Jeff Merkley

06/12/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2024 14:21

Bipartisan Legislation Promoting Peaceful Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Passes Congress

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, Indiana's U.S. Senator Todd Young, and U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA-02) and Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) announced Congress passed their bipartisan bill to enhance U.S. support for Tibet and promote dialogue between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Dalai Lama toward a peaceful resolution of the long-standing dispute between Tibet and China. The Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act now goes to President Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.

"The people of Tibet deserve to be in charge of their own future, and, today, Congress has voted to stand with Tibetans in their struggle for freedom and self-determination," saidMerkley, co-chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. "The Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act helps counter misinformation from the Chinese government about Tibet and pushes for negotiations between the People's Republic of China and Tibet to end this longstanding dispute. I look forward to President Biden swiftly signing this bill into law-the people of Tibet cannot wait any longer."

"Our bipartisan bill will refresh U.S. policy towards Tibet and push for negotiations that advance freedom for the Tibetan people and a peaceful resolution to the CCP's conflict with the Dalai Lama," said Young. "Congressional passage of this legislation further demonstrates America's resolve that the CCP's status quo - both in Tibet and elsewhere - is not acceptable. I look forward to this important effort becoming law and working with my colleagues in the Senate and with the Administration to ensure swift and effective implementation."

"Let the overwhelming passage of our strong, bipartisan bill be a clear message to the Tibetan people: America stands with you on the side of human dignity, and we support you in your quest to secure the basic rights to which you are entitled under international law," said McGovern, Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee and a member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. "The People's Republic of China has systematically denied Tibetans the right to self-determination and continues to deliberately erase Tibetan religion, culture, and language. The ongoing oppression of the Tibetan people is a grave tragedy, and our bill provides further tools that empower both America and the international community to stand up for justice and peace."

"Tibetans, like all people, have the right to religious freedom - which includes freedom from CCP surveillance, censorship, and detention," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman McCaul. "If the CCP truly does respect 'sovereignty' as it claims to do then it will engage in peaceful dialogue with the Tibetans to resolve this conflict, not force the Tibetans to accept a CCP proposal. Passing this bipartisan bill demonstrates America's resolve that the CCP's status quo in Tibet is not acceptable."

The Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act enhances U.S. support for Tibet- empowering State Department officials to actively and directly counter disinformation about Tibet from the Chinese government, rejecting false claims that Tibet has been part of China since "ancient times," pushing for negotiations without preconditions between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives or the democratically elected leaders of the Tibetan community, and affirming the State Department's responsibility to coordinate with other governments in multilateral efforts toward the goal of a negotiated agreement on Tibet.

No formal dialogue between Tibetan and Chinese authorities has happened since 2010, and Chinese officials continue to make unreasonable demands of the Dalai Lama as a condition for further dialogue.

"This latest indication of American support of Tibet is a source of hope and encouragement to the Tibetan people who have been struggling nonviolently against the Chinese communist government for more than six decades for their rights. I thank the main sponsors of the bill, Senators Jeff Merkley and Todd Young, Chairman Michael McCaul, and Rep. Jim McGovern, for their leadership. The bill is a strong message to China that the Tibetan issue has to be resolved through negotiation instead of an assault on Tibet's unique and ancient civilization," said International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) President Tencho Gyatso.

In addition to Merkley and Young, the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act is cosponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ben Cardin (D-MD) and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mike Braun (R-IN), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Bob Casey (D-PA).