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Beijing lashes out at US Congress bill in support of Tibetans, urges Washington to stay out of China’s internal affairs

Beijing is firmly opposed to a bill passed by the US Congress that reaffirms certain rights for Tibetans, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday, while urging Washington to stop meddling in its internal affairs.

The ministry warned the US against signing the legislation into law, spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters. “We urge the US side to stop meddling in China’s internal affairs and refrain from signing into law these negative clauses and acts, lest it further harms our further cooperation and bilateral relations,” Wang stressed.

The Tibet Policy and Support Act (TPSA) is an amendment to this year’s $1.4 trillion government spending bill and was approved by US lawmakers on Monday. It demands Beijing grant the US a consulate in Tibet and also paves the way for sanctions against Chinese officials should they interfere in the succession of the spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The political head of the Tibetan government in exile on Tuesday welcomed the legislation. “By passing the TPSA, Congress has sent its message loud and clear that Tibet remains a priority for the United States and that it will continue its steadfast support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the CTA,” Lobsang Sangay told Reuters. “This is a victory for the Tibetan freedom struggle.”

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The US bill also claimed that Beijing “has already completed water transfer programs diverting billions of cubic meters of water yearly and has plans to divert more waters from the Tibetan plateau in China.”

Although the legislation supports the absolute right of Tibetans to choose a successor to the Dalai Lama, it also proposes dialogue between Beijing and the Tibetan leader.

The Chinese government has long accused Washington of destabilizing the region. In January, when the House approved the bill, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said it sent a wrong signal to “forces seeking Tibet independence.”

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