“While they (China) have the rights to criticise the meeting, we have the rights to have whatever meetings we want” United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Robert A. Destro talks tough on meeting the Tibetan President Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay.
Posted by TIBET TV on Thursday, 29 October 2020
Dharamshala: “While they (China) have the rights to criticise the meeting, we have the rights to have whatever meetings we want”, United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Robert A. Destro talks tough on China’s criticism of his meeting with the Tibetan President Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay during the latter’s visit to United States Harry S. Truman building in Washington DC. President Dr Sangay was formally invited to the State Department marking it as the first-ever historic meeting of CTA Sikyong at the State Department.
Hours after the news of the meeting went viral on the front page of prominent newspapers both nationwide and globally, China voiced strong discontent and objection.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian condemned the meeting stating “Tibetan government-in-exile” is a separatist political organization with the agenda of pursuing “Tibetan independence” and further calling democratically elected President Dr Sangay “anti-China separatist”.
Speaking exclusively to Tibet News Bureau, the newly appointed special coordinator for Tibetan issue said he was amazed by the overwhelming response from the Tibetan community and the “desire to engage”.
“One of the thing that has been the most impressive for me in this position is the outpouring of the support from the Tibetan community and the desire to engage,” he remarks.
“We were so happy to have President Dr Lobsang Sangay at the State Department. We have been reaching out and will continue to reach out into the Tibetan diaspora community around the world and see if we can really get to know people as quickly as we can.”
In response to the rebuke from the Chinese foreign ministry, the US Assistant Secretary and Special Tibet coordinator said, “They (China) have the right to criticise if they want to but we also have the rights to have whatever meeting we want to so I don’t take their criticisms seriously.”
Commenting on the video message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the funeral ceremony of late President of Taiwan, Li Teng Hui, Coordinator Destro said, “I have always been a big fan of the Dalai Lama and after watching the video, I was very moved. He is indeed a very inspirational person. You can see why he is taken so seriously around the world and his comments about the late president were truly heartfelt and inspiring”.
As for his policy toward China after having appointed as the special coordinator for Tibetan issue, Robert Destro said that his office is committed to advocate the autonomy of the Tibet within China and to foster the middle way approach proposed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama with China and the like-minded neighbouring countries.
For Tibetans around the world who have vested high hope and faith for his appointment, Assistant Secretary Destro said that he seeks their prayers for the challenging job and assured that both he and the US are inclined to take the extra mile to get the job done.