Honorable Congress Members Dishonor Tibet

Mr. McMahon, Mr. Manzullo, Ms. Richardson, Ms. Speir, Ms. Lee of California, Ms.Bordallo, Mr. Honda, Mr. Schiff, and Mr. Wilson of South Carolina) members of the United States Congress submitted Resolution H.RES 1324  LINK on May 4th to express sympathy for those affected by the recent earthquake that struck Jyekundo, in Tibet’s Kham region.

A casual reading of the statement suggests this to be a compassionate declaration of support for those who suffered. No doubt those members of Congress who proposed this Resolution were motivated by genuine sympathy and humanitarian concern at events, the proposal of aid and support for reconstruction in that region is to be welcomed, although somewhat unlikely to be agreed by communist China, unless it suits its political purposes.

It’s not the desire to offer relief, and the statement of solidarity with those who have suffered that disappoints with the Resolution, but its wording, and what that reveals in terms of how supine the United States’ political establshment has become,  in terms of appeasing communist China’s sensitivities concerning any issues to do with Tibet. From the perspective of political recognition to the Tibetan people, when recalling previous Congressional statements on Tibet, this latest Resolution may well have been drafted by in Beijing, it being replete with official Chinese propaganda.

Before exposing that disinformation, which the honourable Members of Congress appeared so happy to repeat, in their Resolution, let’s travel back to 1991, when relations between the United States and communist China were of a very different nature:

“Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that Tibet, including those areas incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu, and Qinghai, is an occupied country under the established principles of international law whose true representatives are the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile as recognized by the Tibetan people”. (Emphasis Added) (Passed the Senate May 24 (legislative day, April 25) 1991).

No difficulties then in recognising and declaring the facts on Tibet, but  at that time the United States had not become economically and politically enslaved towards China. How international politics changes, now US Foreign policy on China is more about an appeasing engagement with a willingness to more openly declare China’s legitimacy (bogus) over Tibet, as demonstrated by President Obama’s  http://twitpic.com/13r3ra/full visit to Beijing in 2009.

So although highly disappointing for any who support Tibet’s just and legitimate case for national freedom, we cannot be totally surprised by the nature of Resolution 1324. Here are some salient extracts, those seeking the full statement are advised to see Here key propaganda terms and implications have been highlighted in bold, and a critical response is below each quote:

 “Expressing condolences and sympathies for the people of China following the tragic earthquake in the Qinghai province of the Peoples Republic of China on April 14, 2010”

“Whereas, on April 14, 2010, an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale struck the Qinghai province of southwest China;”

The earthquake actually struck in the Jyekundo area of Kham, an Eastern Region of occupied Tibet.  https://tibettruth.com/2010/04/14/china-launches-seismic-propaganda-in-wake-of-quake/   The term’ Qinghai’ is a term used by communist China to rename occupied Tibetan areas of Kham and Amdo. In using this phrase the Representatives are endorsing and legitimizing China’s illegal occupation and annexation.

“Whereas the China Earthquake Networks Administration confirmed the earthquake struck in Yushu County, a remote and mountainous area sparsely populated by farmers and herdsmen

Here again the Congressmen and Congresswomen repeat communist Chinese administrative names, which were forcibly imposed upon Tibet to create the cartographic and political illusion this was Chinese territory. Notice too that no reference is made to ‘Tibetans’ in that paragraph, preferring the more neutral and politically ‘safe’ description of farmers and herders.

“Whereas the population of Yushu County is overwhelmingly poor, with rural residents earning an average of $342 a year, largely from agriculture”

The ‘residents’ in question are overwhelmingly Tibetan, and suffer poverty, not by chance,  but as a direct result of communist Chinese occupation. Those Congressmen and Congresswomen though could not even bring themselves to mention the nationality of the people affected, as it would be too politically sensitive.

“Whereas over 2,000 people have been killed and over 10,000 injured, numbers that are feared to climb;

The vast majority of ‘people’ in question where Khamba Tibetans, yet those Members of Congress, presumably wishing to avoid upsetting communist Chinese sensitivities, again omit any mention of Tibetan nationality. Also, note an uncritical acceptance of official Chinese figures for the death toll, there are other reports which suggest the death-toll as much higher

“Whereas thousands of Tibetan monks, many of whom traveled long distances from other Tibetan areas, have played a vital role in relief efforts, providing food and assistance, and tending to the basic and spiritual needs of the victims;”

Indeed, notice that the Representatives make no mention of the fact that the same monks were subsequently ordered under military threat to leave the affected area and essentially forced to stop conducting relief work to their fellow Tibetans

“Expresses solidarity with the people of the Qinghai province, Tibetan-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and all those who have lost loved ones or have otherwise been affected by the tragedy, including rescue and humanitarian workers;”

reaffirms the United States pledge, issued by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to stand ready to assist the people of China during this difficult period; and

Expresses support for the recovery and long-term reconstruction needs of the residents of the areas affected by the earthquake, including the restoration of monasteries and other Tibetan Buddhist sites that are integral to the preservation of Tibetan culture and religious traditions.”

What these members of Congress have ignored, with a troubling consistency, is that this region is only part of China by military annexation and that, as a region of Tibet, is under international law an independent nation under illegal occupation. Moreover in consistently declining to publicly affirm that it was overwhelmingly Tibetans who lost their lives and suffered, as a result of the earthquake, they are endorsing the falsehood that this region is a part of China, with the implication that Tibetans are not a distinct people (which they are, having all the characteristics considered within international law, as constituting a ‘people‘ with the right to self-determination) , but a minority group of China.

While this Resolution is response to a natural disaster, and as such is a statement of humanitarian intent, it should not appease Communist Chinese sensitivities on Tibet, nor distort or conceal the facts by repeating official Chinese propaganda. It was Tibetan people, freedom and culture that was before the earthquake suffering violent suppression as a result of Chinese occupation. It was for the most part Tibetan homes and lives that were lost, yet this Resolution lacks the political and ethical conviction to assert such facts. In that context it is a cynical betrayal of the Tibetan people, their suffering and the truth.

 If any of these Congressmen or Congresswomen represent you, please consider contacting them to express your concern at the wording of Resolution 1324. Contact Details here: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

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