In its annual report to Congress on the status of talks between the Chinese and Tibetans, the U.S. State Department faults the Chinese government for the impasse in the dialogue, and for “creating a cycle of repression” in Tibet that has led to the self-immolation crisis.
“The U.S. government makes clear its expectation that Beijing must take the next step, to de-escalate the crisis and to get back to the discussion table,” said Todd Stein, Director for Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet. “The U.S. insistence on negotiations is not wavering even with the dialogue in a dormant phase.”
The State Department submits a “report on Tibet negotiations” to Congress every year, as required by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002. This most recent report covers the period from 2011 to the first quarter of 2012.
The report restates long-standing U.S. policy that “China’s engagement with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve problems facing Tibetans is in the interest of the Chinese government and the Tibetan people.” Noting that the last round of dialogue was in January 2010, the report says that a tenth round would be a “positive step at this critical time.” It appears to blame Beijing for the impasse, saying “prospects for the Chinese government to resume the dialogue appear dim.” Tibetan leader Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay has said that the Tibetan side is ready to meet with the Chinese “anywhere, anytime.”
Addressing the situation inside Tibet, the report draws a line from the “increasingly intense and formalized systems of controls” to enforce ‘social stability’ and undermine the Dalai Lama, to the series of self-immolations. It finds, “Increasing official interference in Tibetan religious and cultural spheres provoked acts of resistance among the Tibetan population.”
Regarding the political change in the Tibetan exile community, the report notes that the Dalai Lama in 2011 devolved “his political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership.” It notes that the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Under Secretary Maria Otero, met with Lobsang Nyandak, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Americas, as well as with the Dalai Lama’s representative in New Delhi.
As is required, the Tibet negotiations report lists the steps taken by the U.S. Administration to encourage Tibetan-Chinese dialogue. Included in the list are efforts by senior officials to raise Tibet in multilateral fora, including at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva and at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.