Washington, D.C — The International Campaign for Tibet urged President Joe Biden to raise the issue of Tibet-China conflict resolution with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, both internally and publicly, during their expected meeting in the US next month. ICT calls on Biden to keep his 2020 campaign promise to “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.”
President Joe Biden is due to meet China's Xi Jining on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, to be held in San Francisco from 11 to 17 November, 2023.
The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) on October 31, 2023 urged US President Joe Biden to raise the Sino-Tibetan conflict with Chinese President Xi Jinping when they meet in the United States next month. ICT calls on Joe Biden to keep his 2020 campaign promise to " 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.”
“The Tibetan Policy Act mandates that the president and the secretary of state should in their meetings with Chinese leaders encourage them to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet,” ICT President Tencho Gyatso says.
'President Biden must not only raise the issue of Tibet during his internal meetings with Xi, but also do so firmly and publicly,' ICT urged.
Chinese representatives and envoys of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama held ten rounds of dialogue between 2002 and 2010. Since then, there have been no further discussions, while the situation in Tibet has deteriorated in terms of freedom of religion, language, expression, movement and the environment.
Chinese and Tibetan representatives need dialogue and to resolve the conflict, because, "China has brutally occupied Tibet for over 60 years, turning it into the least-free country on Earth alongside South Sudan and Syria, according to watchdog group Freedom House."
"Rights violations include China’s mass collection of DNA from about one million Tibetans and separation of over one million Tibetan children from their families at state-run boarding schools that cut them off from their language, religion and culture," ICT added.
ICT explained, "The people of the United States have broad sympathy for the Tibetan people and support the Dalai Lama’s peaceful advocacy of Tibetans’ right to preserve their own identity and culture. Presidents and Congress members of both parties have also supported Tibet over many years, leading to the passage of multiple US laws".
"Just this year, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate reintroduced the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, another bipartisan bill that will pressure China to restart negotiations. US law requires the administration and the president in particular to encourage Chinese officials to take part in dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives," they added.
ICT recalled that Biden himself promised during his 2020 campaign to “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.” Therefore, they urged President Biden to keep his 2020 campaign promise and raise Tibet issues with his counterpart Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting in November, 2023.
ICT has also launched a public online petition campaign to urge President Biden to raise the issue of Tibet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The petition reads: “I hope you will take every opportunity in your meeting with the Chinese leadership to speak out publicly and engage substantively about Tibet. I urge you to forcefully condemn the human rights violations taking place in occupied Tibet and stress the need for Beijing to return to dialogue to resolve the Tibet-China dispute."
The petition explains, "The last 10 years under Xi Jinping’s rule have been a relentless drive to securitize Tibet and Sinify the Tibetan people in the Chinese nation-state as part of Xi’s long-term assimilationist drive. Ethics demand that China be held accountable for the gross human rights violations the Xi Jinping regime is inflicting on the Tibetan people, including torture, forced disappearances, religious persecution and the unconscionable separation of Tibetan children from their families, religion, culture and mother tongue. Beijing has put in place a surveillance system that has turned Tibet into an open-air prison, and the long arm of China uses sophisticated tactics to silence pro-Tibet voices around the world including here in the United States."