With outgoing US President Trump approving measures to bolster the position of Tibet against China, let us look at the measures approved as well as at Taiwan, which would be another beneficiary of the move.
Crux of the Matter
New Law By US – For Tibet And Taiwan
US President Donald Trump has passed the Tibet Policy and Support Act along with the Taiwan Assurance Act.
US-Taiwan Relations Strengthened
The Taiwan Assurance Act supports the inclusion of Taiwan in the UN, WHO, and other international bodies. Currently, Taiwan is not a part of such organizations as most of them recognize mainland China as the sole representative. It also calls for “regular sales and transfers of defense articles to Taiwan in order to enhance its self-defence capabilities”.
For more details on Taiwan and China read: History of Taiwan
Relief For Lhasa
The Law passed by Trump recognizes the “absolute right” of Tibetans to choose the next Dalai Lama, and levies sanctions on Chinese interference in the process. It also demands a US consulate in Lhasa (capital of Tibet).
The ‘Tibet Policy and Support Act’ of the US came amidst:
- Reports of China increasing forced labour in Tibet.
- The imminence of ‘reincarnation’ of the Dalai Lama.
- Continued strain in US-China relationship.
We urge the U.S. side to stop meddling in China’s internal affairs and refrain from signing into law these negative clauses and acts, lest it further harms our further cooperation and bilateral relations.Wang Wenbin, Spokesperson, Foreign Ministry of China
This legislation sends a powerful message of hope and justice to the Tibetans inside Tibet and bolsters US support for the protection of Tibetan people’s religious freedom, human rights, environmental rights and exile Tibetan democracy like never before.Lobsang Sangay, President, Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
- Time magazine named the Dalai Lama one of the “Children of Mahatma Gandhi” and Gandhi’s spiritual heir to nonviolence.
- The Potala Palace is a dzong fortress in the city of Lhasa, in Tibet. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959, has been a museum since then, and has been a World Heritage Site since 1994.
- McLeod Ganj is a suburb of Dharamshala, India. It is known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” because of its large population of Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.
- The name “Dalai Lama” is a combination of the Mongolic word dalai meaning “ocean” or “big” and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning “master, guru”. The Dalai Lama is also known in Tibetan as the Rgyal-ba (“Precious Conqueror”).
- Hindustan Times – Donald Trump defies Chinese warning, signs off on law on next Dalai Lama
- Taipei Times – Trump signs Taiwan Assurance Act
- The Conversation – How the Dalai Lama is chosen and why China wants to appoint its own
- BBC – Profile: The Dalai Lama
- Human Rights Watch – 25 Years After ‘Disappearing’ Tibetan Panchen Lama, China Is No Nearer to Its Goal
- The Indian Express – Dalai Lama is a wolf in monk’s robes: China
- Reuters – Obama meets Dalai Lama in spite of China protest