As required by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, President George Bush has directed Secretary of State Colin Powell to forward to the U.S. Congress a report on action taken by the United States to encourage negotiations between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership to resolve the Tibetan problem.
In a memo to the Secretary of State dated May 7, 2003, President Bush wrote:
“The provisions under the heading ‘Tibet Negotiations’ in section 613(b) of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, as contained in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228), state that a report must be prepared 180 days following enactment, and every 12 months thereafter, concerning the steps taken by the President and the Secretary to encourage the Government of the People’s Republic of China to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet. The report is also to address the status of any discussions between the People’s Republic of China and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.
“You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register and to transmit the attached report to the appropriate committees of the Congress.
George W. Bush”
President Bush signed the Tibetan Policy Act into law on September 30, 2002, as part of H.R. 1646, the Foreign Relations Authorizations Act. It is the most comprehensive Tibet legislation yet to be passed by the United States Congress. Combining practical initiatives with a firm expression of support for the Tibetan people, it is both programmatic and pragmatic.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, one of the sponsors of the legislation, described the importance of the Tibetan Policy Act upon its introduction, saying, “I believe that the time has come for the United States government to increase our attention to enhanced Tibetan cultural and religious autonomy. My intent in introducing the Tibetan Policy Act is to place the full faith of the United States government behind efforts to preserve the distinct identity and the cultural, religious and ethnic autonomy of the Tibetan People.”