US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Tuesday (local time) announced visa restrictions on some Chinese officials under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, 2018.
“Today I am announcing visa restrictions on PRC government and Chinese Communist Party officials determined to be “substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas,” pursuant to the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018,” Pompeo said.
“Access to Tibetan areas is increasingly vital to regional stability, given the PRC’s human rights abuses there, as well as Beijing’s failure to prevent environmental degradation near the headwaters of Asia’s major rivers,” he said.
The US Secretary of State pointed out that Beijing has continued “systematically to obstruct travel to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas” by U.S. diplomats and other officials, journalists, and tourists, while PRC officials and other citizens enjoy far greater access to the United States.
“The United States will continue to work to advance the sustainable economic development, environmental conservation, and humanitarian conditions of Tibetan communities within the People’s Republic of China and abroad,” he said.
Pompeo said US also remains “committed to supporting meaningful autonomy for Tibetans, respect for their fundamental and unalienable human rights, and the preservation of their unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity”.
“In the spirit of true reciprocity, we will work closely with the U.S. Congress to ensure U.S. citizens have full access to all areas of the People’s Republic of China, including the TAR and other Tibetan areas,” he said.