Trump signs bill on Tibet into law despite China protest
Washington, December 20
US President Donald Trump has signed a bipartisan bill on Tibet into law that could enrage China, paving the way to impose a visa ban on Chinese officials who deny American citizens, government officials and journalists access to the sensitive Himalayan region, homeland of the exiled Dalai Lama.
US citizens, including government officials, reporters and tourists who seek to enter Tibetan areas are routinely rejected, and the few who do get in are forced to stay on strictly controlled official tours, where the true situation of the Tibetan people is hidden from them, officials said.
The situation is worst of all for Tibetan-Americans, who are almost and always denied the right to make a pilgrimage to their ancestral land and to meet their family members there, community members said.
The Wednesday’s move by President Trump came days after China lodged a “stern” diplomatic protest with the US over the Senate passing the legislation with Beijing asking Washington not to make it a law.
China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against the Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland.