The sheer hypocrisy of the USA can sometimes be breathtaking. The latest salvo from top American diplomat Robert A Destro, Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, is of a kind.
Criticising the Chinese government for its “repressive” regime in Tibet exemplified by its restrictions on visits to the Top of The World, Destro has urged all countries to pass their own versions of a US law that denies entry to America for Chinese officials known to be involved in preventing access to what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2018, stipulates that Chinese officials known to be involved in creating roadblocks for foreign and domestic citizens, officials and media who attempt to visit Tibet and/or are involved in rights violations there will not be allowed into the USA.
The law is ostensibly aimed at forcing greater transparency on Beijing and protecting Tibet from the tender ministrations of the Han-dominated officialdom of the totalitarian system in the People’s Republic of China. In reality, it is no more and no less than an obvious ploy to keep the pressure on China as it emerges as the most powerful challenger to global American pre-eminence.
It has very little to do with the Tibetan cause. For, the orders in China, given the structure of the State, flow top down as anyone with even a scintilla of sense would know. So, is Washington suggesting banning access to President Xi Jinping, top-ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party, and the Central Military Commission? That is the logical outcome of the US law Destro has urged other nations to emulate. Colloquially put, even America’s closest allies across the world could be forgiven for asking ~ are you serious? But this self-delusion is not harmless. It is posturing that will make life tougher for Tibetans and do untold damage to the cause of their freedoms.
Ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide in Tibet are now, heartbreakingly, an accomplished fact. The world’s nations and India in particular, if at all they care about the plight of Tibetans in China or outside, need to focus all their attention on the Dalai Lama succession issue.
If Beijing gets its way ~ even if His Holiness does, as he has indicated, leave instructions that his reincarnation be identified from the Tibetan diaspora and not from China-controlled Tibet ~ in propping up and recognising a rival claimant, the game is over. Over time, given China’s economic heft and the integration of a large swathe of the globe in its supply chain, Beijing’s man or woman will prevail. And the Chinese are nothing if not patient.