Tuesday, 14 August 2012

China preventing world leaders from meeting the Dalai Lama says US report

Phayul[Monday, August 13, 2012 23:53]
DHARAMSHALA, August 13: China has been accused of “strenuously” lobbying world leaders to prevent meetings with the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 

The findings were spelt out in a report titled “U.S.-China Relations: Policy Issues” released earlier this month by the Congressional Research Service.

"China lobbies strenuously to prevent world leaders from meeting with the Dalai Lama, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner and 2006 recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal," the report states.

While conceding that Tibet is among the "most sensitive issues" in US-China relations, the report notes that even after six decades of control over Tibet, China still faces resistance to its rule.

“Preserving sovereignty over Tibet has long been one of China’s most fundamental “core interests,” on a par with its commitment to defending its claimed sovereignty over Taiwan,” the report says.

The findings underscore international criticism against China’s “increasingly expansive” official controls on religious life and practice in Tibetan areas following the pan-Tibet uprisings in 2008. 

“Human rights groups have catalogued arbitrary detentions and disappearances, a heightened Chinese security presence within monasteries, and continued “patriotic education” and “legal education” campaigns that require monks to denounce Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama,” the report notes. 

Citing from the US State Department’s 2011 Human Rights Report for Tibet, the 45-page report states that Chinese authorities in the region carried out “serious human rights abuses including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial detention, and house arrests.”

US policy toward Tibet is guided by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, which requires the United States to promote dialogue between the PRC and the Dalai Lama; to help protect Tibet’s religious, cultural, and linguistic heritages; and to support development projects in Tibet. 

The report notes that more than 30 months have passed since the last and ninth round of dialogues between representatives of the Dalai Lama and the PRC government took place, making this the longest gap in the dialogues since they were initiated in 2002.

It further says that there is “no word on when or if a tenth round might be scheduled.” 

The findings also took note of China’s “significant global strategic clout” and its “ambitious military modernisation drive,” including efforts to develop extendedrange power projection capabilities and advanced weapons as a “carrier killer” anti-ship ballistic missile. 

According to the Pentagon’s 2012 report on military and security developments, China’s officially-disclosed military budget rose an average of 11.8% annually in inflation-adjusted terms over the period from 2000 to 2011. In March 2012, China announced that its defense budget for 2012 would be $106 billion, an increase of 11.2% over 2011. 

However, Pentagon believes China’s actual military spending for 2011 was in the range of $120 billion to $180 billion.

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