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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has appointed Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero to serve concurrently as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.
As Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Under Secretary Otero will coordinate the United State's Government's policies, programs and projects within the context of our bilateral relationship with the People's Republic of China.
Specifically, she will seek to foster an environment that promotes substantive discussion between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese Government, as well as support initiatives to help safeguard Tibet's unique culture. In the administration of President George W. Bush, the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs also concurrently served as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.
The United States recognizes the Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibetan Autonomous prefectures and counties in other provinces to be part of the People's Republic of China. This long-standing policy is consistent with the view of the international community. In addition, the Dalai Lama has expressly disclaimed any intention to seek sovereignty or independence for Tibet and has stated that his goal is greater autonomy for Tibetans in China.
In public statements and in diplomatic channels the United States continues to press both sides to open a dialogue without preconditions as the best way to resolve longstanding issues and achieve true and lasting stability in Tibet.
Just as the United States maintains contact with representatives of a wide variety of groups and individuals inside and outside of China, senior U.S. officials have regularly met with the Dalai Lama in his capacity as an important religious leader and Nobel laureate. Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama and Under Secretary Otero met with the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala, India in September.
The United States has consistently urged China to respect the unique religious, linguistic, and cultural heritage of its Tibetan people and to fully respect their human rights and civil liberties.