US act on Tibet visits interferes in internal affairs: experts

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/13 22:38:42

The US is on the verge of passing a law that would deny the entry of Chinese officials who are involved in restricting foreigners from visiting Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, with Chinese experts slamming the move for using US domestic laws to interfere in China's internal affairs, and called for a tit-for-tat retaliation if it were implemented.

 The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018, which aims to promote access for US citizens to Tibet in China, passed by the US Senate on Tuesday local time, according to the website of the US Congress on Thursday.

Foreigners, who want to visit Tibet, need to provide an application with information like itinerary, purpose of travel, occupation and contact personnel, along with their passports and visas to local authorities through a travel agency, Tibet Daily reported.

Chinese observers said China's administration of Tibet is to protect the local environment and cultural relics rather than set unreasonable limits.

Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told the Global Times on Thursday that the restriction was made with Tibet's transport and travel capacity in mind.

Nearly 40,000 foreign tourists visited the region from January to April, up 50.5 percent compared with the same period last year, the Xinhua News Agency reported in May.

The US bill requires the US Department of State to report to the US Congress annually on how much access Chinese authorities give US diplomats, journalists, and tourists to Tibet in China, the act said.

It also said that individuals involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners will be denied US entry.

Ling Shengli, secretary-general of the International Security Study Center at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that the US is trying to interfere in China's internal affairs.

The US has been accustomed to using domestic laws to overmatch other countries' laws or even international norms due to its strength, Ling said.

However, that does not necessarily make the US law right or superior to others', Ling noted.

If the US House of Representatives and Senate pass it, the Act will become law when President Donald Trump signs it, which is highly possible, he said.

Ling believes that China will take countermeasures, which may see some US officials denied Chinese visas.


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