Dharamshala: Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) delivered a keynote address at an event that discussed the “weaponisation of the One China policy” earlier this evening at India International Centre in Delhi. It was organised by Foundation for Non-violent Alternatives (FNVA) with the participation of several veteran diplomats and prominent experts from various institutions who will talk on multiple aspects of the ‘One China Policy’ over the course of the two-day seminar.
Beginning with his address, Sikyong Penpa Tsering quoted an extract from a memoir of the well-known Tibetan diplomat late Gyari Lodoe Rinpoche, to shed light on the irrelevance of the One China policy to Tibet. Put simply, the excerpt elucidates One China policy as the result of the United States’ attempt to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China while maintaining its relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the 1970s, which had no relevance to Tibet. The extract reads, “Yet, the PRC government vigorously pursues efforts to extend the application of ‘one-China’ to Tibet and, in recent years, it has misled a number of governments into believing not only that the ‘one-China’ policy applies to Tibet, but that it restricts the extent to which their government officials can interact with Tibetan leaders in exile, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
Sikyong Penpa Tsering said, “When you talk about Tibet, then you have to talk from 1945 to 51 and 54”, while briefly touching on the positions of the Indian government on Tibet and China since its independence. He reiterated, “One China policy or One China principle has nothing to do with Tibet and for Tibet; you will have to look at it from a totally different prism or historical perspective.”
Sikyong further highlighted the 17th point agreement between Tibet and China, which the Tibetan diplomats had to sign under duress, and the subsequent effort made by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama-led Tibetan government to comply with the agreement that China eventually disregarded, causing His Holiness and several thousands of Tibetans to move into exile.
Former Indian Ambassador Lakhan Lal Mehrotra also addressed the event’s inaugural before Sikyong. He said, “The rise of China has created a new situation in which established global equations are breaking apart, ” posing challenges throughout the international community. Specifically, he spoke about China’s relations with the US and India and its constant changes.