WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Cochair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced legislation to strengthen the United States’ policy to promote dialogue between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Dalai Lama toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Tibet and the PRC.
The Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act seeks to strengthen the long-standing, bipartisan U.S. policy of promoting dialogue by ensuring that U.S. policy is based on principles of international law, and accurately reflects the nature of the conflict between Tibet and the PRC. The legislation seeks to jump start negotiations between PRC officials and the Dalai Lama or his representatives. No formal dialogue has happened since 2010, and Chinese officials continue to make unreasonable demands of the Dalai Lama as a condition for further dialogue.
“Congress has had a long and abiding interest in a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Tibet and China,” said Representative McGovern. “The United States government has consistently called on Chinese officials to return to dialogue, without preconditions. But that hasn’t worked. The Chinese continue to turn their backs on the Dalai Lama. Our bipartisan legislation seeks to strengthen U.S. policy by grounding it in international law and countering Chinese disinformation, with the aim of getting the two sides to negotiate a durable solution.”
“The Chinese Communist Party’s invasion of Tibet in 1950, and its repression of Tibetans ever since, set the stage for the CCP’s ongoing territorial aggression and human rights atrocities,” said Representative McCaul. “Their attempts to steal peoples’ freedoms and rewrite history continue to threaten American values and our national security interests today. This bipartisan bill will help ensure Tibetans have a say in their own future, and reject the CCP lie that their tyranny over Tibet is historically legitimate.”
The bill has two main components:
- Strengthens the basis for U.S. support for dialogue by making it U.S. policy that the Tibetan people are a people entitled to the right of self-determination under international law and that their ability to exercise this right is precluded by the current PRC policies; and that the conflict between Tibet and the PRC is unresolved, and that the legal status of Tibet remains to be determined in accordance with international law.
- Counters PRC disinformation on Tibet by directing the State Department’s Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues to ensure that U.S. government statements and documents counter disinformation about Tibet from PRC officials, including disinformation about the history of Tibet, the Tibetan people, and Tibetan institutions including that of the Dalai Lama, authorizing existing funding under the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018 to counter disinformation about Tibet, and requiring the annual Report on Tibet Negotiations report to Congress on the Executive Branch’s activities to counter disinformation about Tibet.