A weekend meeting between the Dalai Lama and the U.S. coordinator for Tibetan affairs has drawn criticism from China, which said on Monday that “no external forces have the right to interfere” in Tibet’s internal affairs.
The Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual head of Tibet, which China conquered in 1950, met with Uzra Zeya, the United States’ special coordinator for Tibetan matters and undersecretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights.
The meeting was attended by Namgyal Choedup, the Dalai Lama’s ambassador in Washington, who said, “Undersecretary Urza Zeya reiterated the continued attention and support for Tibetan issues by the U.S. administration.”
According to a tweet from the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, “China firmly opposes any form of contact between foreign officials and the “Tibetan independence” forces.”
The 14th Dalai Lama has long engaged in anti-Chinese separatist operations and tried to break Xizang (Tibet) away from China. He is by no means only a religious figure. The ‘Tibetan government-in-exile’ is a flagrantly separatist political organization that operates illegally and in direct defiance of Chinese law and the Constitution. No nation in the world recognizes it, he said in the tweet.
The conference also included Penpa Tsering, the head of the Central Tibetan Administration. roughly 100,000 Tibetans are represented by the government-in-exile; they are said to reside in roughly 30 different nations, including India, Nepal, Canada, and the United States.
According to Reuters, Zeya testified before a congressional inquiry in March that China continues to “wage a campaign of repression that seeks to forcibly Sinicize” the country’s 6 million Tibetans and eradicate Tibetan religious, cultural, and linguistic legacy.
While the world’s attention was on China’s activities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang, Republican Representative Chris Smith, who serves as chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, stated in that report that “we cannot take our eyes off the ongoing genocide being committed against Tibetan people.”
Zeya is expected to meet with senior government officials in India to discuss the U.S.-India partnership, including “advancing shared solutions to global challenges, democracy, regional stability, and cooperation on humanitarian relief,” according to the U.S. State Department. Zeya will also travel to Bangladesh during her July 8–14 trip to the region.