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U.S. using domestic law for international law harms China-U.S. ties

2024-06-25 09:59:48Source: CGTNAuthor: Qiao Basheng

Editor's note: Qiao Basheng, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is a researcher at the Research Center for External Publicity and Cultural Security, the School of National Security, the Human Rights Research Center, Northwest University of Political Science and Law in Xi'an. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily those of CGTN.


June 24, 2024 -- Recently, the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress flagrantly violated the commitment made by the U.S., in the China-U.S. joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations released in 1978, that the United States "recognizes the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China," and passed the "Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act" aimed at separating the Xizang Autonomous Region from the People's Republic of China.


This bill not only seriously undermines China's sovereignty and integrity, but also seriously violates Article 2 (7) of the UN Charter, which stipulates that no interference shall be allowed "in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State," and attempts to internationalize the Xizang issue, which is essentially China's internal affair. This U.S. practice of undermining the international order and trampling on international law is bound to meet with opposition from people around the world.


Historical records show that Xizang has been part of China's territory since ancient times, and the harmony between Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty and Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo is a symbol of the friendly relations between the Chinese central government and the local government in Xizang.


This relationship was further consolidated during the Yuan Dynasty, when the central government formally established an administrative body in Xizang to manage Xizang's affairs. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Chinese central government over Xizang were further confirmed and strengthened.


The "Tibetan independence" argument spread by the Dalai Lama and his followers is a complete distortion of historical facts. In fact, even before the peaceful liberation of Xizang in 1951, the local government of Xizang never had independent status under international law and remained a local administration of the Chinese central government.


The Chinese government has never disseminated false information about Xizang's history or people. On the contrary, the Chinese government has been committed to promoting and protecting Xizang's history and cultural traditions.


The U.S. State Department's assertion of China's systematic repression of the people of Xizang is completely untenable. The Chinese government has implemented a series of activities in Xizang to protect and develop Xizang's unique culture, language, history, religion, way of life and environment. Since Xizang's democratic reform in 1959, it has made remarkable achievements in the fields of economy, education, medical care, and culture, and the living standards of the people have improved substantially.


In the area of culture, the Chinese government has vigorously supported the promotion and use of the Tibetan language, and has set up Tibetan language schools and Tibetan language publishing institutions to protect and pass on the cultural heritage of Xizang.


In the area of religion, the Chinese government respects and protects the traditional customs and religious activities of Tibetan Buddhism. Temples and religious sites in Xizang have been repaired and protected, and the religious activities of Buddhists have been protected by law.



Students of the Xizang Buddhism University attend a class in Quxu County of Lhasa, southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region, Nov. 29, 2023. /Xinhua


In terms of environmental protection, the Chinese government has taken a series of measures to protect Xizang's ecological environment. Xizang has been designated as an important ecological barrier area in China, and the government has invested heavily in ecological protection and restoration efforts to ensure that Xizang's ecological environment is effectively protected.

There is no basis in international law for the U.S. to promote Xizang's exercise of its right to self-determination. The right to self-determination, as enshrined in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625, is primarily aimed at supporting the national liberation movements of the peoples of the colonial countries.


Xizang has been part of China since ancient times, and has never been an independent state, let alone a so-called colony, and therefore does not have a basis for exercising the right to self-determination. The Xizang issue is China's internal affair and does not fit within the scope of application of the right to self-determination in the sense of international law.


The Chinese government implements a policy of regional ethnic autonomy in Xizang and grants the local people full autonomy rights. Among the deputies to the People's Congress and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Committee of the Xizang Autonomous Region are a large number of representatives of Tibetans and other ethnic minorities, and they play an important role in the political life of the state and localities.


The Charter of the United Nations clearly stipulates that respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States is a fundamental principle of international relations. China's sovereignty and jurisdiction over Xizang are unshakable, and no country or organization has the right to interfere in China's internal affairs. The Xizang issue is an internal affair of China and should not be internationalized.


Although China has signed, it has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, so its provisions are not legally binding on China. Nevertheless, the Chinese government has made considerable efforts to protect civil and political rights, and has actively improved and enhanced the quality of life and freedom of the people.


The Chinese government is actively fulfilling its commitments under the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and constantly improving the living standards and social well-being of its people. Through a series of policies and measures, the Chinese government has improved the infrastructure of Xizang and promoted economic development and social progress. The continuous improvement of the living standards of the Tibetan people and the stability and harmony of society fully demonstrate the effectiveness of the Chinese government in implementing the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


The U.S. should stop the erroneous practice of packaging its domestic rules and regulations as international rules and promoting a U.S.-style "hegemonic order," and handle its relations with China objectively and rationally.


Only by adopting dialogue on an equal footing on the basis of respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity can the U.S. truly promote the healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations.