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Ex-House Speaker Pelosi, other US delegation members arrive at Dalai Lama Temple to meet Tibetan spiritual leader

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and other Congressional delegation members in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh (Photo: ANI)

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the Congressional delegation arrived at the Dalai Lama Temple on Wednesday to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Disciples of the Dalai Lama were also seen in the temple complex this morning.

The bipartisan delegation from the US headed by Republican Chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul was received by officials of the Central Tibetan Administration at Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra Airport on Tuesday.

Ahead of the meeting of the American delegation with the Dalai Lama, Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Dolma Tsering Teykhang said that the visit of the US lawmakers show “Tibet is not alone.”

“They are here to experience a different way of culture that Tibetans have…we are going to have the official get-together in the meeting…It sends (the message) that Tibet is not alone. United States is with Tibet and human rights still matter. This is a message not only for Tibet but anybody who is aspiring for human rights and for freedom…” Dolma Tsering Teykhang told ANI.

“All those who are suffering under the intimidation of China and the expansionist mentality of Xi Jinping, I think this is a very big message for them…” the Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile said.

Decrying China’s authoritarian approach, she said that Beijing is “annoyed” with anyone who supports Tibet.

“China is annoyed with anything who supports Tibet. We are here not to annoy or humiliate China…representatives and senators are here to support just the cause. So, when there is truth, you have a supporter and if there is any truth or when they rectify the wrong politics they are practicing in Tibet, they will also get a lot of support…” she said.

Earlier this week, the US Congress passed a bill urging Beijing to re-engage with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan leaders to peacefully resolve their dispute over the status and governance of Tibet.

The US House of Representatives passed the bill ‘Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act’, also known as the ‘Resolve Tibet Act’, and it now heads to President Joe Biden for a signature to become law, Radio Free Asia reported.

The legislation rejects Beijing’s stance that Tibet has been part of China since ancient times and urges China to “cease its propagation of disinformation about the history of Tibet, the Tibetan people, and Tibetan institutions, including that of the Dalai Lama.”

It also urged China to begin talks with the Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual leader of Tibet, and other Tibetan leaders about how Tibet is governed. No formal talks between two sides have taken place since 2010.

Upon her arrival in Dharamshala, former US House Speaker Pelosi said “It’s very exciting to be here.” Incidentally, Pelosi had in the year 2022 visited Taiwan which resulted in ties between US and China entering a frosty phase.

McCaul affirmed President Joe Biden’s intention to sign the ‘Resolve Tibet Act’, which was passed last week by Congress. The Resolve Tibet Act urges Beijing to re-engage with Tibetan leaders for a peaceful resolution of their governance dispute with China.

The US Representative expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming meeting with the Dalai Lama, emphasizing the significance of the bill passed by Congress.

Meanwhile, China said on Tuesday that Beijing is “gravely concerned” over the visit of the US delegation to Dharamshala.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian addressing a regular press conference yesterday asked the US to fully recognise the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai Group and to “stop sending the wrong signal to the world.”

“It’s known by all that the 14th Dalai Lama is not a pure religious figure, but a political exile engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

“We are gravely concerned over the relevant reports and urge the US side to fully recognize the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai group, honour the commitments the US has made to China on issues related to Xizang, have no contact with the Dalai group in any form, and stop sending the wrong signal to the world,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. China calls Tibet by the name Xizang.

The visiting US delegation visited the Tibetan Parliament in exile and the Tibet Museum Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Gangchen Kyisjong in Dharamshala on Tuesday.