Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participates in an informal NATO Ministerial, in Oslo, Norway, on June 1, 2023. (Photo: State Department, Chuck Kennedy/ Public Domain)

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Washington DC – Ahead of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's visit to China on June 16, the International Campaign for Tibet calls on him to raise the Tibet issue with Chinese leaders, in particular urging them to resume dialogue with the envoys of the Dalai Lama, which has been suspended since 2010. "Under the Tibetan Policy Act, the Secretary is obligated to act on US support for Tibet, which the Chinese government has illegally occupied for over 60 years," they said.

As US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken prepares to visit China and the UK from June 16 to 21, 2023, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) calls on him to raise the issue of Tibet with Chinese leaders, urging them in particular to resume dialogue with the envoy of the Dalai Lama, as well as to raise issues relating to human rights and mass DNA collection in Tibet, and to urge China to release Tibetan political prisoners.

According to the US State Department press release, Secretary Blinken will meet with senior Chinese officials and discuss bilateral issues of concern, global and regional issues, the statement said, "While in Beijing, Secretary Blinken will meet with senior PRC officials where he will discuss the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to responsibly manage the U.S.-PRC relationship. He will also raise bilateral issues of concern, global and regional matters, and potential cooperation on shared transnational challenges."

ICT said, "Blinken must take this opportunity to help resolve the decades-old Tibet-China conflict while the Dalai Lama is still able to play an active role in negotiations and before the situation further deteriorates."

"Specifically, Blinken must raise the need to resume dialogue between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government. These talks have been dormant since 2010 while the situation in Tibet has spiraled," they added.

ICT said, "Just recently, Blinken told Freedom House—which this year ranked Tibet the least-free country on Earth alongside South Sudan and Syria—that the State Department was “concerned by reports of the spread of mass DNA collection to Tibet as an additional form of control and surveillance over the Tibetan population.” Blinken should raise those concerns with Chinese leaders during his trip."

"In addition, Blinken should reiterate and follow up on the United States’ position on the issue of the reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, especially the US policy that only the current Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhists have the authority to decide on his succession," they mentioned.

"Blinken should also elevate the need to end China’s forced isolation of Tibet. While Chinese citizens have access to the United States, Americans do not have access to Tibet. In particular, Tibetan Americans face consistent discrimination at the hands of Chinese officials when seeking visas or communication with their families," ICT said.

"Secretary Blinken should also include Tibetan political prisoners on his agenda and call for their release during his discussions in Beijing. In particular, we highlight the cases of the Panchen Lama and Go Sherab Gyatso," it added.