Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying addresses the press conference on Dec. 8, 2020. (Photo/fmprc.gov.cn)
On December 4, Robert A Destro, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Sate and so-called Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, called on U.S. allies to pass their own versions of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. He also accused China of ramping up its efforts to eliminate the languages, cultures and religions of Tibetans, Uyghurs and Kazakhs. He said that the United States is committed to helping Tibetans safeguard their way of life.
The following are remarks of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying in response to Destro's groundless accusations:
Tibet affairs are purely internal affairs of China and no external forces have the right to interfere. Setting up the so-called "Special Coordinator for Tibet Issues" is just a move of political manipulation, meant to interfere in China's internal affairs and undermine Tibet's development and stability. China has always been firmly opposed to this and has never recognized it.
With regard to the so-called the U.S. Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, China has repeatedly stated its position. This Act seriously violates the basic norms governing international relations and grossly interferes in China's internal affairs. China pursues the policy of opening up to the outside world. Tibet is an open region and no provisions has ever been made on restricting the entry of foreigners into Tibet. China welcomes friends from afar to visit and do business in the Tibet Autonomous Region. This policy will not change. But the prerequisite is that necessary procedures are duly observed in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations. Recently, diplomatic envoys from more than 20 countries have visited Tibet. They all spoke highly of the economic and social progress the Tibet Autonomous Region has made over the years.
With regard to the so-called elimination of minority languages, cultures and religions, I would like to stress that the Chinese Government guarantees the freedom of ethnic minorities in using and developing their own languages and characters in accordance with the law, and guarantees the freedom of religious belief of the people of all ethnic groups in accordance with the law. At present, China has nearly 200 million religious believer of all ethnic groups, more than 380,000 religious clerks and more than 140,000 legally registered places for religious activities. The classics of various religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and so on are published in various languages.
Recently a young man of the Tibetan ethnic group from Litang county, China's Sichuan province, took the internet by storm. He has been appointed to promote tourism in the county. In the promotional short clips which he shot for his hometown of Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Sichuan, he also teaches some simple Tibetan language to his followers. We also have many Uyghur stars in many fields. They are very popular artists, performers, TV hosts and so on, well liked by young people. Facts are that the life of the ethnic minorities is getting better and better. Their hometown is getting more developed and their culture is flourishing.
We urge the U.S. side to stop using Tibet-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, destroy Tibet's development and stability, and offer no stage to the "Tibetan independence" forces to engage in anti-China separatist activities. China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests. We also believe that the international community will not be deceived by the lies of some anti-China politicians.
You mentioned that the United States said that the U.S. is committed to helping Tibetans safeguard their way of life. Well. First things first. They'd better do more to protect the American people's lives in this pandemic situation.