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Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the Deepening Repression in Tibet

September 03, 2020

This past weekend, the Chinese government announced plans to further tighten controls over Tibet, thereby continuing to erode the human rights, religious freedoms, and dignity of the Tibetan people. These are only the latest efforts by Beijing to crush ethnic minorities that seek to preserve their distinct culture, language, and beliefs.

Once again, the silence from President Trump has been deafening, as he focuses instead on his empty trade deal with Beijing and protecting his "very good friendship" with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It's disgraceful, though not surprising, that Trump is the first American president in three decades who has not met or spoken with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Trump hasn't even fulfilled the statutory requirement to appoint a Special Coordinator to lead America's efforts on this vital issue. It's no wonder China's leaders believe they have a free hand to deepen repression in Tibet, just as they have in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

As President, I'll put values back at the center of American foreign policy. I'll meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, appoint a new Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, and insist that the Chinese government restore access to Tibet for U.S. citizens, including our diplomats and journalists. I'll work with our allies in pressing Beijing to return to direct dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan people to achieve meaningful autonomy, respect for human rights, and the preservation of Tibet's environment as well as its unique cultural, linguistic and religious traditions. My administration will sanction Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in Tibet, and step up support for the Tibetan people, including by expanding Tibetan language services at Radio Free Asia and Voice of America to get information from the outside world into Tibet. Where Trump has turned a blind eye, a Biden-Harris administration will stand up for the people of Tibet.

Joseph Biden, Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the Deepening Repression in Tibet Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345070

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