Wednesday, 28 October, 2020

China slams United States appointment of envoy for Tibet human rights

No foreign interference in China's internal affairs regarding Tibet: Spokesperson U.S. attacks Tibet's human rights as the region announces end of absolute poverty
Deanna Wagner | 19 October, 2020, 00:00

"The US side should stop using the Tibet issue to interfere in China's internal affairs and destroy Tibet's development and stability", foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a routine briefing.

The move comes amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington, which has routinely criticised the Chinese government's human rights record, especially on the treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet.

The program, aimed at lifting skills and incomes, has involved about 15 percent of Tibet's population of 3.51 million. The coordinator is, by law, assigned to promote "substantive dialogue" between the government of China and the Dalai Lama, coordinate USA policy and projects on Tibet and help promote policies that protect the distinct identity of Tibet and safeguard human rights in the region.

The remarks came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the appointment of Assistant Secretary Robert A. Destro as the new U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. Destro will primarily be responsible for advancing dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama and protecting the religious, cultural and linguistic identity of Tibetans, according to the State Department.

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The Democratic Party says Trump has no interest in human rights abuses in Tibet.

Destro will support United States efforts to promote dialogue between the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, exiled in India, or his representatives with China to protect the unique culture, religious freedom and respect the Tibetan human rights.

In a statement earlier, Pompeo said that in consistent with the Tibetan Policy Act, Special Coordinator Destro will lead the United States efforts to promote dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama or his representatives; protect the unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity of Tibetans; and press for their human rights to be respected.

China seized control of Tibet in 1950 in what it describes as a "peaceful liberation" that helped the remote Himalayan region throw off its "feudalist" past. Last month, prominent researcher Adrian Zenz released a report alleging that China is instituting a mass labor system in Tibet similar to the one that has ensnared Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang. The commission had urged the State Department to fill the job, saying the role was "crucial to raising the profile of religious freedom issues in Tibet and mobilizing government resources to address the issue".