The bipartisan legislation marks a new era in US-China relations and US support for Tibetans
Detention Center Notorious for Torture Next to 5-star Global Brand Hotel
May 21, 2019
As Belgians prepare for federal and regional elections on May 26, Belgian political parties have committed to supporting the Tibetan cause in response to questions from the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).
Seven parties contacted by ICT’s Brussels office replied to written queries about their positions on the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s environment and human rights in Tibet, as well as their plans to address the Tibetan issue on national and international levels if they are elected to power.
The Christian Democratic and Flemish Party (CD&V); the Democratic, Federalist and Independent party (Défi); Ecolo; Groen (Greens); the Reformist Movement (MR); the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA); and the Socialist Party Differently (sp.a) all replied to ICT’s 10 questions. The Socialist Party (PS); Humanist Democratic Centre (cdH); Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB); and Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats party (Open VLD) were also contacted but did not respond to the questionnaire.
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In December 2018, the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act (RATA) became the first major legislation on Tibet signed into law in the US since the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002.
The landmark, bipartisan legislation is an important step toward holding China accountable for restricting access to Tibet. It seeks to challenge the difficulties faced by US diplomats, NGO workers, journalists reporting on human rights abuses and others when they try to enter the isolated and oppressed region. The act does so by denying entry to the US for Chinese officials who are involved in formulating the policies that prohibit American citizens from entering Tibet.
The 90-day period following the adoption of the act on December 19, 2018, during which the US State Department is required to assess Americans’ level of access to Tibet, coincides with a lockdown of Tibet this March, a month of sensitive anniversaries, when foreigners are banned from the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
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