Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Washington [US], August 1 (ANI): A bill introduced in Congress last month intends to take concrete action to resolve China's decades-long illegal occupation of Tibet by fully recognizing Tibet's unresolved status and targeting China for violating the Tibetan people's right to self-determination.

The 'Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act' has two main components that includes strengthening the basis for US support for dialogue by making it US policy that the Tibetan people are a people entitled to the right of self-determination.

It also intends to counter China's disinformation on Tibet by directing the State Department's Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues to ensure that US government statements and documents counter disinformation about Tibet from People's Republic of China (PRC) officials, including disinformation about the history of Tibet, the Tibetan people, and Tibetan institutions including that of the Dalai Lama.

This introduction of this bill comes as Tibet is now the least-free country on Earth alongside South Sudan and Syria--according to the latest rankings from the watchdog group Freedom House--and the Chinese government has refused to negotiate with Tibetan leaders since 2010.

"There can be no dispute that when the People's Liberation Army of China marched into Lhasa in 1950, Tibet was an independent country, controlling its foreign policy and guarding its own border. There had been no Chinese presence in Tibet since 1912, when the 13th Dalai Lama returned from exile in India. There was a considerable British presence in the Tibet plateau ever since the Younghusband expedition of 1904," the Global Strat View Analysis said in an editorial.

"When the British left in 1947, they handed over the trading infrastructure and the telecommunication network to the Indian government. There was also a presence of the Indian army on the plateau, as escorts in Yatung and Gyantse. Trusting the Chinese naively, however, under the spirit of the Panchsheel Agreement, India had subsequently withdrawn its army and trade representatives from the plateau and handed over the telecommunication infrastructure to the Chinese," the analysis added.

Representatives Jim McGovern, who along with Michael McCaul, R-Texas, introduced the bill in the House on July 13, said Congress has had a long and abiding interest in a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Tibet and China.""The United States government has consistently called on Chinese officials to return to dialogue, without preconditions. But that hasn't worked. The Chinese continue to turn their backs on the Dalai Lama. Our bipartisan legislation seeks to strengthen U.S. policy by grounding it in international law and countering Chinese disinformation, with the aim of getting the two sides to negotiate a durable solution," said Representative McGovern.

Representative Michael McCaul said the Chinese Communist Party's invasion of Tibet in 1950, and its repression of Tibetans ever since, set the stage for the CCP's ongoing territorial aggression and human rights atrocities. "Their attempts to steal peoples' freedoms and rewrite history continue to threaten American values and our national security interests today. This bipartisan bill will help ensure Tibetans have a say in their own future, and reject the CCP lie that their tyranny over Tibet is historically legitimate."In recent years, the US has also passed several pieces of legislation on Tibet as it continues to support the nation against Chinese atrocities.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, then-candidate Joe Biden promised to "work with our allies in pressing Beijing to return to direct dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan people to achieve meaningful autonomy, respect for human rights, and the preservation of Tibet's environment as well as its unique cultural, linguistic and religious traditions."Biden has already delivered on one of his campaign promises by appointing a new Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. In December 2021, Uzra Zeya, the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, took on the Special Coordinator role. (ANI)

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