The following is a translation of a Renminwang article. Pictures: 新闻联播 (Xinwen Lianbo, youtube.com), March 20. Corrections and suggestions concerning this translation are welcome.
A delegation of National People’s Congress delegates visited American cities like Washington D.C., New York etc. from March 15 to 19. In meetings, talks and press conferences, they explained Tibet’s economic and social development to Americans of all walks of life, to Overseas Chinese including Tibetan compatriots. Their explanations about freedom of religion, protection of traditional culture in Tibet etc. drew a lot of attention in the United States.
During their stay, the delegates had extensive contacts with politicians. On March 16, they held talks with a high-ranking State Department official [apparently deputy assistant secretary of state John Norris, although Luo Ruizhi (洛瑞智) as a Chinese transcription looks unusual], on March 17, they met the House of Representatives US-China working group co chairs Mark Kirk [R-IL] and Rick Larsen [D-WA], House Judiciary Committee Chairman, John Conyers jr (D-MI) and others. On March 19 they had talks with several state and city council members in New York. The delegation used vivid examples and detailed and accurate data to brief them on the development of human rights undertakings in Tibet, on freedom of religion, and the development of Tibet after the 3-14 incident, expounded the Chinese government’s policy toward the Dalai, refuted the problems involved by the wrong words and actions of the Dalai Clique and some Western people.
The American politicians reiterated the position of the American government and acknowledged that Tibet is an inseparable part of China’s territory and that it absolutely does not support “Tibetan independence” and said they were very glad to have direct exchanges with NPC delegates from Tibet and to hear the Chinese Tibet’s NPC delegates’ voices. This was very importment for enhancing mutual trust. They hoped there would be opportunities to develop such exchanges further.
During their visit to the U.S., the delegates had talks and round-table meetings with responsibles of the Asia Society, researchers from the Congressional Research Department, and experts and scholars of the Brookings Institution, from think tanks as well as other people with influence in American society, and gave direct and open answers to their questions. The American side expressed that the face-to-face discussions [with the NPC delegates] increased their understanding of Tibet, mutual trust, and made them to look at the problem from different perspectives.
Including the Overseas Chinese, including the Tibetan compatriots living in the United States and those with [Chinese / Tibetan] ancestors they were very interested in Tibetan’s construction and development. On March 15 when the delegation had just arrived in America, they met with representatives of Tibetan compatriots living in Washington, conveyed fellow Tibetans greetings to them, and informed them about the latest changes in Tibet’s economic and social development. On March 18, the delegation once again had long and large-scale discussions with Overseas Chinese and academic circles in New York. Wide circles of overseas Chinese expressed their warm welcome to the arrival of the delegation and said that this visit to America at this time was indispensable, because many people in Western society had many misconceptions about Tibet. The members of the delegation lived in Tibet, had grown up in Tibet and could use their own experience to explain Tibet’s history and current situation, which made them very authentic. Everyone was of the opinion that as members of the Chinese nation, the Tibetan compatriots had a long traditional culture, and also the right to modernize and to share in the achievements of civilization. They hoped that the Dalai would soon stop his separatist activities and do some things of real use for the Tibetan people in his lifetime.
During the stay in America, the delegation attached a lot of importance to communication with the media and had interviews with the media on many occasions and presented Tibet’s past and present in many ways. On March 17, the delegation held a press conference in Washington D.C., with nearly fifty journalists from more than twenty media organizations, such as Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, the Voice of America, “U.S. News And World Report” and “World News”, “Sing Tao Daily” [and some which I find hard to translate], answering all their questions in detail. After the press conference, the head of delegation, NPC delegate, deputy director of the Tibet Autonomous Region’s People’s Congress Standing Committee and living Buddha Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak gave an exclusive interview to USA Today and other media. In New York on March 19, the delegation also gave interviews to a lot of media.
The delegation’s trip to the U.S. was met with a lot of interest from American society. USA Today, the Voice of America and other important media for the first time reported prominently on the delegation’s activities. Former U.S. president Clinton’s media counsellor Lanny Davis said that the visit of a delegation with delegates who lived in Tibet and presented Tibet’s real situation was a very good form of communication and suggested to have similar activities in the future, in order to increase the understanding of Tibet’s situation among Americans from all walks of life.