US ambassador to China, Terry Branstad is making a rare visit to Tibet to meet local officials and raise concerns about restrictions on Buddhism and the preservation of the Himalayan region’s unique culture and language.
The Embassy in Beijing said Branstad would visit the Tibetan Autonomous Region and neighboring Qinghai province from Sunday through Saturday.
It said his visit would include official meetings along with visits to religious and cultural heritage sites, schools, and "other places of interest."
The embassy called the visit "a chance for the Ambassador to engage with local leaders to raise longstanding concerns." It said the ambassador would also "learn first-hand about the region’s unique cultural, religious, and ecological significance."
China tightly restricts access to Tibet by foreigners, especially journalists and diplomats.