The US Congress nearly unanimously urged China to end 'repression' in Tibet, ignoring Beijing's warnings just as its foreign minister prepared to meet President Barack Obama.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 422 to 1 to approve the resolution, which marks 50 years since a failed uprising in Tibet that forced the Dalai Lama into exile. Nine House members did not vote.
The resolution urges China to 'cease its repression of the Tibetan people, and to lift immediately the harsh policies imposed on Tibetans.'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a longtime Tibet supporter, took to the floor of the chamber to seek support for the resolution. 'It is long past time -- 50 years -- for Beijing to respect the human rights of every Tibetan and indeed every Chinese,' she said.
Another resolution sponsor, Democrat Howard Berman, said that 'our friends in China' should consider the resolution not as an attack but as a call to re-engage with the Dalai Lama. 'This resolution is not anti-Chinese. We have deep, deep respect for both peoples' of China and Tibet, Berman said.