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  • Robert Destro, head of the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, was named Special Coordinator for Tibet on Wednesday.

    Robert Destro, head of the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, was named Special Coordinator for Tibet on Wednesday. | Photo: Twitter/@SecPompeo

Published 15 October 2020
Opinion

Beijing asserted that the U.S. appointment of a special coordinator for Tibet infringes on China's internal affairs and promotes destabilization in Tibet.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed Wednesday that Robert Destro would occupy the role of a special coordinator for Tibetan issues, a post vacant since the start of President Donald Trump's term in 2017. 

China has routinely refused to deal with the coordinator for Tibetan issues, seeing it as an infringement in its domestic politics. China further rejected the appointment, saying it could lead to "destabilization" in the region.

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“Tibet affairs are China’s internal affairs that allow no foreign interference,” said Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman. "The setting up of the so-called coordinator for Tibetan issues is entirely out of political manipulation to interfere in China’s internal affairs and destabilize Tibet. China firmly opposes that,” he continued.

Pompeo told reporters Wednesday that Destro would focus on advancing the dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader who claims "cultural genocide" by the Chinese government. 

 

China took control of Tibet in 1950 through "peaceful liberation" that helped the mountainous Himalayan region break from its "feudalist past."

“People of all ethnic groups in Tibet are part of the Chinese nation's big family, and since its peaceful liberation, Tibet has had prosperous economic growth,” Zhao said.

Destro, who has served as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor since September 2019, will also work to protect the religious, cultural, and linguistic identity of Tibetans and improve their human rights, Pompeo said.

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