In a new development that signals the support for the Tibetan people who have lived under the oppression of the Chinese government for over six decades, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “a Biden-Harris administration will stand up for the people of Tibet.” In a statement released on September 3, 2020 Biden responded to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech to the seventh Tibet Work Forum meeting in Beijing (held from August 28 to 29, 2020) where he worryingly outlined his plan to further strengthen China’s oppressive policies in Tibet.

Biden said China’s announcements will only be “continuing to erode the human rights, religious freedoms, and dignity of the Tibetan people.”

In what can be seen as the first public effort to outline his Tibet policy to date, Biden said, “As President, I’ll put values back at the center of American foreign policy. I’ll meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, appoint a new Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, and insist that the Chinese government restore access to Tibet for US citizens, including our diplomats and journalists. I’ll 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. My administration will sanction Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in Tibet, and step up support for the Tibetan people.”

The International Campaign for Tibet welcomes the statement by Presidential candidate Joe Biden as it challenges explicitly China’s abysmal record on human rights in Tibet, presents key and important steps on US policy that a Biden administration would take, and shows to the Chinese government that Tibet is an important issue in its relations with the United States.

The International Campaign for Tibet launched the Tibet 2020 campaign in July calling on both the Trump and Biden campaigns to include Tibet in their policy and party platforms and to keep Tibet high on their agenda in dealing with China. Thousands of ICT members across the US have signed petitions addressed to both campaigns and will continue to mobilize between now and Election Day. This shows the strong support of US citizens for the people of Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

To find out more about the International Campaign for Tibet’s Tibet 2020 campaign and the positions of both presidential candidates, visit: https://savetibet.org/tibet-2020/

As a non-profit organization, the International Campaign for Tibet does not endorse any candidate for elections at any level, and has worked for over 30 years in a bipartisan way to support the aspiration of the Tibetan people.

Following is the full statement.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2020

Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the Deepening Repression in Tibet

This past weekend, the Chinese government announced plans to further tighten controls over Tibet, thereby continuing to erode the human rights, religious freedoms, and dignity of the Tibetan people. These are only the latest efforts by Beijing to crush ethnic minorities that seek to preserve their distinct culture, language, and beliefs.

Once again, the silence from President Trump has been deafening, as he focuses instead on his empty trade deal with Beijing and protecting his “very good friendship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It’s disgraceful, though not surprising, that Trump is the first American president in three decades who has not met or spoken with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Trump hasn’t even fulfilled the statutory requirement to appoint a Special Coordinator to lead America’s efforts on this vital issue. It’s no wonder China’s leaders believe they have a free hand to deepen repression in Tibet, just as they have in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

As President, I’ll put values back at the center of American foreign policy. I’ll meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, appoint a new Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, and insist that the Chinese government restore access to Tibet for U.S. citizens, including our diplomats and journalists. I’ll 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. My administration will sanction Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in Tibet, and step up support for the Tibetan people, including by expanding Tibetan language services at Radio Free Asia and Voice of America to get information from the outside world into Tibet. Where Trump has turned a blind eye, a Biden-Harris administration will stand up for the people of Tibet.

DOWNLOAD AS PDF