Famed Hollywood actor Richard Gere joined Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to condemn the “abuses” perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party against the people of Tibet, a region in southwest China.
Gere appeared at a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol along with Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore . , as everyone urged Congress to pass legislation promoting a resolution on the Tibet-China conflict and end the CCP’s attempts to eradicate the region’s culture.
“Well, as you can hear, this is about basic liberties that are granted on both sides of the US Capitol, on both sides of the aisle, as it should be,” Gere said after listening to McCaul and Young who he greeted speak to the crowd with hugs.
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“We believe in our country that every people has the freedom to determine their future and that freedom has been denied to the Tibetan people and we must restore that freedom,” he said.
Gere railed against the CCP’s attempts to indoctrinate Tibetan children by preventing them from growing up in their own culture, speaking their language and sending them to boarding schools away from their families. He also slammed the “harsh punishment” that awaits those who dare speak out against the CCP regime.
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“Our nation was born on the values of liberty and self-determination, and those values must be at the heart of what we do and how we relate to the world, between us and other governments,” Gere said. “We must use our government power to bring Tibetans and PRC authorities together to have this dialogue that has been silenced for 13 years.”
“We must pass the law to promote a settlement of the Tibet-China conflict, and do it now,” he added. “There is a Tibetan proverb that says that a single thread does not make cloth and a single tree does not make a forest. It means we are stronger together. The people of Tibet need and deserve the right to determine their own future. Let’s be stronger together and make this happen.”
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China has sought to maintain tight control over the region, heavily influenced by its spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Since taking power shortly after the 1949 communist revolution, China has often cracked down on separatist aspirations for independence.
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