US President Donald Trump (L) with Chinese President Xi Jinping (File Photo, Image credit: Financial Times)

China reacts after new US legislations on Tibet, Taiwan

In yet another anti-China move, US President Donald Trump late on Sunday evening signed two new legislations, named the Tibet Policy and Support Act (TPSA) and Taiwan Assurance Act (TAA). The first law passed by the Congress calls for the establishment of a US Consulate in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. The Act also includes provisions that the Tibetan people have a right to choose the successor to the Dalai Lama, a right that the Chinese government claims as its sole jurisdiction.

It needs to be mentioned that the Chinese government considers Tibet and Taiwan as an integral part of the mainland. Therefore, it is no surprise that as soon as the law related to Tibet was signed, the Chinese foreign ministry immediately criticized the legislations calling them an infringement in the internal affairs of the Middle Kingdom. Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, after the law was passed by the Congress, said: “We urge the U.S. side to stop meddling in China’s internal affairs and refrain from signing into law these negative clauses and acts, lest it further harms our further cooperation and bilateral relations.”

It needs to be stated that China has been for long carrying out measures to destroy the Tibetan culture, religion (Buddhism) and social structure with its own norms and institutions. No wonder, a large number of people from the Han race of Mainland China have been brought and settled in Tibet in the past decades for this end.

The Congress had also passed the Taiwan Assurance Act (TAA) which strengthens military ties with Taiwan. The TAA supports Taiwan’s representation in the United Nations. Apart from this, it seeks to give a boost to defence ties between Taiwan and the United States.

Meanwhile, while welcoming the US’ move, Lobsang Sangay, president of Central Tibetan Administration in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala, said: “This legislation sends a powerful message of hope and justice to the Tibetans inside Tibet and bolsters US support for the protection of Tibetan people’s religious freedom, human rights, environmental rights and exile Tibetan democracy like never before.”  

Needless to say, thousands of Tibetans are living in Dharamshala in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh (India) ever since China occupied Tibet in 1959. After the Chinese invasion, the Dalai Lama with a large number of followers fled to India and has been living in exile in Dharamshala since then.

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