Washington DC: A joint press conference on the bipartisan and bicameral Tibet bill: Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict was organised at the US Capitol House Triangle following the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China’s (CECC) hearing on Tibet, Preserving Tibet: Cultural Erasure, Forced Assimilation and Transnational Repression, on 28 March 2023.
As part of the Tibet Lobby Day 2023, the four bipartisan co-sponsors of the Tibet bill, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul; House Committee on Rules Ranking Member Jim McGovern; CECC’s Co-Chair Senator Jeff Merkley; and member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator Todd Young, along with Richard Gere, the Chair of International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), spoke to the press about the bill which is aimed to support the long-standing goal of getting Tibetan and Chinese Communist Party leaders to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue.
The participants of Tibet Lobby Day, including Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis and Congressman Michael Lawler, also joined the press conference and expressed their appreciation to the co-sponsors for their support.
After the press conference, Richard Gere, accompanied by ICT interim President Bhuchung Tsering and Interim Vice President Tencho Gyatso, and Representative Namgyal Choedup with the Office of Tibet’s Chinese Liaison Officer Tsultrim Gyatso, met with Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi. The former Speaker was briefed during the meeting about Tibet Lobby Day and Tibet-related legislation matters.
Similarly, Congressman Chris Smith arranged a meeting with the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, at the Speaker’s office in the US Capitol. During the meeting, Richard Gere and Representative Namgyal Choedup briefed the Speaker about the ongoing situation inside Tibet and Tibet-related legislation matters.
Coinciding with the two-day US Tibet Lobby Day in Washington DC, the CECC’s hearing on Tibet was held at the Rayburn House Office Building. During Sikyong Penpa Tsering’s visit to DC in February, the incoming CECC Chair, Chris Smith, promised to hold a hearing on China’s ongoing repression inside Tibet and invited Sikyong to speak at the hearing. Accordingly, Sikyong gave his testimony virtually to the hearing while ICT Chair Richard Gere, Tibet Action Institute’s Lhadon Tethong and Tenzin Dorjee presented their testimonies at the hearing. In addition, Chair Chris Smith, Co-chair Jeff Merkley, Congresswoman Michelle Steel, Congressman Zachary Nunn, and US Special Coordinator for Tibet Issues Under Secretary Uzra Zeya gave their opening remarks before the expert’s testimonies were presented.
ICT Chair Richard Gere, Representative Namgyal Choedup, Bhuchung Tsering (ICT interim President), Tencho Gyatso (ICT Vice President), and Chinese Liaison Officer Tsultrim Gyatso also met with the new Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries after the hearing. The team updated Democratic Leader on the bicameral Tibet bill and apprised the situation inside Tibet.
-Report filed by OoT, Washington DC