Legal Materials on Tibet
United States

Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1988-89 (excerpt) (1987) [248]



DECEMBER 22, 1987


The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 1777) to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 1988 and 1989 for the Department of State, the United States Information Agency, the Voice of America, the Board for International Broadcasting, and for other purposes, having met, after full and free conference, have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows:

That the House recede from its disagreement to the amendment of the Senate and agree to the same with an amendment as follows:

In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted by the Senate amendment insert the following:


a) SHORT TITLE - This Act may be cited as the "Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989."

b) TABLE OF CONTENTS - The table of contents for this Act is as follows:


PART A - Authorization of Appropriations; Allocations of Funds; Restrictions

Sec 101 - Administration of Foreign Affairs.

Sec 102 - Contributions to International Organizations and Conferences; International.

Sec 103 - International Commissions.

Sec 104 - Migration and Refugee Assistance.

Sec 105 - Other Programs.


(A) Findings - The Congress finds that:

(1) on October 1, 1987, Chinese police in Lhasa fired upon several thousand unarmed Tibetan demonstrators, which included hundreds of women, children, and Tibetan Buddhist monks, killing at least six and wounding many others;

(2) on September 27, 1987, a peaceful demonstration in Lhasa calling for Tibetan independence and the restoration of human rights in Tibet, which was led by hundreds of Tibetan monks, was violently broken up by Chinese authorities and 27 Tibetan Buddhist monks were arrested;

(3) in the wake of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's five point peace plan, which was presented to Members of the United States Congress during his visit to Washington in September 1987, Chinese authorities in Tibet staged, on September 24, 1987, a mass political rally at which three Tibetans were given death sentences, two of whom were executed immediately;

(4) beginning October 7, 1950, the Chinese Communist army invaded and occupied Tibet;

(5) since that time, the Chinese Government has exercised dominion over the Tibetan people, who had always considered themselves as independent, through the presence of a large occupation force;

(6) over 1,000,000 Tibetans perished from 1959 to 1979 as a direct result of the political instability, executions, imprisonment, and wide scale famine engendered by the policies of the People's Republic of China in Tibet;

(7) after 1950, particularly during the ravages of China's Cultural Revolution, over 6,000 monasteries, the repositories of 1,300 years of Tibet's ancient civilization, were destroyed and their irreplaceable national legacy of art and literature either destroyed, stolen, or removed from Tibet;

(8) the exploitation of Tibet's vast mineral, forest, and animal reserves has occurred with limited benefit to the Tibetan people;

(9) Tibet's economy and education, health, and human services remain far below those of the People's Republic of China as a whole;

(10) the People's Republic of China has encouraged a large influx of Han-Chinese into Tibet, thereby undermining the political and cultural traditions of the Tibetan people;

(11) there are credible reports of many Tibetans being incarcerated in labor camps and prisons and killed for the nonviolent expression of their religious and political beliefs;

(12) His Holiness the Dalai Lama, spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people, in conjunction with the 100,000 refugees forced into exile with him, has worked tirelessly for almost 30 years to secure peace and religious freedom in Tibet, as well as the preservation of the Tibetan culture;

(13) in 1959, 1961, and 1965, the United Nations General Assembly called upon the People's Republic of China to end the violations of Tibetans' human rights;

(14) on July 24, 1985, 91 Members of the Congress signed a letter to President Li Xiannian of the People's Republic of China expressing support for direct talks between Beijing and representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in exile, and urging the Government of the People's Republic of China "to grant the very reasonable and justified aspirations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his people every consideration;"

(15) on September 27, 1987, the chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the chairman and ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus signed a letter to his Excellency Zhao Ziyang, the Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, expressing their "grave concern with the present situation in Tibet and welcome(d) His Holiness the Dalai Lama's (five point) peace proposal as a historic step toward resolving the important question of Tibet and alleviating the suffering of the Tibetan people...(and) expressing) their full support for his proposal;" and

(16) there has been no positive response by the Government of the People's Republic of China to either of these communications.

(B) STATEMENT OF POLICIES - It is the sense of the Congress that:

(1) the United States should express sympathy for those Tibetans who have suffered and died as a result of fighting, persecution, or famine over the past four decades;

(2) the United States should make the treatment of the Tibetan people an important factor in its conduct of relations with the People's Republic of China;

(3) the Government of the People's Republic of China should respect internationally recognized human rights and end human rights violations against Tibetans;

(4) the United States should urge the Government of the People's Republic of China to actively reciprocate the Dalai Lama's efforts to establish a constructive dialogue on the future of Tibet;

(5) Tibetan culture and religion should be preserved and the Dalai Lama should be commended for his efforts in this regard;

(6) the United States, through the Secretary of State, should address and call attention to the rights of the Tibetan people, as well as other non-Han-Chinese within the People's Republic of China such as the Uighurs of Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang), and the Mongolians of Inner Mongolia;

(7) the President should instruct United States officials, including the United States Ambassadors to the People's Republic of China and India, to pay greater attention to the concerns of the Tibetan people and to work closely with all concerned about human rights violations in Tibet in order to find areas in which the United States Government and people can be helpful; and

(8) the United States should urge the People's Republic of China to release all political prisoners in Tibet.

(C) TRANSFER OF DEFENSE ARTICLES - With respect to any sale, licensed export, or other transfer of any defense articles or defense services to the People's Republic of China, the United States Government shall, consistent with United States law, take into account the extent to which the Government of the People's Republic of China is acting in good faith and in a timely manner to resolve human rights issues in Tibet.

(D) MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE - Within 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall determine whether the needs of displaced Tibetans are similar to those of displaced persons and refugees in other parts of the world and shall report that determination to the Congress. If the Secretary makes a positive determination, of the amounts authorized to be appropriated for the Department of State for "Migration and Refugee Assistance" for each of the fiscal years 1988 and 1989, such sums as are necessary shall be made available for assistance for displaced Tibetans. The Secretary of State shall determine the best means for providing such assistance.

(E) SCHOLARSHIPS - For each of the fiscal years 1988 and 1989, the Director of the United States Information Agency shall make available to Tibetan students and professionals who are outside Tibet no less than 15 scholarships for study at institutions of higher education in the United States.

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