Dharamshala: China has said it “opposes” the meeting of CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay and newly appointed US Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues, Assistant Secretary Robert Destro, just days after the Tibetan leader was hosted at the US state department building for the meeting in a historic first.
Not only did the US government appoint a new Special Coordinator for the Tibetan issues to advance, among others, the long-stalled dialogue between the Chinese and Tibetan counterparts, but this was the first time the head of the CTA was received at the US State Department.
The story ran on the front page of prominent newspapers both nationwide and globally.
This prompted angry protests from Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian who immediately issued a statement stating “Tibetan government-in-exile” is a separatist political organization with the agenda of pursuing “Tibetan independence”.
Irked by President Dr Sangay’s meeting with the Special Coordinator at US State Department, the Chinese spokesperson called him “utterly an anti-China separatist” and said “China firmly opposes Lobsang Sangay conducting anti-China separatist activities in whatever capacity, name or country,” and “engagement of whatever form between him and officials of any country”.
The Chinese spokesperson once again in keeping with its age-old official rhetoric avoids addressing the issue of Tibet altogether by flagging it off as “separatism”.
Blatantly calling the CTA leadership that is globally recognized for its efforts to peacefully resolve the Sino-Tibet issue by seeking genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese constitution, as “anti-China”, “separatist” pursuing “independence” is utterly misguided and ignorant of the core Tibet issues.
The CTA has adopted the Middle Way Approach, which seeks genuine autonomy for Tibet maintaining the ‘one China policy’ that the Chinese spokesperson wryly accuses the US of violating.
The Chinese spokesperson Zhao Lijian also said Special Coordinator Destro’s meeting with the Tibetan president amounted to sending “a deeply erroneous signal”.
Indeed, President Dr Sangay’s meeting with Special coordinator Robert Destro’s meeting did send a message, but not an “erroneous” one at that.
It signalled a clear and principled message that the US, like many others around the world, continues to stand with the CTA in its rightful pursuit to resolve the Sino-Tibet issue to the reasonable and just aspirations of the six million Tibetans.
I am proud to serve as the @StateDept’s Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. I look forward to engaging Tibetans and our partners around the world to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for Tibet in the PRC and beyond. https://t.co/jGBCWUP9dp
— Assistant Secretary Robert A. Destro (@DRL_AS) October 14, 2020