For first time in 60 years head of Tibetan govt in exile visits White House
SHANGHAI (CHINA) – In a move that is sure to raise the hackles of China, the head of the Tibetan government in exile visited the White House fo the first time in 60 years. Beijing has accused Washington of trying to destabilise the region.
President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Lobsang Sangay was invited to the official residence of the President to meet newly appointed US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Robert Destro on Friday, said the CTA in a statement.
“This unprecedented meeting perhaps will set an optimistic tone for CTA participation with US officials and be more formalised in the coming years,” said the CTA, which is headquartered in Dharamshalah in India.
Tibet is one of the areas of dispute between the US and China and the relations between the two powers have reached its lowest point in decades.
In July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of violating Tibetan human rights and said Washington backed “meaningful autonomy” in the region for the region.
Chinese officials have since blamed the US for using Tibet to promote “splittism” in China, which has refused to have talks with Destro.
In what was touted as a “peaceful liberation”, China wrested control of Tibet in 1950 and made it free from its “feudalist past”. Led by the Tibetan spiritual head the Dalai Lama, critics have mounted an attack against Beijing saying its rule amounts to “cultural genocide”.
In August, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China needed to build an “impregnable fortress” in Tibet to protect national unity.