There is no precedent for applying the One China Policy to Tibet.

In his keynote address at the ‘Weaponisation of One China Policy’ seminar hosted by the Foundation for Non-Violent Alternatives (FNVA) on Tuesday at the India International Centre in New Delhi, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Tibetan government-in-exile, Penpa Tsering, said that China has misinterpreted the ‘One China Policy’ when it comes to Tibet and that its application to Tibet has no historical basis.

He told the audience, which included veteran diplomats and prominent experts from a variety of institutions to discuss various aspects of the One China Policy and its implications, that “One China policy or One China principle has nothing to do with Tibet and for Tibet; you will have to look at it from a totally different prism or historical perspective.”

He used a passage from the autobiography of the late Tibetan ambassador Lodi Gyari to argue that there is no historical foundation for applying the One China Policy to Tibet. During the 1970s, the United States made an attempt to build ties with both the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), he said, and this strategy grew out of that. The President has spoken out against China for its misguided implementation of the One China Policy to Tibet. Because of this misunderstanding, various countries have been misled into limiting their contact with Tibetan exile leaders like His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the only legal government of all of China, including Taiwan, and the One China Policy is a diplomatic stance that maintains this and rejects any recognition of Taiwan as a distinct sovereign entity. Tibetans have long been demanding independence and respect for their religious and cultural practices, making the subject of Tibet a pressing one. China utilizes the One China Policy to silence critics and consolidate power, since it views Tibet as an inalienable part of Chinese territory.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering prompted people to think on what happened between 1945 and 1951, as well as 1954. He stressed the need of separating the history of Tibet from China and the One China Policy. The 17-point agreement between Tibet and China was signed under duress, and his speech shed light on it. The Tibetan administration made every attempt to follow the deal, but China ultimately rejected it, forcing His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans into exile.

By Staff Writer

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