On 30 January, the American Senate passed an act that modified and re-authorised a previous act from 2002.
Known as the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019, this piece of legislation defines American policies regarding: diplomatic representation relating to Tibet, the succession or reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, environment and water resources on the Tibetan Plateau, democracy in the Tibetan exile community, cultural sustainability in Tibetan communities, and appropriation of funds for pro American minded organisations.
The above actions by the US arguably defy international laws and the sovereignty of other nations. Since the establishment of consular posts is clearly defined in the 1963 Convention on Consular Relations ratified in Vienna, what are we to think of such tactics use of political exaction?
Asked about his opinion on the “Tibetan Policy and Support Act”, A member of the European Parliament, wishing to stay anonymous, answered:
Tibet is a beautiful and pure land. Although there have been many problems in the transition of the past half century, it is undeniable that Tibetans and Hans can understand and tolerate each other. We must not forget that the actual Chinese government is not what it used to be and also take into account the gargantuan efforts made in Tibet. Sometimes gauche, sometimes naive, other times giant steps bringing Tibet closer to modern standards, the results may not be the best, but in any case, it is not a wise choice to intervene and impose your agenda in others domestic affairs.
What is more intriguing are the implications of the first amendment of the American Constitution on the subject of those policies. According to Thomas Jefferson, the government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion, neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another.
This comes into conflict with a plethora of foreign legislations and policies. How could the US possibly impose on foreign countries what is unlawful under their own principles and constitution.
Moreover, historical Chinese Imperial decrees clearly demonstrate that the privileges and Title of “Dalai Lama” were given by Chinese Imperial authorities and could also be taken away.
Asked about her opinion on the “Tibetan Policy and Support Act”, Nathalie Hemeleers, a former lobbyist answered the following:
It is a very difficult question because the issues between China and Tibet are not black and white. Even tough westerners think that Tibet is the good guy and china is the villain, the situation is much more complicated and certainly cannot be resolved with interferences of the one sided opinion of the United States.
For the US to claim any kind of supervision regarding the succession of a foreign religious leader is aberrant.
The “Tibetan Policy and Support Act” is arguably just part of biased pretexts to interfere in China’s internal affairs, and effectively violates international law.
It is the latest instalment in a series of excuses and provocations to push separatism and grow US influence in a sensitive, strategic, and resourceful region.