CCP officials believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, policies or actions aimed at repressing religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, labour organizers, civil society organizers, and peaceful protestors in the PRC, the spokesperson has said.

Visa restrictions under the authority of Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act means foreign nationals may not be granted a visa to enter the US due to potentially significant adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.

The report said the State Department spokesperson declined to provide names of officials from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who are subject to the visa ban, saying “individual visa records are confidential.”

* * *

Chinese officials have said their policies in Tibet reflect their desire to create “religious harmony, social harmony, and ethnic harmony,” the report noted.

It cited a spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in Washington as saying China “firmly opposes and strongly condemns” the US measures on visa restrictions against Chinese officials.

China invaded Tibet just after proclaiming the founding of the PRC under the CCP dictatorship on Oct 1, 1949, annexed it in 1951, and fully integrated it in 1959 with the suppression of a Tibetan uprising and the launch of a so-called democratic reform.

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