Nancy Pelosi meets the Dalai Lama, despite China’s criticism

A high-level US congressional delegation, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, met with the Dalai Lama at his Indian home on Wednesday, a visit that was sanctioned by the Chinese government. condemned in advance for considering the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a separatist.

The delegation, led by Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, went to the Himalayan town of Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama has lived since the 1960s. The delegation visited cultural institutions. office of the Tibetan government in exile, which is promoting autonomy for Tibet in China.

The trip comes days after Congress passed a bill with bipartisan support calling on China to begin dialogue with Tibetan leaders to find a solution to the long-standing conflict.

China’s criticism of the visit was immediate and unsurprising. The country’s leaders consider the government-in-exile illegitimate and consider any support for the cause of Tibetan autonomy, which they call Xizang, to be interference in China’s internal affairs. Quoc.

“We call on the US side to fully recognize the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai Lama group, respect the commitments that the US has made to China on issues related to Xizang, and stop sending messages. wrong signal to the world,” the Chinese Embassy in New York said. Delhi said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

American officials often meet with the Dalai Lama, 88 years old. However, Ms. Pelosi’s presence in the delegation provides reminders her 2022 trip to Taiwanautonomous island that China claimed as its territory, when she was speaker of the House of Representatives.

That controversial visit, which raised concerns within the Biden administration about further worsening already frosty relations with Beijing, led to a harsh response from China, including trade restrictions. trade with Taiwan and military exercises near the island.

The visit to India also comes as Washington and New Delhi deepen their relationship, spurred in part by perceptions of a common threat from China. Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, will be in New Delhi this week, holding multiple rounds of talks with Indian officials on expanding defense and technology cooperation.

Those extensive discussions, coming weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected to a third term, showed how much Washington prioritizes its relationship with India, while American officials increasingly consider New Delhi is a counterweight to Beijing.

Tenzin Lekshay, spokesman for the Central Tibetan Administration, the government-in-exile, said that Tibet’s situation should not be seen through “the lens of growing competition between the US and China,” but as a statement. reminder that the Tibetan way of life “faces an existential threat” as China assimilates the region.

“We hope that the leaders of the free world will support the cause of Tibet,” Mr. Lekshay said, especially emphasizing that the Chinese leadership must resume dialogue to resolve the China-China conflict. Tibet”.


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