The Tibetan Policy Act of 2002

What it is:

  • The Tibetan Policy Act (TPA) is a comprehensive and pragmatic expression of Congressional support for the Tibetan people. Its stated purpose is to “support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity”
  • The TPA fits within a sensible framework of U.S. China policy and encourages engagement with China.

What it does:

  • Expresses the sense of Congress that the President and the Secretary of State should initiate steps to encourage the Government of the People’s Republic of China to enter into negotiations with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to an agreement on Tibet. It also directs the President and Secretary to transmit to the Congress a status report of any of any steps taken.
  • Establishes within the Department of State a United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues who shall promote substantive dialogue between the Government of China and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.
  • Directs the U.S. executive director of each international financial institution, including the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency, to support projects in Tibet consistent with specified principles reflecting guidelines established by the Tibetan government-in-exile.
  • Sets forth provisions with respect to: (1) the release of, and access by humanitarian organizations to, Tibetan prisoners detained in China because of their political or religious beliefs; (2) the establishment of a U.S. branch office in Lhasa, Tibet; (3) Tibetan language training to U.S. foreign service officers assigned to the consulate in China; (4) U.S. promotion of economic development, cultural preservation, health care, and education and environmental sustainability for Tibetans inside Tibet; and (6) the end of religious persecution in Tibet.

What it is not:

  • It is not rhetorical; its provisions reflect both the reality of the situation and serious U.S. interest in a negotiated solution.