China must expect US sanctions in the future if it interferes in the freestyle of a new Dalai Lama. President Donald Trump signed a law on Sunday (local time) that had previously been passed by the US Congress.
China had spoken of “serious interference” in its internal affairs when the US House of Representatives passed the sanctions by 392 votes to 22 in January. With Trump’s signature, the measures came into force. China announced that it was firmly against the new legislation.
The successor to the 85-year-old spiritual leader of the Tibetans has not yet been decided. The Dalai Lama had declared it possible, among other things, that he would choose a girl to succeed him or that there should be no other Dalai Lama.
The dispute over Tibet receives less attention
Tibet, the ancestral seat of the Dalai Lamas, was occupied by China in the early 1950s. With the departure of the charismatic leader, China could try, according to the AFP news agency, to interfere in the choice of the successor – and thus work towards reducing international support for Tibet with a new head. The region had already become quiet in the past few years.
In September 2007 Angela Merkel received the spiritual and religious leader of the Tibetans for the first time in Berlin – the move had led to resentment in diplomatic relations with Beijing.
The new US laws for Tibet stipulate that the selection, upbringing and worship of the Dalai Lama and other religious monks are “exclusively spiritual” matters. These should be made by the “religious authorities” in the sense of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The US Senate integrated the provisions on the succession of the Dalai Lama into the legislative package for corona relief measures.
International Campaign for Tibet welcomes US threat of sanctions
According to US law, new US consulates are only to be opened in China if a permit is also given for the opening of a consulate in the Tibetan capital Lhasa. The International Campaign for Tibet, on the side of the Dalai Lama, welcomed the adoption of the US law. This makes it clear that “Chinese interference in the successor to the Dalai Lama will not be accepted” and that further action will be taken against human rights violations in Tibet.