US House passes Resolve Tibet Act to be signed by President Biden

The US House of Representatives unanimously passed the Resolve Tibet Act on 12 June, 2024 with 391 votes in favour and 26 against.

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Washington DC — The US House of Representatives has unanimously passed the Resolve Tibet Act with 391 votes in favour. The House approved the amended legislation and sent it to President Biden for his signature, and it will become law if signed by the President. The bill stresses the need for dialogue between representatives of China and Tibet to resolve the Tibet-China dispute peacefully.

The bill, S.138, entitled the "Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act", is the Senate version of the bipartisan House bill HR. 533, which the House of Representatives passed by a wide margin on February 15, 2024. The bill was then sent to the Senate, where it was amended by one paragraph as S.138 and passed unanimously in the Senate on May 23, 2024. The Senate-amended bill was returned to the House of Representatives for consideration, and the House passed the bill unanimously on June 12, 2024,  with 391 votes in favour and 26 against.

The bill's sponsors, Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), introduced the bill and urged members of the House to vote for it, along with Representative Bill Keating, who spoke in strong support of the bill.

Representative Michael McCaul said, “The United States has never accepted that Tibet was part of China since ancient times as the CCP falsely claims. This legislation clarifies US policy and highlights the unique language, religion, and culture of the Tibetan people. It directs US diplomacy to push back against CCP propaganda. In addition, it ensures Tibetans have a say in their own future. This bill stresses the need for dialogue between the CCP and other democratically elected leaders of Tibet. Any resolution must include the wishes and voice of the Tibetan people… Passing this bill demonstrates America’s resolve that the CCP’s status quo in Tibet is not acceptable and I can think of no greater message or gift to the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet than the swift passage of this bill to get to the president’s desk as soon as possible to help put the people of Tibet in charge of their own future.”

Representative Bill Keating said, “For too long, Beijing has oppressed the Tibetan people and failed to honor its commitment to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama and his representatives regarding Tibet’s future… [The bill] calls out Beijing’s oppressive tactics and relentless disinformation. This bill reinforces our unwavering support for the Tibetan issues and calls on the PRC to engage in genuine dialogue with Tibetan representatives. It also strengthens the Tibetan policy act of 2002 by enhancing our public diplomacy efforts to counter PRC disinformation about Tibet”.

Representative Jim McGovern who authored the bill said, “The world is awash in conflict. At the heart of many conflicts lies this systematic denial of a people’s human rights and the decade-old dispute between Tibet and China started as an armed conflict of invasion, resistance, and insurgency. In the long run, the only guarantee against the resumption of violence is for the PRC to fully respect the human rights and dignity of the Tibetan people. A vote for this bill is a vote to recognize the rights of the Tibetan people and it’s a vote to insist on resolving the dispute between Tibet and the People’s Republic of China peacefully in accordance with international law through dialogue and without preconditions.”