Text: H.R.1872 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 115-330 (12/19/2018)

 
[115th Congress Public Law 330]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 132 STAT. 4479]]

Public Law 115-330
115th Congress

                                 An Act


 
   To promote access for United States diplomats and other officials, 
    journalists, and other citizens to Tibetan areas of the People's 
      Republic of China, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 19, 
                         2018 -  [H.R. 1872]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Reciprocal 
Access to Tibet Act of 2018. 8 USC 1182 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 
2018''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The Government of the People's Republic of China does 
        not grant United States diplomats and other officials, 
        journalists, and other citizens access to China on a basis that 
        is reciprocal to the access that the Government of the United 
        States grants Chinese diplomats and other officials, 
        journalists, and citizens.
            (2) The Government of China imposes greater restrictions on 
        travel to Tibetan areas than to other areas of China.
            (3) Officials of China have stated that Tibet is open to 
        foreign visitors.
            (4) The Government of China is promoting tourism in Tibetan 
        areas, and at the Sixth Tibet Work Forum in August 2015, Premier 
        Li Keqiang called for Tibet to build ``major world tourism 
        destinations''.
            (5) The Government of China requires foreigners to obtain 
        permission from the Tibet Foreign and Overseas Affairs Office or 
        from the Tibet Tourism Bureau to enter the Tibet Autonomous 
        Region, a restriction that is not imposed on travel to any other 
        provincial-level jurisdiction in China.
            (6) The Department of State reports that--
                    (A) officials of the Government of the United States 
                submitted 39 requests for diplomatic access to the Tibet 
                Autonomous Region between May 2011 and July 2015, but 
                only four were granted; and
                    (B) when such requests are granted, diplomatic 
                personnel are closely supervised and given few 
                opportunities to meet local residents not approved by 
                authorities.
            (7) The Government of China delayed United States consular 
        access for more than 48 hours after an October 28, 2013, bus 
        crash in the Tibet Autonomous Region, in which three citizens of 
        the United States died and more than a dozen others, all from 
        Walnut, California, were injured, undermining

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        the ability of the Government of the United States to provide 
        consular services to the victims and their families, and failing 
        to meet China's obligations under the Convention on Consular 
        Relations, done at Vienna April 24, 1963 (21 UST 77).
            (8) Following a 2015 earthquake that trapped dozens of 
        citizens of the United States in the Tibet Autonomous Region, 
        the United States Consulate General in Chengdu faced significant 
        challenges in providing emergency consular assistance due to a 
        lack of consular access.
            (9) The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 
        of the Department of State stated ``With the exception of a few 
        highly controlled trips, the Chinese government also denied 
        multiple requests by foreign diplomats for permission to visit 
        the TAR.''.
            (10) Tibetan-Americans, attempting to visit their homeland, 
        report having to undergo a discriminatory visa application 
        process, different from what is typically required, at the 
        Chinese embassy and consulates in the United States, and often 
        find their requests to travel denied.
            (11) The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016 
        of the Department of State stated ``The few visits to the TAR by 
        diplomats and journalists that were allowed were tightly 
        controlled by local authorities.''.
            (12) A September 2016 article in the Washington Post 
        reported that ``The Tibet Autonomous Region . . . is harder to 
        visit as a journalist than North Korea.''.
            (13) The Government of China has failed to respond 
        positively to requests from the Government of the United States 
        to open a consulate in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region.
            (14) The Foreign Correspondents Club of China reports that--
                    (A) 2008 rules prevent foreign reporters from 
                visiting the Tibet Autonomous Region without prior 
                permission from the Government of such Region;
                    (B) such permission has only rarely been granted; 
                and
                    (C) although the 2008 rules allow journalists to 
                travel freely in other parts of China, Tibetan areas 
                outside such Region remain ``effectively off-limits to 
                foreign reporters''.
            (15) The Department of State reports that in addition to 
        having to obtain permission to enter the Tibet Autonomous 
        Region, foreign tourists--
                    (A) must be accompanied at all times by a 
                government-designated tour guide;
                    (B) are rarely granted permission to enter the 
                region by road;
                    (C) are largely barred from visiting around the 
                March anniversary of a 1959 Tibetan uprising; and
                    (D) are banned from visiting the area where Larung 
                Gar, the world's largest center for the study of Tibetan 
                Buddhism, and the site of a large-scale campaign to 
                expel students and demolish living quarters, is located.
            (16) Foreign visitors also face restrictions in their 
        ability to travel freely in Tibetan areas outside the Tibet 
        Autonomous Region.
            (17) The Government of the United States generally allows 
        journalists and other citizens of China to travel freely within 
        the United States. The Government of the United States

