We seldom agree with Vermont Independent Congressman Bernard Sanders, but we're happy the United States House of Representatives recently approved his resolution on behalf of a former Vermont student. The resolution urges the U.S. government to step up pressure on China to release former Middlebury College student and Fulbright scholar Ngawang Choephel.
Choephel is a student of Tibetan descent, who studied at Middlebury from 1992-93. He went to Tibet in 1995 to film a documentary about Tibetan music and dance, but he was arrested and held for a year without being charged. Earlier this year, a Chinese court sentenced him to 18 years in jail.
Bernie's sense of the House resolution calls on the administration to raise Choephel's imprisonment at every top-level meeting with Chinese officials, to warn Americans that Tibet "is not a safe destination for American travelers," and to demand that Tibet be opened up to international human-rights observers.
The Clinton administration should heed this resolution. Choephel's plight is one more example of Beijing's Stalinist insensitivity and gross disregard for human rights and human decency.