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Nancy Pelosi’s Xi Jinping Jab

US lawmakers, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, met with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.

New Delhi:

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, visiting India as part of a bipartisan delegation of US lawmakers, met with the Dalai Lama on Wednesday and hours later slammed China for dismissing President Xi Jinping: “The Dalai Lama will live a long life and his work will live on forever, but you, the president, will be gone and no one will recognise your work.”

“The Dalai Lama would not approve of me saying that I am criticizing the Chinese government. He would say, ‘Let’s pray that Nancy can let go of her negativity,’ but I hope he will allow me to say today that change is on the way. As my colleagues have said, hope brings a degree of faith, and having the Tibetan people believe in the goodness of others will make a big difference,” Pelosi said.

She also said the bipartisan approval of the Tibet Issue Resolution Bill sends a message to China that Washington’s thinking is clear on the issue. “This bill says to the Chinese government: ‘Things have changed, be prepared for it,'” she told cheering Tibetans at the event this afternoon.

The bill would pressure China to resume negotiations with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan leaders that have been frozen for 14 years but are now It needs President Joe Biden’s signature to become law..

Biden, unlike any U.S. president since George H.W. Bush, has never met the Dalai Lama.

Tibetan authorities, particularly the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), are confident that the Tibet Issue Resolution Act, if signed, will be a powerful reaffirmation of the United States’ commitment to the Tibetan people.

The United States has long supported the right of Tibetans to practice their religion and culture and has accused China of human rights abuses in the remote Himalayan region that borders India.

Confusingly, however, the United States also considers the Tibet Autonomous Region to be part of China.

Speaker Pelosi’s surprising attack not only bolsters India’s position vis-à-vis China, but also comes as US President Joe Biden is set to sign a bill pressing Beijing to resolve the Tibet conflict and underscores Washington’s intention to block Beijing’s interference in the selection of the next Dalai Lama.

According to tradition, the Dalai Lama will be reincarnated after death and the current leader, who turns 89 next month, has said a successor could be in India. But China insists that, in line with past tradition, its Communist party leaders, who are officially atheists, will nominate the next Dalai Lama.

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The current Dalai Lama is 88 years old (file).

A U.S. delegation led by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) arrived in India on Tuesday and met with Tibetan officials, Buddhist monks and nuns and school children at Kangra airport in Himachal Pradesh state. The visit comes ahead of the Dalai Lama’s visit for treatment for a knee ailment.

Their visit is significant because it comes as Washington and Beijing are trying to improve ties with the world’s two largest economies and military powers, something China has already expressed frustration over.

China considers the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dalai Lama a dangerous separatist and has expressed “serious concerns” about the US delegation’s visit and the bill Biden is set to sign.

China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that issues related to Tibet are internal affairs and that Beijing will take “resolute measures” to safeguard sovereignty. “We urge the US side to abide by its commitment to recognize Tibet as part of China,” a spokesman told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday.

But the US delegation seemed unfazed. “China can voice its grievances, but we will stand up for what is right — that Tibetans can have their freedom, can return to their homeland, and preserve their culture and history. That’s what matters,” Meeks said.

Who is the Dalai Lama?

The Dalai Lama was born as Lhamo Thondup in 1935, was recognized as the reincarnation of his predecessor at the age of two, and ascended to the throne as the 14th Dalai Lama in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, in 1940.

He fled Tibet in 1959 and has been living ever since in McLeodganj, a small town near Dharamsala.

He is said to believe in a “middle-way” approach that values ​​autonomy over independence.

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