'China lobbies to prevent leaders from meeting Dalai'
Washington: Tibet is among the most sensitive issues in US-China relations, a Congressional report has said, claiming that Beijing lobbies strenuously to prevent world leaders from meeting the Dalai Lama.
"China lobbies strenuously to prevent world leaders from meeting with the Dalai Lama, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner and 2006 recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal," independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report on US-China relationship.
Withstanding China's objections, US President Barack Obama has met with the Dalai Lama twice at the White House in February 2010 and July 2011, the report meant for internal consumption of US lawmakers, said.
China accuses the Dalai Lama and his supporters of directing or fanning the restiveness in Tibetan areas, including the spate self-immolations, which have garnered world headlines and shown in unfavourable light Beijing's policies, it said.
Chinese leaders also blame international community, and particularly the United States, for supporting the Dalai Lama and his agenda of meaningful autonomy for Tibet, arguing that the support has encouraged forces intent on "splitting" Tibet from China, it added.
The report dated August 02, concedes that Tibet is among the "most sensitive issues" in US-China relations.
The Chinese Communist Party has controlled the Tibetan Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas within the People's Republic of China (PRC) since 1951, and the US government recognises Chinese sovereignty.
"Nonetheless, China continues to face resistance to its rule from Tibetans, and to fear that foreign governments seek to 'split' Tibet from China. Preserving sovereignty over Tibet has long been one of China's most fundamental 'core interests', on a par with its commitment to defending its claimed sovereignty over Taiwan," the report said.
The US government and human rights groups have been critical of increasingly expansive official Chinese controls on religious life and practice in Tibetan areas instituted in the wake of anti-Chinese protests in Tibetan areas in 2008, the CRS said.
"Human rights groups have catalogued arbitrary detentions and disappearances, a heightened Chinese security presence within monasteries, and continued 'patriotic education' and 'legal education' campaigns that require monks to denounce Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama," it said.
The State Department's 2011 Human Rights Report for Tibet alleges that in 2011, Chinese authorities in the region carried out "serious human rights abuses including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial detention, and house arrests."
Since February 27, 2009, 44 Tibetans have set fire to themselves to protest Chinese policies, and 33 of them are known to have died.
"Many of those self-immolating have been associated with the heavily-policed Kirti Monastery in Aba County, Sichuan Province," the CRS said.