After Introduction of Tibet-China Dispute Bill; US Lawmakers to Visit India Next Week

A US Congressional delegation led by Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is set to visit India next week to meet the Dalai Lama.

June 16, 2024

On Wednesday, this week, US House introduced the bill, titled 'Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act,' which was passed by the House of Representatives by a 391-26 majority. This bill would challenge China's claims over Tibet and seek to facilitate dialogue between China and the spritual head of tibetian community, Dalai Lama.

Now, the bill is on its way to US President Joe Biden's desk. The bill rejects the position held by China that Tibet has always been part of China. The bill defines "Tibet" in a way that encompasses not only the Tibet autonomous region but the Tibetan areas within other Chinese provinces as well.

A US Congressional delegation led by Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is set to visit Dharamshala next week to meet the Dalai Lama, reflecting the continuing support of American politicians for the Tibetan leadership.

Micheal McCaul, was among four US lawmakers who introduced the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act stated that the US Congressional delegation will visit India to meet Dalai Lama in Dharamshala next week. The delegation will also meet Penpa Tsering, the Sikyong or political head of the CTA.

The delegation’s visit will coincide with a trip to New Delhi by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and deputy secretary of state Kurt Campbell, who are expected to participate in a meeting with Indian interlocutors to conduct a review of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), the people said.

The visit, though scheduled earlier, will come days after the US House of Representatives passed a bill on June 12 urging China to re-engage with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan leaders to resolve the dispute over the status of Tibet. The bipartisan delegation, which will also include former US speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi has long been a supporter of the Tibetan cause and has visited Dharamshala in the past to meet the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan leaders.

Tibetan people in exile giving warm wishes to Indian Army near Indo-Tibet border

The Tibetan official said that, the delegation’s visit, close on the heels of the passing of the Resolve Tibet Act, will send out a clear message that the Dalai Lama and the CTA are the real representatives of the Tibetan people, he said.

On the other hand, China has bristled at such visits and contacts between foreign political leaders and the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing describes as a separatist.

New Delhi's Position On Tibet

In June 2003, a joint Sino-Indian declaration was signed by PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his visit to China in which India recognised that "the Tibet Autonomous Region is part of the territory of the People's Republic of China". In Chinese view, this meant that India had, for "the first time", officially recognised Tibet as "part of China". Some Indian and western commentators interpret it to mean that India had recognised China's "sovereignty" over Tibet.

Tibetan government-in-exile celebrating its peaceful anniversary in India

However, New Delhi continues to host the Dalai Lama, who has been living in exile in India following his 1959 escape from Tibet, which had been occupied by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1950-51. Dalai Lama, the icon of the global resistance against China's occupation of Tibet and Tibetian spritual and political head, lives at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh of India. The Tibetan Government in Exile (formally known as the Central Tibetan Administration) is also based in Dharamshala.


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