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US House of Representatives Sends Strong Tibet Message to China and Bush on Eve of Beijing Olympics

August 2, 2008

ICT Press Release
July 31, 2008

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday condemned
China for its 'broken promises' in the buildup to the Olympics and
called upon President Bush, who is attending the Games' Opening
Ceremonies, to make a strong public statement in Beijing about
China's repression of human rights and to request a visit to Tibet.

"President Bush must use the opportunity provided by his attendance
at the Olympics to make clear to President Hu that the United States
expects the Chinese to begin sincere and concrete negotiations with
the Dalai Lama on the future of Tibet," said Todd Stein, ICT's
Director of Government Relations. "The House expects progress not
promises at a time of crisis for the Tibetan people. ICT commends the
House leadership and Chairman Berman and his Foreign Affairs
Committee colleagues for advancing this timely legislation."

H.Res. 1370, passed yesterday by a vote of 419 to 1, cites the
Chinese government's refusal to engage the Dalai Lama in substantive,
face-to-face discussions on the future of Tibet, its failure to meet
international standards for refugee protection (citing the shooting
of a 17-year old Tibetan nun escaping into exile by Chinese border
guards), and its broken promise to allow full media access to China
and Tibet. Since March, the Tibetan plateau has been virtually sealed
off to the outside world following a tidal wave of protests against
Chinese rule, and is now under martial law in all but name.

The resolution calls on President Bush to press the Chinese government to:

* "begin earnest negotiations, without preconditions, directly with
His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives, on the future of
Tibet to provide for a mutually agreeable solution that addresses the
legitimate grievances of, and provides genuine autonomy for, the
Tibetan people;"
* seek to visit Tibet while in China;
* guarantee unrestricted travel by journalists and visitors to Tibet; and
* make a strong public statement on China's human rights situation,
both prior to his departure and while in Beijing.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), Chairman
of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and was approved by the
bipartisan committee on July 24.

This action by the House mirrors a resolution adopted by the European
Parliament earlier this month, and reflects a series of recent
reports by leading international human rights organizations
critiquing China's human rights performance on the eve of the Beijing
Olympics. On August 6, the International Campaign for Tibet will
release a comprehensive report on the stepped up campaign of
repression against Tibetans since the March uprising. Other reports
include those by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and
Reporters Without Borders.

Press contact:
Kate Saunders
Communications Director, ICT
Tel: +44 7947 138612
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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