The US House of Representatives in a historic development on Tuesday passed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. The bipartisan bill introduced Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass) is a tit for tat reaction from the Americans in their dealing with Chinese officials by calling an end to discrimination against Americans who try to enter Tibet.
“Today is a great day for human rights,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, who introduced the legislation alongside Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) according to the report in official website of International Campaign for Tibet, “The United States must continue to stand squarely for human rights and speak openly against China’s human rights violations in Tibet.”
‘The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act’ seeks equal access to Tibetan areas for US officials, journalists and common citizens which is routinely denied by the Chinese government. Under the Act, Chinese officials responsible for discriminating against Americans who try to enter Tibet would be banned from entering the United States.
The report added that China nearly always forbids American journalists, diplomats and citizens from accessing Tibet, even though Chinese citizens are free to travel throughout the US. On the rare occasions when US citizens are allowed into Tibet, they can only travel under the constant monitoring of Chinese authorities. The bill is expected to help curtail China’s isolation of Tibet, a historically independent nation that China has occupied for nearly 70 years.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) is also reported to have said the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act is important both for supporting the people of Tibet and for addressing China’s hostility toward the US.