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HomeNewsNancy Pelosi, other US lawmakers meet Dalai Lama; China raises concern

Nancy Pelosi, other US lawmakers meet Dalai Lama; China raises concern

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A group if US lawmakers including former House speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Dalai Lama on Wednesday (19) and the Tibetan government-in-exile in India, of which the China is criticizing.

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers, led by Congressman Michael McCaul and Pelosi, visited the 88-year-old Buddhist spiritual leader at his home in Dharamsala, a northern Indian hill town.

Pelosi addressed the crowds of Tibetans, saying it was an “honor” to meet with the Dalai Lama, as reported by the government-in-exile’s Tibet TV. “It is truly a blessing,” Pelosi said.

The main purpose of the visit is to motivate China to hold talks with Tibetan leaders, and the bill of US Congress which have been frozen since 2010. “This bill is a message to the Chinese government that we have clarity in our thinking and understanding in the issue of the freedom of Tibet”, she said.

 

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Pelosi said the bill was “soon to be signed” by US President Joe Biden. Ahead of the visit, China’s embassy in New Delhi criticized the meeting, saying the Dalai Lama was “not a pure religious figure, but a political exile engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion.”

Many exiled Tibetans fear that Beijing will appoint a rival successor to the Dalai Lama to strengthen its control over Tibet, where it sent troops in 1950.

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The Dalai Lama was only 23 when he fled the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, after a failed uprising against Chinese forces, crossing the snowy Himalayas into India to save his life.

In 2011, he stepped down as the political head of Tibet, passing on secular power to a democratically elected government representing about 130,000 Tibetans worldwide. “The democracy of the diaspora of the Tibetans in exile is very important to us,” Pelosi said.

Penpa Tsering, the sikyong or leader of that government, stated that their goal is not full independence but to follow the “Middle Way” policy, which seeks greater autonomy and aims to resolve the Sino-Tibet conflict through dialogue.

However, Beijing’s embassy accused the Tibetan administration of trying to break away from China. “We urge the US side to fully recognize the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai group,” said a spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in India on social media. The statement reiterated that Tibet “has always been part of China since ancient times.”

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