HomeLatest NewsRichard Gere Takes Fight For Tibet Against China's Propaganda Machine To Congress

Richard Gere Takes Fight For Tibet Against China’s Propaganda Machine To Congress

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Richard Gere, the Hollywood star and actor, testified before Congress this Week. He met with lawmakers to condemn China’s “genocide”, “crimes against humanity”, and “longstanding cruelty” in Tibet.

Gere, along with several other Tibetan activists and human rights experts, testified on Tuesday before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), detailing how the Chinese Communist Party had coopted Tibetan Buddhism, trapped Tibetan nomads in “New Socialist Villages,” and separated Tibetan students from their parents through the coercive boarding school system, meant to ensure Tibetan children do not know their language or traditional faith. Gere testified as Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet’s Board of Directors.

Gere also took part in a Capitol Hill rally to commemorate the annual Tibet Lobby Day. Tibetan organizations observed it on Monday and Tuesday.

According to Phayul, the Tibetan news agency reported that the rally was primarily focused on lobbying lawmakers to reintroduce the Promoting a resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act (RTA) which would require the Chinese Communist Party to accept negotiations with Tibetan Buddhist head, the Dalai Lama.

Mao Zedong, a communist mass murderer, invaded Tibet and colonized it in 1951. He has since been implementing policies to subjugate the native population for many decades. Officially atheist Communist Party has stressed the need to eradicate Tibetan Buddhism, including forcing the Dalai Lama to flee India in 1951 and removing the Panchen Lama, a high-ranking living Buddha, from India in 1995. Freedom House, a human rights organization, ranked Tibet as the third-most free country in the world after South Sudan and Syria in its annual Freedom in the World report.

Gere testified before Congress about the modern aspects China’s persecution Tibetans. He highlighted the dangers of using pervasive surveillance technology, as well as the government documenting the DNA of as many ethnic Tibetans as possible.

Gere stated that the Chinese Communist Party’s ethnic policies for decades have been predicated on containment and denial, destruction, assimilation. “Repression has been the most severe in Tibet, East Turkestan, and with our Uyghur friend, it should also be noted – where CCP policies include the seperation of families, the prohibition on language and the destruction of religious sites, institutions and institutions. A pervasive surveillance system is used to implement the denial or movement of information.

China refers East Turkestian to as the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region”. It is the site of a continuing genocide against Uyghurs, and other Turkic, Muslim majority ethnic groups, by the Communist Party.

Gere stated that “in the following two decades [after 1959], denial and destruction Tibetan culture, religion, and language was estimated by the Tibetan government exile to have resulted 1.2 million deaths-or, one-fifth the country’s total population.” Many more Tibetans were held in labor camps and prisons. Over 6,000 monasteries and temples were destroyed and their contents pillaged.

“Literally thousands upon thousands of Buddhist texts that were critical to the legacy and survival of Tibetan Buddhism and the wider Buddhist community were looted or burned by the Cultural Revolution’s zealots. He continued, “Tibetans were collected leading to unprecedented famine as CCP sought so thoroughly to erase identity or any resistance mounted.”

Gere said that China had committed “acts against genocide” against Tibetans, as well as modern crimes against humanity. He also mentioned the mass shipment to “boarding schools” of Tibetan children who were taught Mandarin and then indoctrinated to communism. He said that the Chinese state also requires that Tibetan Buddhist monks be approved by the Communist state before they can reincarnate. This is a violation of Tibetan Buddhist precepts and cannot be justified with falsified or flimsy claims from a Communist government claiming atheism.

For decades, Gere has been a vocal critic of China. He noted that his fascination with Tibet started 45 years ago when he “wandered into refugee camps in Nepal and was amazed by these extraordinary people [Tibetans]”.

Gere stated to Congress that the little I have done to help them over the years has not been enough to repay what they gave me over these 45 years.

Gere, once a star of the world, began to fade from public attention after his activism against Chinese communism became more prominent. His peak moment was at the 1993 Academy Awards, where he spoke out against China’s gross human right abuses.

Erich Schwartzel, author of the 2022 book Red Carpet, Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy, revealed that Hollywood producers blacklisted Gere for his anti-communist China advocacy. Hollywood invested a lot of effort in the late 1990s to enter the Chinese box office market. This required approval from Party censors. Beijing could ban a movie entirely if it features a pro-Tibet activist in it.

Gere appealed to Congress to pass legislation that would press China into negotiations with its Dalai Lama. He also urged Congress to work to stop American companies aiding in the development of mass surveillance technology to repress Tibetans. Gere demanded that there be no technology transfer restrictions or any other support by the U.S. for forced/coerced data or other medical data collection.

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