Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2022 annual report on human rights in China. Photo: file

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Washington, D.C — Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2022 annual report on human rights in China. The report states that "the PRC continued to restrict and seek to control the religious practices of Tibetans" and urged the resumption of a genuine dialogue, without preconditions, between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.

Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) released the Commission’s 2022 Annual Report ( on human rights conditions and rule of law developments in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on November 16, 2022.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s 20th Party Congress last month reinforced Xi Jinping’s grip on the levers of power in China, which continue to be weaponised against the universally recognized human rights of the people of China and, increasingly, those outside China’s borders,” said CECC Chair Merkley.

“This report from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China documents the reality of authoritarian control and the moral bankruptcy of Chinese authorities’ view of human rights. The CECC embodies a bipartisan, whole-of-government consensus on the need to address these failings. With President Biden’s appointment of CECC commissioners, I look forward to continuing to work across the U.S. government to protect those fleeing persecution, facing transnational repression, fighting coercion, or fearing the destruction of their culture," he added.

“The Commission’s report documents the Chinese government’s continued use the tools of authoritarian governance to centralise power, restrict basic human rights, and maintain majoritarian social control,” said CECC Cochair McGovern.

“We continue to focus on transnational repression, where Chinese authorities have reached into the United States and other countries to repress people critical of Chinese policies. We also continue to record the severe crackdown against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, Tibetans and Hong Kongers. I urge Members of Congress and the Executive Branch to make use of our recommendations to hold the Chinese government accountable and more effectively prioritise the promotion of universal human rights and the rule of law,” he added.

The annual report says, “The Commission did not observe any interest from People's Republic of China (PRC) officials in resuming formal negotiations with the Dalai Lama's representatives, the last round of which, the ninth, was held in January 2010.”

“The PRC continued to restrict, and seek to control, the religious practices of Tibetans, the majority of whom practice Tibetan Buddhism. Authorities in Tibetan areas issued prohibitions on forms of religious worship, particularly during major religious events or around the times of politically sensitive anniversaries, and restricted access to Tibetan Buddhist religious institutions. The PR continued to assert control over the process of selection and recognition of Tibetan Buddhist reincar- nated teachers, including the Dalai Lama,” the report continued.

“Chinese authorities continued to threaten linguistic rights in Tibetan areas and enforce policies promoting or mandating the use of Mandarin Chinese instead of Tibetan or other local languages, including through ordering the closures of Tibetan- language schools. A rights advocacy group reported that nearly 80 percent of all Tibetan students were educated in state-sponsored colonial boarding schools, threatening Tibetans' linguistic and cultural rights by separating children from their families and communities,” the report added.

“In contravention of international human rights standards, officials punished residents of Tibetan areas for exercising protected rights, including the expression of religious belief, criticism of PRC policies, and sharing information online. Notable cases this past year included writer Lobsang Lhundrub, better known as Dhi Lhaden, sentenced to four years in prison, possibly because of a book he was writing; Rinchen Kyi, a teacher at a private school that officials shut down in July 2021, detained for "'inciting separatism" (and later released); and Lobsang Trinle, a Tibetan Buddhist monk sentenced to five years in prison after he shared the Dalai Lama's teachings and writings about the Dalai Lama with other Tibetans,” the report stated.

Recommendations of CECC to members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

• Work with the United Nations and like-minded countries to help set up visits by UN special procedures and human rights experts-including the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, and members of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances- to Tibetan areas of the PRC to independently assess the human rights situation there, free of any restrictions or hindrances by PRC officials, to be followed by a full report to the United Nations on their findings. Advocate for free and transparent access to Tibetan areas by diplomats and foreign journalists.

• Monitor and report on developments in colonial boarding schools in Tibetan areas of the PRC and determine the necessity of imposing sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for any violations of the rights of Tibetans stemming from the coercive boarding school system.

• Work with government officials, parliamentarians, and non- governmental organizations in like-minded countries to pressure PRC authorities to respect, as a matter of the right to religious freedom and as recognized under Chinese and inter- national law, that it is the right of Tibetan Buddhists to identify and educate all religious teachers, including the Dalai Lama, in a manner consistent with Tibetan Buddhist practices and traditions.

• Encourage the resumption of genuine dialogue, without pre-conditions, between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives. To that end, ensure that calls for dialogue are based on the Tibetan people's right to self-determination under international law, which has been precluded by current Chinese policies, and use available resources to counter disinformation about Tibet from Chinese officials, including disinformation about the history of Tibet, the Tibetan people, and Tibetan institutions, including that of the Dalai Lama.

• In interactions with Chinese officials, call for the release of Tibetan political prisoners currently detained or imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of their human rights, such as Lobsang Lhundrub (Dhi Lhaden), Lobsang Trinle, Thubten Lodroe, and Go Sherab Gyatso. The records of detained Tibetans in the Commission's Political Prisoner Database provide a useful resource for such advocacy. Urge PRC officials, law enforcement, and security forces to end the use of arbitrary detention, disappearance, beatings, torture, and intimidation to suppress and punish Tibetans for the peaceful exercise of their rights.

• Urge Chinese officials to invite the U.S. Ambassador to China and representatives of international organizations to meet with Gedun Choekyi Nyima, whom the Dalai Lama recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama, and his parents, all three of whom disappeared shortly after his recognition as Panchen Lama in 1995.