(This was originally posted in Hindustan Times by Shishir Gupta)
The United States in its new Bill to counter China includes policies for Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, the problem areas of the People’s Republic of China, where it aims to uphold democratic values against China’s oppression. The 283-page bill, crafted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is designed to counter China’s economic and geopolitical power. Under Section 136 of the Bill, which deals with how the US will support independent media and counter disinformation, it says the US Agency for Global media shall increase funding for Radio Free Asia’s Mandarin, Tibetan, Uyghur and Cantonese language services. It also said how China spends extensively on influence operations, even in western countries. For example, China spent $500,0000,000 on an advertising campaign to attract cable viewers in Australia, it said.
“The United States and European nations share serious concerns with the repressions being supported and executed by the government of China in Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the Bill said adding that the government should continue implementing measures to address China’s specific abuses in these regions and should build joint mechanisms and programmes to prevent the export of China’s authoritarian governance model to countries around the world,” the Bill, unveiled early in April, says.
When the US will conduct an annual review on the presence of Chinese companies in US capital markets, it will see whether the company has contributed to the repression of religious and ethnic minorities within China, including Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or Tibet Autonomous Regions, the Bill mentions.
In its regional strategies to counter the People’s Republic of China, the United States lists Tibetan Buddhists among whom the US wants to promote the values of democracy and human rights.
The Bill also backs the resumption of normal relations with Taiwan, considered as a rebel province by China. Section 212 of the Bill says it is the policy of the United States to recognise Taiwan as a vital part of the United States Ino-pacific strategy. The policy is aimed at advancing the security of Taiwan and its democracy as key elements for the continued peace and stability of the greater Indo-Pacific region etc.