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

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.

The latest report, covering 2013-2014, states:

“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 Dalai Lama’s views are widely reflected within Tibetan society and he represents the views of the vast majority of Tibetans. His consistent advocacy of non-violence is an important factor in reaching a lasting solution. Chinese government engagement with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve problems facing Tibetans is in the interests of the Chinese government and the Tibetan people. Failure to address these problems will lead to greater tensions inside China and will be an impediment to China’s social and economic development, and will continue to be a stumbling block to fuller political and economic engagement with the United States.”

“We are glad to see the US Government continue to support the Tibetans’ stance to solve the Tibetan issue through a negotiated solution. At the same time, the hardline position on Tibet reiterated earlier this week by the Chinese government in its “White Paper,” shows the need for the US Government and the international community to speak up jointly to let China know that this dangerous escalation will not be tolerated. Tibetans in Tibet are resisting in many nonviolent ways to the oppressive policies implemented by Beijing, but without international support, these efforts will not be able to improve the living conditions of Tibetans,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet.

The first Tibet Negotiations Report was submitted to the Congress by President George Bush on May 8, 2003. However, in July of the same year, the President delegated to the Secretary of State the submission of “certain recurring reports,” including on Tibet Negotiations Status, to the Congress “only to improve the internal management of the executive branch.” Since then the Secretary of State has been submitting the reports.

The full text of the report is available here »

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