What Happened: The Chinese government has promised to ease access to Tibet for foreign tourists, the South China Morning Post reported Jan. 11.
Why It Matters: Beijing made the decision just a few weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that paves the way for the United States to impose visa bans on Chinese officials who deny access to Tibet to U.S. government officials, journalists and other citizens. While the Chinese announcement primarily focuses on boosting tourism in the area, the decision could stem from increased U.S. pressure on the matter.
Background: Tourism accounts for more than one-third of the local Tibetan government's revenue. Beijing significantly tightened security in the region in recent years after a series of riots and incidents of self-immolation. Foreigners are generally required to obtain a special permit to visit the region.
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