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        requires diplomats from China to notify the Department of State 
        of their travel plans, and in certain situations, the Government 
        of the United States requires such diplomats to obtain approval 
        from the Department of State before travel. However, where 
        approval is required, it is almost always granted expeditiously.
            (18) The United States regularly grants visas to Chinese 
        diplomats and other officials, scholars, and others who travel 
        to the United States to discuss, promote, and display the 
        perspective of the Government of China on the situation in 
        Tibetan areas, even as the Government of China restricts the 
        ability of citizens of the United States to travel to Tibetan 
        areas to gain their own perspective.
            (19) Chinese diplomats based in the United States generally 
        avail themselves of the freedom to travel to United States 
        cities and lobby city councils, mayors, and governors to refrain 
        from passing resolutions, issuing proclamations, or making 
        statements of concern on Tibet.
            (20) The Government of China characterizes statements made 
        by officials of the United States about the situation in Tibetan 
        areas as inappropriate interference in the internal affairs of 
        China.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
        ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
                    (A) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the 
                Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; and
                    (B) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the 
                Committee on the Judiciary of the House of 
                Representatives.
            (2) Tibetan areas.--The term ``Tibetan areas'' includes--
                    (A) the Tibet Autonomous Region; and
                    (B) the areas that the Chinese Government designates 
                as Tibetan Autonomous, as follows:
                          (i) Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous 
                      Prefecture, and Pari (Tianzhu) Tibetan Autonomous 
                      County located in Gansu Province.
                          (ii) Golog (Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous 
                      Prefecture, Malho (Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous 
                      Prefecture, Tsojang (Haibei) Tibetan Autonomous 
                      Prefecture, Tsolho (Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous 
                      Prefecture, Tsonub (Haixi) Mongolian and Tibetan 
                      Autonomous Prefecture, and Yulshul (Yushu) Tibetan 
                      Autonomous Prefecture, located in Qinghai 
                      Province.
                          (iii) Garze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous 
                      Prefecture, Ngawa (Aba) Tibetan and Qiang 
                      Autonomous Prefecture, and Muli (Mili) Tibetan 
                      Autonomous County, located in Sichuan Province.
                          (iv) Dechen (Diqing) Tibetan Autonomous 
                      Prefecture, located in Yunnan Province.
SEC. 4. ANNUAL REPORT ON ACCESS TO TIBETAN AREAS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Time period. Public information. Web 
posting. Assessment.>>  In General.--Not later than 90 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter for the 
following five years, the Secretary of State shall submit to the 
appropriate congressional committees, and make available to the public 
on the website of the Department of State, a report that includes

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an assessment of the level of access Chinese authorities granted 
diplomats and other officials, journalists, and tourists from the United 
States to Tibetan areas, including--
            (1) a comparison with the level of access granted to other 
        areas of China;
            (2) a comparison between the levels of access granted to 
        Tibetan and non-Tibetan areas in relevant provinces;
            (3) a comparison of the level of access in the reporting 
        year and the previous reporting year; and
            (4) a description of the required permits and other measures 
        that impede the freedom to travel in Tibetan areas.

    (b) Consolidation.--After the issuance of the first report required 
by subsection (a), the Secretary of State is authorized to incorporate 
subsequent reports required by subsection (a) into other publicly 
available, annual reports produced by the Department of State, provided 
they are submitted to the appropriate congressional committees in a 
manner specifying that they are being submitted in fulfillment of the 
requirements of this Act.
SEC. 5. INADMISSIBILITY OF CERTAIN ALIENS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Ineligibility for Visas.--No 
individual whom the Secretary of State has determined to be 
substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies 
related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas may be eligible to 
receive a visa to enter the United States or be admitted to the United 
States if the Secretary of State determines that--
            (1)(A) the requirement for specific official permission for 
        foreigners to enter the Tibetan Autonomous Region remains in 
        effect; or
            (B) such requirement has been replaced by a regulation that 
        has a similar effect and requires foreign travelers to gain a 
        level of permission to enter the Tibet Autonomous Region that is 
        not required for travel to other provinces in China; and
            (2) restrictions on travel by diplomats and other officials, 
        journalists, and citizens of the United States to areas 
        designated as ``Tibetan Autonomous'' in the provinces of 
        Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and Gansu of China are greater than 
        any restrictions on travel by such officials and citizens to 
        areas in such provinces that are not so designated.

    (b) Current Visas Revoked.--The Secretary of State shall revoke, in 
accordance with section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
U.S.C. 1201(i)), the visa or other documentation to enter or be present 
in the United States issued for an alien who would be ineligible to 
receive such a visa or documentation under subsection (a).
    (c) <<NOTE: Time period. List.>>  Report to Congress.--Not later 
than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually 
thereafter for the following five years, the Secretary of State shall 
provide to the appropriate congressional committees a report identifying 
the individuals who have had visas denied or revoked pursuant to this 
section during the preceding year and, to the extent practicable, a list 
of Chinese officials who were substantially involved in the formulation 
or execution of policies to restrict access of United States diplomats 
and other officials, journalists, and citizens of the United States to 
Tibetan areas. The report required by this

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subsection shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a 
classified annex.

    (d) Waiver for National Interest.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  In general.--The Secretary of 
        State may waive the application of subsection (a) or (b) in the 
        case of an alien if the Secretary determines that such a 
        waiver--
                    (A) is necessary to permit the United States to 
                comply with the Agreement Regarding the Headquarters of 
                the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 
                1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947 (TIAS 
                1676), or any other applicable international obligation 
                of the United States; or
                    (B) is in the national interest of the United 
                States.
            (2) Notification.--Upon granting a waiver under paragraph 
        (1), the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate 
        congressional committees a document detailing the evidence and 
        justification for the necessity of such waiver, including, if 
        such waiver is granted pursuant to paragraph (1)(B), how such 
        waiver relates to the national interest of the United States.
SEC. 6. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of State, when 
granting diplomats and other officials from China access to parts of the 
United States, including consular access, should take into account the 
extent to which the Government of China grants diplomats and other 
officials from the United States access to parts of China, including the 
level of access afforded to such diplomats and other officials to 
Tibetan areas.

    Approved December 19, 2018.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1872:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 164 (2018):
            Sept. 25, considered and passed House.
            Dec. 11, considered and passed Senate.

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