Tag Archives | State Department
State Department

China Strictly Curtailed Rights of the Tibetans in 2016 says State Department Human Rights Report

March 3, 2017

The State Department’s latest human rights report said China engaged in “severe repression of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage by, among other means, strictly curtailing the civil rights of the Tibetan population.” The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, released on March 3, 2017 said these rights included “ the freedoms of speech, religion, association, assembly, and movement” and that these were curtailed “under the professed objectives of controlling border areas, maintaining social stability, combating separatism, and extracting natural resources.” The report further said, China “routinely vilified the Dalai Lama and blamed the “Dalai [Lama] clique” and “other outside forces” for instigating instability.”

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State Department

Secretary Tillerson says he is committed to promoting dialogue on Tibet and receiving the Dalai Lama

February 1, 2017

In response to written questions posed by members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Rex Tillerson, who received Senate’s confirmation as Secretary of State on February 1, 2017, has said that he will commit to encourage dialogue on Tibet and to receive the Dalai Lama.

Secretary Tillerson also expressed concern for the restrictions imposed by China on reporters, civil society actors, diplomats and others in accessing to Tibet, for the denial of visas to foreign journalists and the limitations to freedom of movement and information.

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State Department

Senate confirms nomination of Mr. Rex Tillerson as the next United States Secretary of State

February 1, 2017

Earlier today (February 1, 2017) the United States Senate voted to confirm Mr. Rex Tillerson as the next Secretary of State. In his prepared statement for the confirmation hearing on January 11, 2017, he said the following about China:

“We should also acknowledge the realities about China. China’s island building in the South China Sea is an illegal taking of disputed areas without regard for international norms. China’s economic and trade practices have not always followed its commitments to global agreements. It steals our intellectual property, and is aggressive and expansionist in the digital realm. It has not been a reliable partner in using its full influence to curb North Korea. China has proven a willingness to act with abandon in pursuit of its own goals, which at times has put it in conflict with America’s interests. We have to deal with what we see, not with what we hope.”

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State Department International Religious Freedom Report, 2015

The State Department released its International Religious Freedom Report for 2015 on August 10, 2016. The following is its section on Tibet highlighting the state of religious freedom of the Tibetan people. The report says, “The U.S. government repeatedly pressed Chinese authorities at multiple levels to respect religious freedom for all faiths and to allow […]

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US asks China to address concerns regarding demolition at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute

The United States has asked China “to cease actions that may escalate tensions” on account of the demolition at a famed Tibetan Buddhist learning center, Larung Gar Buddhist Institute. During the Daily Press Briefing on August 8, State Department Spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau responded to a question by expressing the United States’ concerns. Following is the […]

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U.S. State Department details rights abuses, raises concern on Tibet in 2015 Annual Human Rights Report

April 13, 2016

The U.S. State Department has detailed its concern about the “severe repression of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic heritage” in its annual human rights report covering 2015, released today by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “This report gives comprehensive details on issues including lack of access to Tibet, disappearances and torture, sentencing of relatives of those who have self-immolated, and violations of rights of assembly, movement and expression, indicating clearly the continuous and strong concerns of the U.S. government.”

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US Tibet Coordinator Sarah Sewall Hosts Tibetan Losar reception at the State Department

February 23, 2016

On February 18, 2016, the State Department hosted a reception to celebrate Losar, the Tibetan New Year, to an invited gathering of Tibetan Americans, diplomats, State Department officials, Congressional staffers and other dignitaries, including the Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama to the Americas. The first day of Losar fell on February 9 this year.

The program began with prayers by Shingza Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist master. Under Secretary of State Sarah Sewall, who is also the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, welcomed everyone saying, “Losar Tashi Delek.”

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State Department

US Governments highlights lack of religious freedom for Tibetans in its annual report

October 16, 2015

On October 14, 2015, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2014 Report on International Religious Freedom. In his remarks, Secretary Kerry stated: “The message at the heart of this report is that countries benefit when their citizens fully enjoy the rights to which they are entitled.” Kerry further urged “the release of men and women destined or imprisoned anywhere in the world for the peaceful expression and practice of their religious beliefs.”

The report’s section on Tibet states that in the TAR and other Tibetan areas, “authorities severely restricted religious freedom and engaged in widespread interference in religious practices, especially in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries.”

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State Department International Religious Freedom Report, 2014

Read the full report online at the U.S. Department of State’s website » China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) – Tibet EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The constitution of the People’s Republic of China states citizens enjoy “freedom of religious belief;” however, it limits protections for religious practice to “normal religious activities” and does not define “normal.” […]

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As President Xi Jinping comes to Washington US Government says China puts “unattainable conditions” on the Dalai Lama to resume dialogue

September 22, 2015

As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to arrive in Washington DC, the U.S. State Department has submitted its 13th annual “Report on Tibet Negotiations” to Congress on August 5, 2015, in which it says that China puts unattainable conditions on the Dalai Lama to resume dialogue.

The report notes that the Tibetan and Chinese representatives have not met for talks since 2010 and says, “The United States continues to encourage both sides to engage in a substantive discussion that will work to achieve concrete results. The U.S. government believes the Dalai Lama or his representatives can be constructive partners for China as it deals with continuing tensions in Tibetan areas.”

The report expresses concerns at the Chinese attitude for lack of resumption of the dialogue process with the Tibetans. It says, “We are concerned Chinese officials continue to insist the Dalai Lama meet unattainable conditions in order for China to resume dialogue. We consider this position counter-productive and contrary to the expectations of the United States and the international community. We support dialogue without preconditions.”

