The United States has appointed a senior diplomat as Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues, who among other matters would focus on advancing the dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday named Robert Destro as the rapporteur whose job will be to press for the protection of human rights of Tibetans and as well as their unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity amid China's zealous Sinicization drive.
“The United States remains concerned with the PRC’s repression of the Tibetan community, including the lack of meaningful autonomy, the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas, and severe restrictions on Tibetans’ religious freedom and cultural traditions within China,” Pompeo said in a statement, referring to the Communist government in Beijing.
Destro is currently assistant secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, the special coordinator post had been vacant since January 2017. The commission had urged the State Department to fill the job, saying the role was “crucial to raising the profile of religious freedom issues in Tibet and mobilizing government resources to address the issue.”
The U.S. is concerned by the lack of meaningful autonomy for Tibetans and the CCP’s ongoing crackdown on Tibetan Buddhists. As Special Coordinator, I will continue urging the PRC to respect the human rights and unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity of Tibetans.— Assistant Secretary Robert A. Destro (@DRL_AS) October 15, 2020
Meanwhile, raising Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Inner Mongolia — other areas victim of Beijing's repression — Pompeo said America will work hard to build an international coalition "to impose costs on the Chinese Communist Party when they act in ways that are inconsistent with those basic fundamental human freedoms."
This comes after President Xi Jinping instructed the People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops to prepare for war as China faces push from all sides of its frontiers. During an inspection of the PLA Marine Corps in Chaozhou City, the CCP controlled Xinhua said Xi told the soldiers to "put their minds and energy on preparing for war" and to "maintain a state of high alert" and called on them to be "absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable", reported CNN.
It is not yet clear whether this comment was directed towards India, Japan, or the US and other countries with which China is involved in a tussle in the South China Sea region. The tensions between China and the US, with issues pertaining to disagreements over Taiwan and the COVID-19 pandemic, have increased over the past few months. India and China are currently engaged in a dialogue both at the military and diplomatic levels to ease the tensions at the border.
To add to Beijing's worry, India, Japan, Australia, and America have joined hands under a strengthened Quad framework. The bloc has plans to expand their geostrategic relations and balance the belligerent dragon.