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US Senate introduces legislation to solidify, Tibet-China conflict

2022 Dec 21, 9:05, Washington
Representative Image. (Photo Credit - ANI)

The US Senate on Tuesday (local time) advanced the Tibet-China Conflict Resolution Act in advancing its interest in peacefully resolving China's occupation of Tibet and pressured the Chinese government to resume negotiations with the Dalai Lama's envoys.

The Bill supports the resolution of the ongoing Tibet-PRC conflict through meaningful negotiations and recognizes the Tibetan people's right to self-determination.

Oregon's US Senator Jeff Merkley, along with fellow Senators Todd Young (Republican-Indiana) and Patrick Leahy (Democrat-Vermont), teamed up to introduce bipartisan legislation aimed at promoting a resolution to the ongoing Tibet-China conflict.

"America's values supporting freedom and self-determination for all people must be at the centre of all of our actions and relationships around the world--especially as the Chinese government pushes an alternative vision. This legislation makes clear that the United States views the Tibet-China conflict as unresolved and that the people of Tibet deserve a say in how they are governed. It sends a clear message to the People's Republic of China: we expect meaningful negotiations over Tibet's status and do not view current Chinese government actions as meeting those expectations," said Merkley.

The legislation reaffirms Tibetans' right to self-determination as a people and clarifies that the current Chinese government's refusal to engage in meaningful negotiations over the unresolved conflict fails to meet US government expectations.

"The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) aggression towards Tibet is self-serving, with negotiations on the CCP's terms. We must refresh U.S. policy towards Tibet, and push for negotiations that advance freedoms for the Tibetan people and a peaceful resolution to the CCP's conflict with the Dalai Lama. This bill demonstrates America's resolve that the CCP's status quo -- both in Tibet and elsewhere -- is not acceptable," said Young.

The dialogue process between Chinese and Tibetan leaders has been stalled since 2010 while the situation in Tibet continues to deteriorate.

"The Tibetan people, who have sought nothing more than good faith negotiations to resolve Tibet's political status, have long been subjected to brutal persecution and their culture relentlessly attacked by the Chinese Government. This bill reaffirms that Tibet has never been part of China, and that US support for the right of the Tibetan people to self-determination is unwavering," said Leahy.

This bipartisan legislation represents Congress' intent in making it official US policy that a resumption of dialogue is needed as the conflict between Tibet and China is unresolved and Tibet's legal status remains to be determined under international law.

The Bill also recognises the Tibetans' right to self-determination and faults the Chinese government for violating that right.

The Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act adds to a recent surge in US support for Tibet, including several new laws passed in the last few years, sanctions on Chinese officials for allegedly violating Tibetan human rights, and statements by President Biden and his administration calling on China to resume direct dialogue toward guaranteeing meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people.

China has occupied Tibet for over 60 years, forcing the Dalai Lama into exile in 1959.

As a result of China's extreme human rights abuses, Tibet is now the least-free country on Earth alongside South Sudan and Syria, according to the watchdog group Freedom House.

"China's rule in Tibet lacks historical support, popular support, and diplomatic support. Why is China asking nations to say Tibet is part of the PRC (People's Republic of China)? It is because China lacks legitimacy over Tibet. Tibetans simply want the same right to self-determination that all people deserve. We have suffered enormous abuse from the Chinese government over many decades, yet we have always sought to settle our differences through peaceful dialogue. This bill would allow the United States to back its consistent calls for dialogue with more force and urgency while helping give Tibetans a voice in their own country. We thank Senators Leahy, Merkley, and Young for introducing the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, which builds on the incredible bipartisan support the United States has always shown for our just cause," said Penpa Tsering, the (Sikyong) President of the Central Tibetan Administration, which provides democratic governance for Tibetans in exile.


Tibetan abuses Statements occupation pressured government negotiations resolution conflict meaningful
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