The Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA), which was recently adopted by the United States, is a major upgrade to American policy on Tibet and represents a direct challenge to China’s continuing repression of people of the region, a European think tank said.
In a commentary, the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) said the TPSA could, in the event of China preferring strife over cordiality, provide a template and options for India to examine and expand upon in its future dealings with the communist dragon.
Introduced with bipartisan support in the US House by Representatives James McGovern and Chris Smith, and by Senators Marco Rubio and Ben Cardin, the TPSA seeks to build on the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002.
The International Campaign for Tibet, one of the most active organizations espousing the Tibetan cause, believes that “The bipartisan TPSA will launch a new era in US policy on Tibet, a historically independent country in Central Asia that has become one of the least free places on Earth under the repressive rule of the Chinese government”.
The TPSA makes it official US policy that the selection of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including a future Dalai Lama, should follow the instructions of the 85-year-old current Dalai Lama and the desires of the Tibetan Buddhist community, with no interference from the Chinese government.
The US will sanction Chinese officials if they carry out their plans to appoint their own Dalai Lama in the future. These sanctions could include having their assets frozen and their entry to the US denied.
The State Department will also have to work at the international level to build support for Tibetan Buddhists’ freedom to choose their own leaders without government interference, according to the think tank.