Destro will primarily be responsible for advancing dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama and protecting the religious, cultural and linguistic identity of Tibetans, according to the State Department. "I am convinced that he will be an ardent advocate for the Tibetan cause and the CTA under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama", remarked Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay. Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, "Setting up of the so-called special coordinator for Tibetan issues is entirely out of political manipulation to interfere in China's internal affairs and destabilize Tibet". "History is made today!"
Bilateral ties between the United States and China have sharply deteriorated over Washington's frequent criticisms of Beijing's human rights record on issues including Xinjiang and Tibet, where ethnic minorities allege harsh government repression.
Sangay, who lives in exile in India and heads the Central Tibetan Authority shared a picture of his meeting with Destro in Washington on Facebook. This is the first meeting between the president of the Central Tibetan Administration with that of the U.S. state department in six decades.
The Democratic Party says Trump has no interest in human rights abuses in Tibet.
Beijing lashed out Thursday at Washington's appointment of an envoy to oversee human rights issues in Tibet, saying the U.S. wanted to destroy the region's stability.
"There is no element of coercion", Che Dhala, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said in response to a question on whether nomads are forced to participate in the training programs, adding that people are trained in skills they want, such as driving or welding.
Special Coordinator Destro will engage the Tibetan leaders and global partners and experts to address these issues. The US should stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of Tibet or destabilising it.
Religion is a highly sensitive topic in Tibet, where the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, fled following a failed uprising against the Chinese administration in 1959. "It will also help in promoting the policies that protect the distinct identity of Tibet and safeguard the human rights situations inside Tibet", he further said.
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