The International Campaign for Tibet urges President Joe Biden to raise the issue of Tibet-China conflict resolution with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, both internally and publicly, during their expected meeting in the US next month.
“The Tibetan Policy Act mandates that the president and the secretary of state should in their meetings with Chinese leaders encourage them to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet,” ICT President Tencho Gyatso says.
Biden is expected to meet Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which will take place in San Francisco Nov. 11-17.
Chinese leaders held 10 rounds of dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s envoys from 2002-2010. Since then, there have been no further talks while the situation in Tibet has been deteriorating.
ICT has consistently conveyed to the Biden administration, including at the end of October after learning of the upcoming Biden-Xi meeting, the need to elevate its efforts to support dialogue on Tibet.
Accordingly, President Biden needs to not only raise Tibet during internal meetings with Xi but also do so strongly and publicly.
Need for dialogue
Rights violations include China’s mass collection of DNA from about 1 million Tibetans and separation of over 1 million Tibetan children from their families at state-run boarding schools that cut them off from their language, religion and culture.
The people of the United States have broad sympathy for the Tibetan people and support the Dalai Lama’s peaceful advocacy of Tibetans’ right to preserve their own identity and culture.
Presidents and Congress members of both parties have also supported Tibet over many years, leading to the passage of multiple US laws.
Just this year, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate reintroduced the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, another bipartisan bill that will pressure China to restart negotiations.
US law requires the administration and the president in particular to encourage Chinese officials to take part in dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives.
In addition, Biden himself promised during his 2020 campaign to “work with our allies in pressing Beijing to return to direct dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan people to achieve meaningful autonomy, respect for human rights, and the preservation of Tibet’s environment as well as its unique cultural, linguistic and religious traditions.”
ICT is launching a petition campaign to Biden urging him to speak up for Tibetans in his discussion with Xi.