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Chinese effort to impose its own Dalai Lama would be opposed says US

Such a question was an important signal in itself to the Chinese government that this was the kind of issue that the United States was watching closely and at senior levels

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Instead of taking himself too seriously, the 14th Dalai Lama is a joyous, laughing beacon of dissent, both political and spiritual
Dalai Lama

The believes that the decision on picking the next should be as per Tibet's religious traditions and that it is not a role of the state, a top has told lawmakers, hinting that it will oppose any move by to impose its own

"The has a very clear position that religious decisions should be made within religious organisations and that this isn't the role of the state," Laura Stone, Acting for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, Cybersecurity Policy during a Congressional hearing.

Stone was responding to a question from

"has said that they will pick the next The Tibetan Policy, actually in 2002, mandated that American officials visit on a regular basis. I want to get into both of these. If proceeds and tries to impose a Dalai Lama what will the US response be?" the had asked.

Gardner said it was clear that this would not recognise a Chinese imposition.

Stone said the asking such a question was an important signal in itself to the that this was the kind of issue that the was watching very closely and at very senior levels.

"I wouldn't want to prejudge exactly how this, a future scenario, would roll out but I would like to lay a marker that that is the clear position of the and, I think, widely supported within the American society, that those are the kinds of decisions that should be made by religious communities on their own and without outside interference," she asserted.

In his remarks, Gardner said the crackdown in the Autonomous Region was intensifying while continued to refuse negotiations with the

"Human rights defenders are routinely jailed, tortured, and otherwise deprived of liberty. A genuine freedom of speech and assembly are nonexistent. Corruption and abuse of power are rampant. The judicial system is a tool of the state and the party and not an of legal disputes," he said.

The United State, Stone said, was deeply concerned at the lack of meaningful autonomy for the Chinese people. "We have certainly pressed for the release of detained activists throughout the entire country, but very importantly, on the plateau and in historical Tibet," she said.

The US has been pushing for access to Tibet with the Chinese authorities, Stone said, adding "I know that's an important issue. We do want to work with on that shared goal and we do continue to have very serious concerns about the ability of the Tibetan people to continue to have the ability to express their unique culture, their unique language, and their religious practices.

Senators Gardner and reflected the sentiments of the US Congress, seeking equal access of Americans to China as being done by the US to the Chinese. A legislation is currently being moved in the in this regard.

"We need to consider reciprocal access as part of our policy in approach to Tibet and to China and what's being done to address this and to promote our access to Tibet. Do you share the goals of our Reciprocal Act? he asked.

In the absence of such a reciprocity, the Act calls for sanctions against Chinese officials.

"We certainly share the goals and we do look forward to working with you to figure out how best to achieve those goals," Stone said, confirming that the would implement the provisions of the Reciprocal Act if signed into law.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 07:25 IST