STATEMENT BY THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR TIBET:
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent comments on Tibet should encourage the international community to take stronger action to help resolve the longstanding Tibet-China conflict.
According to China’s state media, Xi sent a letter this week to a development forum on Tibet calling for a prosperous, harmonious and beautiful new socialist Tibet underpinned by unity, civility and modernization. Tellingly, the forum took place in Beijing and not in Tibet, which the Chinese government has illegally occupied for over 60 years.
Xi’s comments appear in part to be a response to the May 20 communiqué of the Group of Seven nation leaders, who said at their summit in Hiroshima that, “We will keep voicing our concerns about the human rights situation in China, including in Tibet and Xinjiang where forced labor is of major concern to us.”
The Chinese government’s angry response to the G7 communiqué, along with Xi’s unexpected public remarks on Tibet, show that Beijing remains deeply sensitive about the unresolved situation in Tibet.
According to Freedom House, Tibet is now the least-free country on Earth alongside South Sudan and Syria. Nearly 160 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet and China since 2009, while the Chinese government increasingly blocks entry to Tibet by foreign journalists, diplomats and tourists.
Promoting a resolution to the Tibet-China conflict
China’s authoritarian rule in Tibet, which denies the Tibetan people any meaningful say in how they are governed, is unsustainable. It is time to push for a resolution to the conflict between Tibetans and the Chinese leadership.
Earlier this year, Democrats and Republicans in both the US House and Senate reintroduced a bill called the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, which will pressure the Chinese government to resume negotiations with the Dalai Lama’s envoys for the first time since dialogue between the two sides stalled in 2010.
The bipartisan legislation will recognize that Tibetans have the right to self-determination and that Tibet’s legal status is yet to be determined under international law.
The International Campaign for Tibet calls on Congress to pass the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act as soon as possible, and on President Biden to sign the bill into law.
ICT also urges other governments around the world to take up similar legislation. It is apparent that outside pressure has an effect on China’s policies in Tibet. Therefore, governments should act now to promote a mutually beneficial resolution to the Tibet-China conflict.