The US Ambassador to Beijing Terry Branstad late last month made a rare visit to Tibet. After completing his visit, he urged China to engage in substantive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet in exile. However, the Chinese government responded aggressively warning them to stop interfering in Tibet!
Terry Branstad made the rare visit to Tibet Autonomous Region, the first by a US official since 2015 last month. During the ambassador’s visit, he went to important religious and cultural sites, including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka, and Sera Monastery in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. He also met with senior Tibetan religious and cultural leaders, the embassy said.
The Ambassador is reported to have told China to have talks with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to find a definitive solution to their differences. He is also reported to have raised concerns over China’s interference in the religious freedom of Tibetan Buddhists.
“He encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions, to seek a settlement that resolves differences,” an embassy spokeswoman said. She has also added that “He also expressed concerns regarding the Chinese government’s interference in Tibetan Buddhists’ freedom to organise and practise their religion,”
In response to that, the Foreign Ministry of China in a press conference statement clarified that while China facilitated the Tibet visit for US Ambassador, China opposes to any foreign interference in Tibet. It also said that China has clear policy on dialogue and contact with the Dalai Lama.
“China briefed the US side about its religious and ethnic policies and also about socio-economic development in Tibet… China made clear its policy on dialogue and contact with the Dalai Lama as well as foreigners’ access to Tibet. Finally, it was also stressed that China firmly opposes any foreign interference in Tibet,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Khang said with regard to the Ambassador’s visit to Tibet.