Washington will impose visa limits on some officials in China for their part in forcing Tibetan children to assimilate into mainstream Chinese society, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday.
(Bloomberg) — Washington will impose visa limits on some officials in China for their part in forcing Tibetan children to assimilate into mainstream Chinese society, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday.
“We urge PRC authorities to end the coercion of Tibetan children into government-run boarding schools and to cease repressive assimilation policies, both in Tibet and throughout other parts of the PRC,” Blinken said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
Such coercive policies seek to eliminate Tibet’s distinct linguistic, cultural, and religious traditions among younger generations of Tibetans, he added.
Earlier: US Commerce Secretary Raimondo Will Visit China Next Week
The move, coming just days before a high-profile visit by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, angered Beijing. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that Washington’s “illegal” sanctioning was a “grave move” that interfered with China’s internal affairs. “We firmly oppose and strongly condemn it,” he said.
No officials were named in a State Department press release.
The US had lifted restrictions on 27 Chinese companies and organizations on Monday, an apparent olive branch before Raimondo’s trip to Beijing, scheduled for Aug. 27 to Aug. 30.
A team of United Nations experts said in February that about a million children of the Tibetan minority are being affected by Chinese government policies intended to assimilate Tibetan people culturally, religiously and linguistically through a residential school system. China condemned their findings.
Read more: China Wants to Build a Tibet With More Wealth and Less Buddhism
Blinken’s move was welcomed by Tibet activists. “China’s unconscionable separation of Tibetan children from their families cannot be left unchecked,” said Tencho Gyatso, president of the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet. “It shows the depths of Beijing’s plan to eliminate the Tibetan way of life and turn Tibetans into loyal followers” of the Chinese Communist Party.
–With assistance from Maria Luiza Rabello and Dan Murtaugh.
(Updates with Chinese Foreign Ministry comment in fourth paragraph.)
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