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US concerned at China’s repression of Tibetans, deteriorating human rights

New Delhi: Amid the continuing India-China border standoff, the United States has voiced concern over China’s repression of Tibetans and asked Beijing to respect and preserve their unique religious, linguistic and cultural identity.

The Trump administration which is for months has been locked in a tensed relationship with the Xi Jinping regime over trade, technology and its aggressive moves in the Indo-Pacific, designated Assistant Secretary Robert Destro, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, as Special Coordinator for Tibetan affairs, the State Department said.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in a statement on Wednesday expressed “concern at China’s repression of Tibetan community, lack of meaningful autonomy, deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas and severe restrictions on the Tibetans’ religious freedom, and cultural traditions within China.”

Destro will lead US efforts to address the humanitarian needs of Tibetan refugees and promote sustainable economic development and environmental conservation in the Tibetan communities in the plateau, said, the statement accessed here.

Destro will support US efforts to promote dialogue between the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, exiled in India, or his representatives with China to protect the unique culture, religious freedom and respect the Tibetan human rights.

China has earlier called the Dalai Lama a “splitist” and said to have settled many Han Chinese in its so-called autonomous region.

Also, Pompeo said, the US will engage with international partners and experts, and the global Tibetan diaspora to address these issues.

Significantly, the appointment of Destro to the post which had remained vacant since 2017 comes after talks Pompeo and Deputy Secretary Stephen Biegun had with senior Indian officials on the regional situation during the Quad meeting in Tokyo and in New Delhi in the last few days.

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