Tibetan Policy Act of 2002: Background and Implementation [November 5, 2014]   [open pdf - 536KB]

"The Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (TPA) is a core legislative measure guiding U.S. policy toward Tibet. Its stated purpose is 'to support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity.' Among other provisions, the TPA establishes in statute the State Department position of Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and defines the Special Coordinator's 'central objective' as being 'to promote substantive dialogue' between the government of the People's Republic of China and Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, or his representatives. […] While the Special Coordinator coordinates Tibet-related U.S. government programs, congressional mandates and earmarked appropriations for most such programs are contained in legislation other than the TPA. […] Congress has shown a strong interest in Tibet since the 1980s, passing dozens of laws and resolutions related to Tibet, speaking out about conditions in Tibet, and welcoming visits by the Dalai Lama and, more recently, the political head of the India-based Central Tibetan Administration. Such actions have long been a source of friction in the U.S.-China relationship. China charges that they amount to support for challenges to Chinese rule in Tibet. Since passage of the TPA, three bills seeking to update it have passed the House of Representatives. In the 113th Congress, H.R. 4194, the House-passed Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014, would eliminate a report required by the TPA: the provision was removed in the Senate-passed bill. H.R. 2410 in the 111th Congress and H.R. 2601 in the 109th Congress both included substantial revisions to the TPA, but the Senate did not act on either bill. If Congress again considers amending the TPA, there are many questions that would need to be considered and are further discussed in this report."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43781
Public Domain
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