US House passes China-Tibet dispute bill

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WASHINGTON: The House of Representatives has passed a bill that will strengthen the efforts of the United States to push the Chinese government to resolve the longstanding Tibet-China dispute through dialogue with Tibetan leaders.
The bipartisan ‘Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act’, also known as Resolve Tibet Act, aims to pressure the Chinese government to resume negotiations with the Dalai Lama’s envoys or the democratically elected leaders of the Tibetan people, which have been stalled since 2010.
Introduced by Congressman Jim McGovern and Michael McCaul, it dismisses as inaccurate the Chinese claim that Tibet has been part of China since ancient times and empowers the State Department to actively counter China’s disinformation about Tibetan history, people, and institutions.
A similar legislation was introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley and Todd Young.
“A vote for this bill is a vote to recognise the rights of the Tibetan people. And it is a vote to insist on resolving the dispute between Tibet and the People’s Republic of China peacefully, in accordance with international law, through dialogue, without preconditions. There is still an opportunity to do this. But time is running out,” McGovern said.
Congressman Young Kim said the bill ensures that Tibetans have a say in their future. It stresses the need for a direct dialogue between the CCP and the democratically elected leaders of Tibet, and that any resolution must be peaceful and include the voice of the Tibetan people.
Congressman Kathy Manning said since 2010 Beijing has also refused to meet its international obligations to engage the Dalai Lama and his representatives to resolve the Tibet issue through dialogue.
“At the same time Beijing has unleashed a disinformation campaign to mislead the world about Tibet and its history, he said.
Congressman Chris Smith said amid threats to Tibetans in Tibet, the Chinese Communist Party also seeks to extend its repressive reach abroad, targeting surveillance and harassment of the Tibetan diaspora in the United States, India, and Nepal. The Chinese Communist Party has long engaged in crimes against humanity in Tibet and against Tibetans, plain and simple, he alleged.
In a statement, the Central Tibetan Administration to North America said the Tibetan people will always cherish the bipartisan support for Tibet in the US Congress.
“Tibetan people, despite seven decades of brutal and paralysing oppression by the CCP, have never abandoned hope. The H.R.533 passage by the US House will boost the determination of the Tibetan people and their resilience,” Representative Namgyal Choedup said.
“It also sends a clear message to the current regime under Xi Jinping that if they truly desire social harmony and stability, the only way is to come to the negotiating table in good faith to resolve the Tibet-China dispute,” Choedup said.
International Campaign for Tibet president Tencho Gyatso said the vote shows that US support for Tibet is only growing stronger even after 65 years of China’s control and occupation.
China has been playing a waiting game, hoping that the international community would eventually abandon Tibet, he said.
“Clearly that is not the case. The Chinese government should take the hint and restart the dialogue process with Tibetan leaders. We thank Congressman McGovern and Chairman McCaul and all the representatives who helped pass the Resolve Tibet Act today, and we look forward to working with Sens. Merkley and Young, as well as our supporters across the country, to make this bill the law of the land,” he said.

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