Richard Gere, Chair of the International Campaign for Tibet, will testify Wednesday (December 6, 2 PM) before the United States Congress on U.S. Tibet policy, hosted by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. Tenzin Tethong, Director of the Tibetan Service, Radio Free Asia and Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy, will also testify at the hearing (details below).
The Hearing is being held at a critical moment for evaluation of U.S. government Tibet policy following President Trump’s visit to China, where he failed to speak publicly about human rights and Tibet. It follows the introduction of a bipartisan Concurrent Resolution to the Senate on November 16, 2017 asking the Trump Administration to make Tibet an important factor in US-China relations, and calling upon the Trump Administration to fully implement the US Tibetan Policy Act, to promote access of US citizens to Tibet, and to encourage China to speak to the Dalai Lama leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet.
Subcommittee Chairman Yoho said in a statement: “Amid the ongoing turbulence in the Asia-Pacific, China’s growing oppression in Tibet has not received sufficient international attention. Observers believe the Tibetan people’s struggle for survival, dignity and autonomy is approaching a crossroads. The question of the Dalai Lama’s succession is growing, bringing uncertainty for the peaceful resistance movement. China may seek to designate its own chosen successor, which could cause Tibet to boil over. In the intervening period, China has sought to consolidate its control, with dire consequences for religious and cultural practices, human rights, freedom of movement and the access of journalists and others to Tibet. In this hearing, the Subcommittee will hear from experts on the current situation, their projections for the future and recommendations on how to promote access, religious freedom and human rights in Tibet.”
Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “This hearing is being held at a critical time for Tibet, and for the world, given the implications of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power and vision of global dominance. In Tibet, Xi Jinping is presiding over an alarming direction in policy that exceeds merely repressive measures to the imposition of an unprecedented depth of control over people’s lives. At this stage in Tibet’s history, which the Dalai Lama has described as almost the darkest period in around 2,000 years, Chinese Communist Party policies represent the most serious threat to the survival of Tibetan Buddhist culture, identity, as well as its fragile high altitude environment. Xi Jinping’s ‘control state’ is also a clear and present danger to all of us, not only to Tibet.
“The Dalai Lama is a much loved figure of rare religious and moral authority in the world today, revered by people across the U.S.A. While he is in his eighties, he is still vigorous and deeply engaged. It has never been more important for Congress to express its unwavering support, reflecting the decades-long and broad bipartisan support that exists for the Dalai Lama and Tibet among the American public. This should serve as a strong statement to Chinese leaders that the international community will continue to hold them accountable for the violation of the Tibetan people’s rights.”
Details of the hearing:
House Committee to hold hearing on US Tibet Policy
SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING NOTICE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | WASHINGTON, DC 20515-6128
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific | Ted Yoho (R-FL), Chairman
November 29, 2017
TO: MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
You are respectfully requested to attend an OPEN hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, to be held by the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific inRoom 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building (and available live on the Committee website at http://www.ForeignAffairs.house.gov):
DATE: Wednesday, December 6, 2017
TIME: 2:00 p.m.
SUBJECT: U.S. Policy Towards Tibet: Access, Religious Freedom, and Human Rights
Mr. Richard Gere
Chair of the Board of Directors
International Campaign for Tibet
Mr. Tenzin Tethong
Director of the Tibetan Service
Radio Free Asia
Mr. Carl Gershman
National Endowment for Democracy
* NOTE: Witnesses may be added.
By Direction of the Chairman