Richard Gere to testify on Capitol Hill Thursday

A longtime Buddhist, Gere has starred in scores of hit movies, as well as a few flops (“Nights in Rodanthe”?). But throughout his career, his advocacy on behalf of occupied Tibet hasn’t wavered.

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To wit, Gere will testify Thursday morning before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the status of the Tibetan Policy Act (TPA), which was signed into law in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush. 

The act recognized Tibet as an occupied nation, rather than a region of China, and it’s been a sticking point in U.S.-Chinese relations ever since. In 2008, the House reaffirmed the TPA by a vote of 413-1.

Gere’s testimony will likely represent a bright spot in an otherwise depressing hearing: Alongside Tibet, agenda items include human rights in Myanmar and North Korea — or, more specifically, the lack thereof.