Nancy Pelosi Meets With Dalai Lama, Despite China’s Criticism

A high-level U.S. Congressional delegation, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, visited the Dalai Lama at his Indian home in Dharamshala. The visit was met with condemnation from China, which considers the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a separatist.

The delegation, led by Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, arrived in the Himalayan town where the Dalai Lama has resided since the 1960s. During their visit, they also met with Tibetan government officials in exile, who advocate for autonomy for Tibet within China.

This visit comes shortly after the U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan bill urging China to engage in dialogue with Tibetan leaders to find a peaceful resolution to the longstanding conflict. China’s immediate criticism highlights the sensitivity of the issue, as Beijing views any support for Tibet’s autonomy as interference in its internal affairs.

China quickly criticised the visit. Chinese leaders consider the Tibetan government in exile illegal and see any support for Tibetan autonomy as meddling in their internal affairs. The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi issued a statement urging the U.S. to recognise the Dalai Lama’s group as separatists and to stop sending the wrong signals about Tibet.

After meeting the Dalai Lama, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul stated that Chinese officials had warned the delegation not to come. He emphasised that the U.S. supports Tibet’s right to self-determination and will continue to stand with Tibet. Pelosi’s participation in the delegation brought to mind her 2022 trip to Taiwan, which China also considers its territory. That trip led to a sharp response from China, including trade restrictions and military exercises near Taiwan.

The visit to India by Pelosi and the delegation also highlights the growing relationship between the U.S. and India. This is partly driven by a shared concern over China’s influence. President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, is also in New Delhi for talks on expanding defence and technology cooperation between the U.S. and India.




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