Nancy Pelosi's Visit To Dalai Lama, Tibetan Parliament-In-Exile Angers China Ahead Of Biden Signing Key Bill On Region: 'Resolute And Forceful Measures' Will Be Taken


China has cautioned against a group of U.S. lawmakers visiting India to meet with the Dalai Lama, a move that is likely to upset Beijing. The lawmakers intend to discuss a bill aimed at pressuring China to address the Tibet dispute.

What Happened: A bipartisan delegation of U.S. lawmakers, headed by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, arrived in Dharamshala, India, on Tuesday. Their agenda includes visiting the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, also known as the Central Tibetan Administration or CTA, and meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, reported Voice of America on Tuesday.

The bill they plan to discuss aims to push China into talks with Tibetan leaders to resolve the Tibet dispute.

Beijing, which views the Dalai Lama as a separatist, has expressed concern over the visit and the bill, urging the U.S. to recognize Tibet as part of China and to refrain from any contact with the Dalai Lama. China has also warned of “resolute and forceful measures” to protect its sovereignty and security interests.

“We are very excited to see His Holiness tomorrow to talk about many things, including the bill we just passed out of Congress that basically says the United States of America stands with the people of Tibet,” McCaul said.

According to the report, McCaul confirmed that President Joe Biden will indeed sign the bill, stating, “Yes, he will, definitely.”

Beijing, regarding the Nobel peace laureate as a dangerous “splittist” or separatist, expressed “serious concern” about the visit and the anticipated bill to be signed by Biden.

“We … urge the U.S. to fully recognise the anti-China and separatist nature of the Dalai clique, abide by its commitments on Tibet-related issues, refrain from any form of contact with it, and stop sending erroneous messages,” foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said on Tuesday.

Lin emphasized the U.S. commitment to recognizing Tibet as part of China and not supporting Tibetan independence. He urged against signing the bill and warned that Beijing would take “resolute and forceful measures” to protect its sovereignty, security, and development interests.

“Over the last two years the Resolve Tibet Bill was passed … and it is now on the desk of President Biden, so that will be a game changer,” said Tenzin Lekshay, spokesperson for the Central Tibetan Administration.

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Why It Matters: After a failed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet in 1959, the Dalai Lama sought refuge in India. Chinese officials strongly oppose any interactions he has with officials from other nations. While the Dalai Lama has met with U.S. officials, including presidents, during past visits to the United States, President Biden has not met him since assuming office in 2021.

The visit by U.S. lawmakers to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader comes at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and China over the Taiwan issue. China has accused the U.S. of trying to provoke it into invading Taiwan, a claim that has been met with skepticism in the West.

Former House Speaker Pelosi, a long-time critic of China, has been a vocal advocate for human rights and has previously visited Taiwan, much to the chagrin of Beijing. The current visit to India is likely to further strain Sino-American relations, as China continues to assert its position on issues related to its sovereignty.

McCaul, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has also been vocal about the U.S.’s stance on China’s actions in the region. He has warned of the potential for war if China were to unprovokedly attack Taiwan, emphasizing the need for deterrence in the region.

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This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Kaustubh Bagalkote

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