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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China objects to US Congress delegation meeting Dalai Lama in India

May 15, 2017

By Saibal Dasguptal

Times of India, May 11, 2017 - China has lodged a protest with the US government against the recent meeting of members of the US Congress with the Dalai Lama at Dharamshala. The bipartisan delegation led by Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi raised the issue of human rights violations in China's Tibetan region.

Chinese foreign ministry objected to the meeting on Wednesday saying that it amounted to giving political support to the Tibetan leader, whom Beijing regards as a 'dangerous separatist in monk's clothing.'

"The visit by the relevant delegates of the US Congress to meet the Dalai Lama sent a very wrong signal to the world about Tibet independence and goes against the United States' promises on Tibet," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, adding, "China firmly opposes this and has lodged solemn representations with the US."

The Trump administration has of late given the impression that it was not interested in raising human rights issues with China. It is keen on working with China on the North Korea issue, and does not want to be distracted by issues like human rights. But the Congress delegation, which consisted both Democrat and Republican representatives, might put pressure on the White House to look into human rights issues closely.

"We urge relevant Congress people in the US to carefully handle the Tibet issue, stop all communications with the Dalai Lama and take immediate measures to deal with the negative impact of the visit," Geng said.

Talking to Tibetans at Dharmashala, Pelosi said, "You will not be silenced. The brutal tactics of the Chinese government to erase race, culture and language of Tibetan people challenges the conscience of the world. We will meet that challenge."

The Dalai Lama, who has met several past US presidents, has expressed a desire to meet Trump. The visit of the US Congress delegation to India to meet the Tibetan leader might force the White House to consider granting an audience to the Dalai Lama.

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