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US Congressional delegation, Tibetans ‘target’ China on autonomy for Tibet

China reacted to the US visit to Dharamsala to meet Dalai Lama, saying it was ‘gravely concerned’

US Congressional delegation, Tibetans ‘target’ China on autonomy for Tibet

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi upon her arrival at the Kangra airport in Dharamsala on Tuesday. Photo: PTI



Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

Dharamsala, June 18

A high-profile US Congressional delegation on a visit here and the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, on Tuesday, ‘targeted’ China on the issue of autonomy for Tibet.

China on Tuesday reacted to the US visit to Dharamsala, saying it was ‘gravely concerned’. It asked the US to honour commitments that the US made to China on issues related to Tibet of not having any contact with the Dalai Lama group, and stop sending the ‘wrong signal’ to the world.

A US delegation, including former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived at the Kangra airport and is scheduled to meet Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama here on Wednesday. The meeting will be at the main Buddhist temple in this hill town.

Today, while speaking in the House of the Tibetan Parliament-in exile, Michael McCaul, chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House, in reference to tomorrow’s meeting, said “We have many things to talk”.

McCaul said there has been “a major shift is US policy towards Tibet and its right for self-determination. We believe people in Tibet have the right for self-determination”.

Referring to the Tibetan Parliament, he hoped “this temple of democracy was back in Tibet”.

Speaker of Tibetan Parliament Khenpo Sonam Tenphel to the US delegation “Your visit has sent a strong message to China”. He thanked the US delegation for passing the Bill called the ‘Tibet China Dispute Act’, also referred to as the ‘Resolve Tibet Act’ which seeks to strengthen to resolve the Tibet issue as per international norms under negotiated settlement.

Geogory Meeks, ‘ranking member’, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, praised former speaker Nancy Pelosi on pressing members to pass the bill. On the forthcoming meeting with the Dalai Lama, Meeks said “I am very excited to show that the US is with him.”

In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian’s was asked about the US delegation visiting Dalai Lama. He responded by saying that “the 14th Dalai Lama is not a pure religious figure, but a political exile engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion”.

The US side should recognise the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai Lama group, Lin said adding that the US mut honour the commitments made to China on issues related to Tibet and ‘stop sending the wrong signal to the world’.

On the Act being passed in the US Congress, Lin referred to Tibet and said “these affairs are purely China’s domestic affairs and no external interference will ever be allowed”.

“We urge the US side to adhere to its commitments of recognising Xizang (Chinese name for Tibet) as part of China and not supporting ‘Xizang independence’. The US must not sign the bill into law”.

Earlier the delegation was received by officials of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), including Tibetan Minister for the Department of Information and International Relations Norzin Dolma.

The US Congressional delegates also include Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Nicole Malliotakis, Jim McGovern and Ami Bera

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#China #Dalai Lama #Dharamsala


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