Famed Hollywood actor Richard Gere on Tuesday joined Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill to condemn the “abuses” undertaken by the Chinese Communist Party against the people of Tibet, a region in the southwest of China,
Gere appeared at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol alongside Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., as each called for Congress to pass the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, and end attempts by the CCP to eradicate the region’s culture.
“Well, as you can hear, this is an issue regarding fundamental freedoms afforded on both sides of the U.S. Capitol, on both sides of the aisle, as should be the case,” Gere said after listening to McCaul and Young, who he greeted with hugs, speak to the crowd.
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“We believe in our country that every people have the freedom to determine their future, and that freedom has been denied to the people of Tibet, and we must restore that freedom,” he said.
Gere railed against the CCP’s attempts to indoctrinate Tibetan children by stopping 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” awaiting those who dare to speak out against the CCP regime.
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“Our nation was born on values of freedom and self-determination, and those values need to be at the center of our actions and our relationships in the world, between ourselves and other governments,” Gere said. “We must bring our government power to bring the Tibetans and the PRC authorities together so they can have that dialogue that has been silenced for 13 years.”
“We have to pass the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, and pass it now,” he added. “There is a Tibetan proverb which says a single thread doesn’t make a cloth, and a single tree doesn’t 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 that happen.”
China has sought to maintain tight control over the region heavily influenced by its spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Since taking over shortly after the 1949 Communist revolution, China has frequently cracked down on separatists’ independence efforts.
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