US Lawmakers Reject China's Role in Dalai Lama Successor

lawmakers back Tibetan autonomy and India's exile role
US Lawmakers Reject China's Role in Dalai Lama Successor

On Wednesday, a group of prominent United States lawmakers met with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, India. This visit underscores the strong support for the Tibetan cause and the enduring friendship between India and the United States. The delegation, led by US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, included notable figures such as former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mariannette Miller, Gregory Meeks, Nicole Malliotakis, Jim McGovern, and Ami Bera.

Addressing a gathering in Himachal Pradesh, Pelosi lauded the Dalai Lama, emphasizing his timeless message of knowledge, tradition, compassion, purity of soul, and love. She expressed hope for change, criticizing the Chinese government's stance on the Tibetan issue and asserting that the Dalai Lama's legacy would outlast the current Chinese leadership. Pelosi highlighted the importance of the new 'Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act,' or the Resolve Tibet Act, which reinforces Washington's clear stance on the issue of Tibet and sends a strong message to Beijing.

Michael McCaul also addressed the public, expressing hope for a peaceful return of the Dalai Lama and his people to Tibet. He firmly opposed Beijing's interference in choosing the Dalai Lama's successor, a contentious issue given China's historical claim over the approval process, a legacy from its emperors. In contrast, Tibetan tradition holds that the Dalai Lama is reincarnated after his death, with the current leader suggesting his successor may be found in India.

India, as the host of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile, continues to play a pivotal role in supporting Tibetan autonomy and preserving its culture. The Chinese government, viewing the Dalai Lama as a separatist threat, expressed serious concern over the lawmakers' visit and the bill. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian urged President Biden not to sign the bipartisan Tibet Policy Bill, which aims to promote dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama and counter China's control narrative over Tibet.

Dharamsala has served as the base for Tibet's government in exile since the Dalai Lama fled to India over six decades ago. This visit by US lawmakers reaffirms international support for Tibet and acknowledges India's crucial role in safeguarding Tibetan heritage and spiritual leadership.