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State Department

State Department Issues Annual Human Rights Reports for 2014

June 25, 2015

In its 2014 annual human rights reports, released on June 25, 2015, the U.S. State Department highlights the continuing egregious human rights violations in Tibet. “Under the professed objectives of controlling border areas, maintaining social stability, and combating separatism, the government engaged in the severe repression of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage by, among other means, strictly curtailing the civil rights of China’s Tibetan population, including the freedoms of speech, religion, association, assembly, and movement,“ the report said. The report added, “The government routinely vilified the Dalai Lama and blamed the “Dalai [Lama] Clique” and “other outside forces” for instigating instability.”

“We have always urged the United States to make human rights one of its core interests in its relations with China,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “This report clearly indicates that it is in the interest of the U.S. and of all democratic countries that China’s rise is accompanied by significant political and rule of law reforms.”

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US Government believes “resumption of dialogue” on Tibet is “critical”

April 17

In its most recent annual Tibet Negotiations Report to Congress, the State Department notes that “The Dalai Lama’s representatives and Chinese officials from the United Front Work Department have not met directly since the ninth round of dialogue in January 2010.” The report adds that the Chinese government’s failure to address problems in Tibet “will continue to be a stumbling block to fuller political and economic engagement with the United States.”

The report is mandated by The Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (TPA), as contained in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228). The TPA provides that the report cover steps taken by the President and the Secretary to encourage the Chinese government to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet. The report also must address the status of any discussions between the two sides.

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State Department

US Government celebrates for the first time Losar, the Tibetan New Year, in recognition of Tibetan culture and identity

February 23, 2015

On February 23, 2015, the State Department hosted a reception to celebrate Losar, the Tibetan New Year, to an invited gathering of Tibetan Americans, diplomats, State Department officials and other dignitaries. The first day of Losar fell on February 19 this year.

“This is the first time that such an event has been organized by the State Department and it can be seen as a recognition of Tibetan American culture and its contribution to American society. We are pleased to see the US Government taking this initiative,” said Bhuchung Tsering, Vice President of the International Campaign for Tibet.

Under Secretary of State Sarah Sewall, who is also the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, welcomed everyone and shared her experience of interacting with the Tibetan community during her trip to India and Nepal last year and being able to see the different aspects of Tibetan culture then. She put Losar in the context of a Tibetan American culture.

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China’s human rights abusers should be barred from the United States

State Department should extend visa ban policy to world’s largest rights violator

August 1, 2014

Building on recent United States travel bans imposed on human rights violators, the International Campaign for Tibet urges the U.S. government to act to restrict visa entry to Chinese officials complicit in human rights abuses in China and Tibet.

“The U.S. government can send a clear message: if Chinese officials violate the human rights of the Chinese and Tibetan people, they can’t visit the United States,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “There is momentum to extend visa bans to human rights violators, and there is no reason China, the world’s largest abuser, should not be included. We value the freedom to travel as we value fundamental human rights. Visa bans are a tool that governments can use to discourage officials who would violate such rights.”

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State Department International Religious Freedom Report, 2013

Read the full report online at the U.S. Department of State’s website » China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) – Tibet EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The United States recognizes the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and Tibetan autonomous prefectures (TAPs) and counties in other provinces to be a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The […]

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ICT welcomes U.S. legislation to promote access to Tibet

Reps. McGovern, Pitts introduce Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act

June 12, 2014

Today, Members of Congress introduced bipartisan legislation to promote travel by Americans to Tibetan areas where access is routinely denied by Chinese authorities.

The bill, H.R. 4851, the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, was introduced by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) on June 12, 2014.

“The bill’s premise is straightforward. If China doesn’t allow foreigners into Tibet, then we shouldn’t allow Chinese officials with oversight on Tibet into our countries, said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “Chinese leaders praise the landscape and people of Tibet, yet keep it hidden from view. Freedom of access to Tibet should be demanded of China just as established powers already provide to their own nations. I thank Congressmen McGovern and Pitts for their leadership.”

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“Limited Freedoms” for Tibetan Refugees in Nepal, State Department reports

February 28, 2014

The U.S. State Department reports a restrictive atmosphere for Tibetan refugees residing in Nepal. The findings are part of the Nepal section of the Country Reports on Human Rights for 2013, released on February 27.

“Tibetans continue to suffer a marginal existence in Nepal,” said Todd Stein, Director of Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet. “The installation of a new government in Kathmandu allows for the opportunity for advancing policies to help this community and strengthen the fabric of Nepalese society, such as providing identity cards to Tibetans who have not been able to get legal documentation.”

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Secretary of State John Kerry

U.S. State Department finds “severe” repression in Tibet, targeting of friends and relatives of self-immolators

February 27, 2014

The U.S. State Department reported today that “[r]epression was severe throughout the year” in Tibetan areas, a week after President Obama “reiterated his strong support for … the protection of human rights for Tibetans” in a meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The findings were contained in the special Tibet section of the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013.

A copy of the report is posted on ICT’s website.

“The State Department’s extensive reporting on the situation in Tibet sheds needed light on a dark situation,” said Todd Stein, Director of Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet. “Released two days after Chinese authorities closed the Tibet Autonomous Region to foreigners, the Department’s report shows the harsh reality in Tibet that Chinese authorities are so desperately trying, and failing, to cover up.”

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