A new report by a U.S. government commission found that China is violating international human rights standards by punishing Tibetans for expressing their religious beliefs, criticizing PRC policies, and sharing information online.

The 2023 annual report issued by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) says China continued to restrict and control the religious practices of Tibetans. It adds that Beijing indicated no willingness to resume formal negotiations with the Dalai Lama’s representatives.

The report includes recommendations for how Congress and the Administration can improve the situation in Tibet.

Prisoners of conscience

China is keeping hundreds of Tibetans behind bars for political or religious expression, and the report names several notable cases.

Rongbo Gangkar, a writer and translator, has been detained since 2021 after he advocated for the celebration of the Dalai Lama’s birthday, while another writer named Jamyang has been detained since June 2020 and was held incommunicado for years after he advocated for Tibetan language rights in schools.

Among others the report also raises the Panchen Lama, age 35, who has not been seen since he was abducted by the Chinese government at age six, and sisters Yudron and Dzumkar, who were arrested for possessing the Dalai Lama’s photograph.

Language rights

China is also violating the linguistic rights of Tibetans in an attempt to force them to speak Chinese, according to the report, which accuses the PRC of “policies of neglect” and of ignoring linguistic communities in Tibet which haven’t been recognized by the Chinese state.

Part of the threat to Tibetan comes from coerced residential boarding schools established by China in Tibet which separate Tibetan children from their families.


The CECC includes a number of recommendations on how Congress and the Biden administration can help Tibet:

Work with the United Nations to help set up visits by U.N. human rights officials, including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteurs to visit and report on the conditions in Tibet;

Adopt and implement appropriate legislation to prohibit American companies doing business with Chinese police and other law enforcement agencies in Tibet from selling or providing equipment used by those forces in gross human rights violations, including mass coercive biometric data-gathering and surveillance programs.

Work with like-minded countries to pressure China on Tibetan religious freedom and the right of Tibetan Buddhists to identify and educate all religious teachers, including the Dalai Lama;

Urge the Chinese government to cease treating the Dalai Lama as a security threat, and encourage the resumption of genuine dialogue, without preconditions, between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives;

Call for the release of Tibetan political prisoners currently detained or imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of their human rights;

Urge the Chinese government to invite representatives of governments and international organizations to meet with the detained 11th Panchen Lama, and his parents, all three of whom disappeared shortly after his recognition by the Dalai Lama in 1995.

Full text

To read the entire CECC 2023 Annual Report, please click here.