Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) on December 4, 2018 while presiding over a Subcommittee Hearing in the United States clarified that the Chinese government can’t select new Dalai Lama. The hearing also saw the US Department of State support the goals of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and will take steps to implement the bill if it becomes law.
During the Subcommittee Hearing The China Challenge, Part 3: Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law, Senator Gardner told that this Congress would not recognize the imposition of a new Dalai Lama by China. The senator also discussed the Tibet Policy Act of 2002 and The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act which are interrelated.
“I think it’s clear that this Congress would not recognize a Chinese imposition” of a new Dalai Lama said Senator Gardner at the hearing while Ms. Laura Stone, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, United States Department of State, also one of the witness of the hearing explained that US has a clear position that religious decisions should be made by religious organizations, not by political regimes. She added that there is wide support for that position among the US public.
Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, requires American officials to visit Tibet on a regular basis, Gardner said very few American diplomats have been able to enter Tibet—a historically independent country that China has occupied for almost 70 years—because the Chinese government refuses to give them access, just as it also denies access to Tibet for American journalists and tourists, as well as citizens from around the world.
Hence, The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act—which takes aim at China’s unfair policy of banning Americans from Tibet, even though Chinese officials travel freely throughout the US—was unanimously approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week. It now needs to pass the full Senate and be signed into law by President Trump.