New Delhi: The United States on Tuesday evening set off a new diplomatic war against China as it announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.Also Read - Bride Wears 60 Kg Gold Gifted by Husband on Wedding Day, Guests Left Stunned
The decision was taken by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in response to People’s Republic of China (PRC) officials banning foreigners’ access, including US diplomats, journalists and tourists, to the Himalayan country of Tibet. Also Read - China Objects to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's Visit to Arunachal Pradesh
“Today I announced visa restrictions on PRC (Peoples Republic of China) officials involved in restricting foreigners’ access to Tibet. We will continue to seek reciprocity in our relationship,” Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter. Also Read - 'Chinese Side Not Agreeable to Our Constructive Suggestions, no Results in 13th Round Talks: Indian Army
Voicing against the human rights curbs in Hong Kong, trade practices, expansionist aggressiveness over the South China Sea, and the newest restriction in Tibet, the US law limits or entirely eliminates the ability of Chinese officials to travel to the States.
Beijing has continued systematically to obstruct travel to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas by U.S. diplomats and other officials, journalists, and tourists, while Chinese officials and other citizens enjoy far greater access to the United States, Pompeo said in a statement.
“Access to Tibetan areas is increasingly vital to regional stability, given the Chinese human rights abuses there, as well as Beijing’s failure to prevent environmental degradation near the headwaters of Asia’s major rivers,” he said, adding that the US will continue to work towards the sustainable economic development, environmental conservation, and humanitarian conditions of Tibetan communities within PRC’s administration.
Human rights activists have repeatedly pointed out how Beijing has suppressed the local culture, Buddhist religion and minority group in Tibet for decades. Permission to travel to the Himalayan region are subject to strict regulations, to begin with, but China pulled further brakes on any foreign travel to Tibet.
Notably, the US funding for the Tibetan issues for the fiscal year 2021 beginning October 1 has been proposed to be $17 million and $1 million for the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, according to the budget papers which is now making its way through the Congressional approval process.