China has rebuked US demands for unmonitored access into Tibet. Since passing the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act (bipartisan bill) in September 2018, the US has been pressuring Beijing to fall in. And as part of its strategy, Washington has denied Chinese government officials access to the United States if they are responsible for creating or administering restrictions on US officials, journalists and other citizens seeking to travel to Tibet.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang at a regular press briefing said the relevant bill has disregarded the facts. He said it has grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs and violated the basic norms of international relations. “We strongly urge the US administration to immediately take effective measures to prevent this bill from being signed into law, so as to avoid damage to China-US relations and the cooperation between the two countries in important areas,” Lu said.
According to Asia Times, the bill – Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018 is yet to be signed by the US President Donald Trump. This bill aims to open up the isolated and repressed region to US diplomats, NGO workers, and journalists reporting on human rights abuses. Jim McGovern, the co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Congress strongly said: “If China wants its citizens and officials to continue to travel freely in the United States, then Americans, including Tibetan Americans must be able to travel freely in China, including Tibet, beginning now.”
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said the bill is a means of supporting Tibetans. “With this bill, we are sending a clear message that we will not let Beijing’s immoral, unjust and destabilizing treatment of the Tibetan people go unaddressed.” She said the United States must make Tibet a priority in our relations with Beijing.
Meanwhile, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Tibet’s government-in-exile based in India’s Dharamsala has applauded the US Senate’s act. In a statement which it had released early December, the CTA said the Chinese government continues to violate the Tibetan people’s basic freedoms. “Hundreds of Tibetan prisoners of conscience are locked up in Chinese prisons where torture is endemic and have no access to any meaningful legal defence.” As per the Tibetan Review China invariably rejects applications from journalists, diplomats, political leaders and rights monitors unless they are officially invited for strictly chaperoned tours to theatrically prepared sites.
Tibet the highest region on earth has been occupied by China since 1951. This strategic move by China was described by the Tibetan people and world watchers as a ‘cultural genocide’. The Tibetan Uprising of 1959 was an attempt to overthrow the Chinese government followed by the self-exile of spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama to India. Tibet is very much a sensitive issue for China and it doesn’t allow external influence.