For their role in what the United States and the United Nations call the “forcible assimilation” of over a million Tibetan students in government-run boarding schools, the United States has announced additional visa restrictions for current and past Chinese officials.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Tuesday that these “coercive policies” are an attempt to “eliminate Tibet’s distinct linguistic, cultural, and religious traditions among younger generations of Tibetans.”
Blinken pleaded with Chinese officials, “please stop forcing Tibetan children into government-run boarding schools in Tibet and elsewhere in the PRC,” referring to the People’s Republic of China.
Foreign nationals may be denied a visa to enter the United States under the authority of Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act owing to serious unfavorable foreign policy ramifications for the United States.
A State Department representative said they couldn’t disclose which CCP members were banned from entering the US because “individual visa records are confidential.”
According to the spokesperson, today’s announcement on visa restrictions applies to current and former PRC and CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, policies or actions aimed at repressing religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, labor organizers, civil society organizers, and peaceful protestors in the PRC.
Since 1951, when Chinese troops invaded Tibet in what they called a “peaceful liberation,” China has kept Tibet under its rule.
According to official Chinese statements, the goal of Chinese policy in Tibet is to promote “religious harmony, social harmony, and ethnic harmony.”
Tibetans living in exile allege their people have been targeted for systematic persecution, imprisonment, and death by the Chinese government for decades.
The Chinese government’s inhumane practice of forcibly removing Tibetan children from their homes must be stopped. President of the International Campaign for Tibet Tencho Gyatso said this indicates how far Beijing is willing to go to destroy the Tibetan culture and convert Tibetans into obedient followers of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In response to U.S. steps restricting visas for Chinese officials, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington said that China “firmly opposes and strongly condemns” these actions.
Chinese Embassy Spokesperson Liu Pengyu stated, “Boarding schools have gradually developed into one of the important modes of running schools in China’s ethnic minority areas, and the centralized way of running schools effectively solves the problem of ethnic minority students’ difficulty in attending school at a distance.”
U.N. human rights experts expressed “very disturbed” in February over reports that the Tibetan residential school system is being used as “a mandatory large-scale program intended to assimilate Tibetans into the majority Han culture,” in violation of international human rights standards.