Congressional committee approves bill to strengthen US efforts in pushing China to negotiate with Dalai Lama’s envoys

    The Hawk
    December1/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    US Congress Advances Bill: Addressing Tibet-China Dispute, Advocating Dialogue and Tibetan Rights, Countering CCP Propaganda.

    Dalai Lama

    Washington: A powerful Congressional committee has passed a bill to strengthen US efforts in pushing China to negotiate with the Dalai Lama’s envoys to resolve the longstanding Tibet-China dispute and counter the Communist Party’s propaganda about the history of Tibet.

    The bill, which among other things also dismisses as inaccurate the Chinese claim that Tibet has been part of China since antiquity, was passed unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    “This bill stresses the need for a dialogue between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the democratically elected leaders of Tibet. Any resolution must include the wishes and the voices of the Tibetan people,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said during the markup.

    “Tibetans are a democracy-loving people who wish to practice their own religion freely and have their own wishes and desires acknowledged as we do in the United States of America. The freedoms that we enjoy, we want to be enjoyed by the people of Tibet,” McCaul said.

    The bill, an amended House version of legislation introduced last year by Congressmen Jim McGovern and Michael McCaul, as well as Senators Jeff Merkley, and Todd Young, will pressure the Chinese government to resume negotiations with the Dalai Lama’s envoys or the democratically elected leaders of the Tibetan people. The dialogue process has been stalled since 2010.

    McCaul said the ruling Chinese Communist Party or CCP has a long and violent record of oppression against the people of Tibet.

    In October of 1950, Chinese Communist troops annexed Tibet, killing tens of thousands of Tibetans and monks. The CCP’s ongoing oppression of the people of Tibet ultimately forced the Dalai Lama to flee to India. This persecution has continued to this day, he said.

    Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act pushes back against CCP propaganda about the history of Tibet.

    “The United States has never accepted that Tibet was part of China since ancient times,” as the CCP falsely claims. This legislation clarifies US policy, highlights the unique language, religion, and culture of the Tibetan people, and directs US diplomacy to push back against CCP propaganda,” McCaul said.

    McGovern, another main sponsor of the bill, said under international law, Tibetans are people who have the right to determine their own destiny. Also under international law, there is a right to truth. The truth is that Tibet has not always been part of China, as the Chinese government claims.

    “My bill requires the State Department to counter the PRC’s disinformation about Tibet, its history and its institutions, including that of the Dalai Lama. Rather than lie about the history of Tibet, I call on the Chinese Government to restart dialogue with the Dalai Lama to resolve the long-standing dispute between Tibet and China and respect the aspirations of the Tibetan people,” he said.

    China says the Dalai Lama, 88, is “by no means just a religious figure, but rather a political exile who has long been engaging in anti-China separatist activities and attempting to split Tibet from China.” Ranking Member Gregory Meeks said for far too long, Beijing has repressed the Tibetan people and shirked its commitments to work with the Dalai Lama and his representatives to resolve the Tibet question through dialogue. I am deeply concerned by the ongoing effort by Beijing to dilute the distinct religious, cultural, linguistic and historical identity of the Tibetan people…This is an important and very timely measure.”