United States Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday threatened to impose sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in Tibet if voted to power, reported . He alleged that the current Donald Trump-led administration had a “weak policy” towards China.
“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,” said Biden.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping had said that the country must build an “impregnable fortress” to maintain peace and stability in Tibet and encouraged people to fight against separatism. He had also called for an “ironclad shield” to ensure stability in the region.
Xi said the Communist Party must play a stronger role in Tibet. He added that Tibetan Buddhism should adapt to socialism and to the Chinese way of life. Beijing maintains that its troops “peacefully liberated” Tibet in 1951, but many Tibetans have accused the government of religious repression and eroding their culture.
Biden accused Beijing of crushing ethnic minorities who seek to preserve their distinct culture, language and beliefs. The presidential candidate added that he and his running mate, Kamala Harris, will stand up for the people of Tibet.
In the same vein, he also attacked the Donald Trump administration for turning a blind eye to Tibet. “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,” said Biden. “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,” he said. If voted to power, Biden said he will meet with the Dalai Lama, appoint a new Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, and try to restore access to Tibet for US citizens, including diplomats and journalists.
Beijing’s policies in Tibet have been criticised by the current United States dispensation. In July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the Donald Trump-led administration would restrict visas for some officials as Beijing obstructed US diplomats, journalists and tourists from travelling to the region. Pompeo had added that the US remained committed to supporting “meaningful autonomy” for Tibetans. China, meanwhile, said that it will impose visa restrictions on certain Americans in relation to Tibet.