A bill to support Tibet and strengthen their policy of support has been moved into the US Congress and China has quickly stepped up to criticize in firm opposition to the introduction of the new bill. While the US House Foreign Affairs Committee has unanimously approved to move the bill, Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed their discontent over the move.
Co-sponsored by Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Tibet Policy and Support Act of 2019 will go into the house for floor vote. When signed into law will require China to allow the opening of a U.S. consulate in Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa before any new Chinese consulate can open in the United States. It will also address water security and climate change issues in Tibet and strengthen the still-unfilled State Department office of the Special Coordinator for Tibet.
According to the Radio Free Asia report, the bill will establish a U.S. policy that the selection of Tibetan religious leaders, including future successors to exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, is a decision to be made by Tibetans free from Chinese government interference. Sanctions targeting Chinese officials attempting to name a new Dalai Lama will also be mandated under the bill.
China quickly expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the bill as Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said at a press conference. It has claimed the issue of Tibet as an internal matter of China and reincarnations of Tibetan spiritual leaders including His Holiness the Dalai Lama should abide by the laws and regulations of the state, which although has no connection to religious beliefs as it considers religion as poison.