Foreign Policy Watch: India-China

Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : TIbetan issue

The US and China sparred over Tibet and the South China Sea over the passing of the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA).

Do you think that India’s support for the Tibetan cause is the root cause of all irritants in India-China relations?

About TPSA

  • The TPSA once signed into law would make it the official policy of the US Government to oppose any effort by the govt. of the People’s Republic of China to select, educate, and venerate Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders in a manner inconsistent with Tibetan Buddhism.
  • The proposed legislation will empower the US Government to impose sanctions on China who might try to interfere in the process of selecting the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama.

Why such a law?

  • Tibetans were concerned over the possibility of the Chinese Government making an attempt to install someone loyal to it as the 15th Dalai Lama after the death of the incumbent.
  • The PRC could use him as a puppet to fizzle out the global campaign against its occupation of Tibet.
  • The incumbent and the 14th Dalai Lama have been living in exile in India ever since his 1959 escape from Tibet, which had been occupied by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 1950-51.
  • He has been leading the movement for “genuine autonomy” for Tibet and the Tibetans.

Significance of TPSA

  • The TPSA acknowledged the legitimacy of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile elected by the exiled community as well as the CTA.
  • It seeks to introduce key provisions aimed at protecting the environment and water resources on the Tibetan Plateau.
  • In an aggressive move, the PRC government has forced resettlement of the nomads from grasslands.
  • TPSA recognizes the importance of traditional Tibetan grassland stewardship in mitigating the negative effects of climate change in the region.
  • In addition, it calls for greater international cooperation to monitor the environment on the Tibetan plateau.

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