January 11, 2019
The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act’s two lead sponsors in Congress have challenged the Chinese government to show through concrete action that it is opening up Tibet to the outside world.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were reacting to reports in Chinese state media from the Tibetan capital of Lhasa that China was changing its policy regarding access to Tibet, a historically independent country that China has occupied for 70 years.
A China Daily report on Jan. 10, 2019 says, “Overseas tourists will find it easier and faster to apply for a travel permit to Tibet this year as the regional government makes efforts to boost tourism.”
In response, Sen. Rubio tweeted on Jan.11, 2019: “Seems the new Reciprocal Access to #Tibet law has gotten the attention of the Chinese Gov’t. Time will tell if they open up Tibet & stop brutally repressing the Tibetan people.”
Rubio also had a message for the Trump Administration. His tweet said, “In the meantime, @StateDept should swiftly implement the bill.”