Dharamshala — About ten US lawmakers have written a letter to US President Obama urging him to raise the issue of deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet and China with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter's upcoming visit to the US in next month.
"We understand that there are many important issues in the U.S.-China bilateral relationship—we expect that China's recent actions in the East and South China Seas, economic and trade issues, climate change, as well as the recent cyberattacks, will figure prominently in your discussions," the US lawmakers said in the letter.
While these issues deserve a full and robust exchange of views, so too do human rights...Mr. President, we recognize that managing the U.S.-China relationship is an enormous and complex task. We firmly believe that a full and frank discussion of our concerns regarding human rights and civil society in China would serve to strengthen our relationship."
The lawmakers also have urged President Obama to raise the issue of Chinese interference in selecting the reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhist Lamas.
They wrote: "In particular, we hope that you will emphasize to President Xi that China should respect the basic and universally recognized right of religious freedom, to include refraining from persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and from interference in the centuries-old system of recognizing reincarnate Tibetan Buddhist lamas."
Chinese President Xi Jinping is making his first official state visit to the US in September this year amidst a growing crescendo of protests from Chinese human rights activists calling on the US to cancel the meeting.
"We suggested that China could reduce tensions in Tibetan areas by renewing dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives and by respecting the religious practices of Tibetan Buddhists, like their ability to select reincarnate lamas or to handle the deceased with proper rituals, Malinowski said Thursday in Washington DC, while briefing on the 19th round of the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue.
"It's [Tibet] absolutely a priority, and I mentioned it in my opening statement," when asked whether or not the issue of Tibet is a top priority for US when it comes to China.
"We see tremendous problems in Tibet," Malinowski said during the special press briefing, when asked his "assessment of human rights situation in Tibet."
Malinowski said these issues will feature very prominently in Chinese President Xi's meeting with President Obama in September.