Donald Trump signs bill to check China on Tibet and Taiwan

As the U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to leave office on January 20, he has signed another law that will deteriorate the US-China relationship. Trump signed a law that calls for establishing a U.S. consulate in Tibet and building an international coalition to appoint the next Dalai Lama without China’s interfere.

Trump signed the act– the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020–on Sunday. The act enables the U.S. authorities to take various programs and provisions related to Tibet.

Trump signed the act as part of the massive USD 2.3 trillion packages for the year-end bill. The bill to provide long-delayed coronavirus relief.

China has been protesting against the U.S. move, but the Senate unanimously passed the bill last week.

The act empowers non-governmental organizations to support Tibetan communities in Tibet. It also restricts new Chinese consulates in the U.S. until a U.S. consulate has been established in Lhasa, Tibet.

Recently the U.S. has appointed the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. The law now gives power to the Office of the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and expands its duties to include additional tasks. It also added that pursuing international coalitions ensures that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist faith community.

It also directed that a new Chinese consulate in the U.S. not to be opened unless China allows the opening of an American consulate in Lhasa.

The U.S. should take all proper measures to hold accountable senior officials of China who meddle with Tibet and the Dalai Lama. The 15th Dalai Lama should be appointed according to the Buddhist community.

To be noted that Beijing considers the 14th Dalai Lama as a separatist. China says that the 14th Dalai Lama is working on splitting Tibet from China.

China invaded Tibet in 1950 in a move it calls a “peaceful liberation.” The Dalai Lama fled Tibet with his followers’ entourage and took exile in India in 1959 after an uprising against China failed.

According to the act, the U.S. Congress would impose sanctions on Chinese officials, including travel restrictions.

The act approves USD 1 million per annum for the Special U.S. Coordinator on Tibet. Of 1 million, USD 675,000 towards scholarship provisions, USD 575,000 for scholar exchange initiatives, USD8 million for the Tibetan Autonomous Region and Communities in China, USD 6 million for Tibetans living in India, USD3 million for Tibetan governance.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian while reacting to the newly passed bills by the U.S., said China was “resolutely opposed” to both acts.

“The determination of the Chinese government to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests is unwavering,” he told reporters.

The U.S. should not put the parts of the acts which “target China” into effect to avoid harming Sino-U.S. relations, he said, adding they were interference in China’s internal affairs.

“The United States is an important ally of Taiwan’s internationally, and a solid partner for sharing the values of freedom and democracy,” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang said.

Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), took to Twitter and wrote, “Thank you to POTUS & bipartisan lawmakers in the House & Senate for passing an appropriations bill that reaffirms broad U.S. support for Taiwan. This is yet another milestone for the Taiwan-US partnership & contributes greatly to our security & prosperity.”