Tibetan sovereignty debate

Tibetan sovereignty debate

The Tibetan sovereignty debate refers to two political debates. The first is whether the various territories within the People's Republic of China that are claimed as political Tibet should separate and become a new sovereign state. Many of the points in the debate rest on a second debate, about whether Tibet was independent or subordinate to China in certain parts of its recent history.


View of the Chinese Governments

A most general map, including China, Chinese Tartary, and Tibet, based on individual maps of the Jesuit fathers.
Political map of Asia in 1890, showing Tibet as part of China (Qing Dynasty). The map was published in the Meyers Konversations-Lexikon in Leipzig in 1892.
A Rand McNally map appended to the 1914 edition of The New Student's Reference Work shows Tibet as part of the Republic of China. The Chinese government insists that Tibet's political subordination to the Chinese nation predates the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
The UN map of the world in 1945,[1] shows Tibet and Taiwan as part of China (The People's Republic of China was founded in 1949). However, this presentation does not correspond to any opinion of the UN[2]

The government of the China contends that it has had control over Tibet since the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368).[3]

The government of the Republic of China, which ruled mainland China from 1912 until 1949 and now controls Taiwan, had a cabinet-level Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission in charge of the administration of Tibet and Mongolia regions from 1912. The commission retained its cabinet level status after 1949, but no longer executes that function.[citation needed] On 10 May 1943, Chiang Kai-shek asserted that "Tibet is part of Chinese territory... No foreign nation is allowed to interfere in our domestic affairs".[4] He again declared in 1946 that the Tibetans were Chinese.[5] The Republic of China still claims sovereignty over Tibet and Mongolia in its constitution.

In the late 19th century, China adopted the Western model of nation-state diplomacy. As the government of Tibet, China concluded several treaties (1876,1886,1890,1893) with British India touching on the status, boundaries and access to Tibet.[6] Chinese government sources consider this a sign of sovereignty rather than suzerainty. However, by the 20th century British India found the treaties to be ineffective due to China's weakened control over the Tibetan local government. The British invaded Tibet in 1904 and forced the signing of a separate treaty, directly with the Tibetan government in Lhasa. In 1906, an Anglo-Chinese Convention was signed at Peking between Great Britain and China. It incorporated the 1904 Lhasa Convention (with modification), which was attached as Annex.[6][7] A treaty between Britain and Russia (1907) followed.[8] Article II of this treaty stated that "In conformity with the admitted principle of the suzerainty of China over Tibet, Great Britain and Russia engage not to enter into negotiations with Tibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese Government." China sent troops into Tibet in 1908. The result of the policy of both Great Britain and Russia has been the virtual annexation of Tibet by China.[6] China controlled Tibet up to 1912. Thereafter, Tibet entered the period described commonly as de facto independence, though it was not recognized by any country as enjoying de jure independence. (See below)

Legal arguments based on historical status

The position of the People's Republic of China, which has ruled mainland China since 1949, as well as the official position of the Republic of China, which ruled mainland China before 1949 and currently controls Taiwan,[9] is that Tibet has been an indivisible part of China de jure since the Yuan Dynasty of Mongol-ruled China in the 13th century,[10] comparable to other states such as the Kingdom of Dali and the Tangut Empire that were also incorporated into the Middle Kingdom at the time. The PRC contends that according to the Succession of states theory in international law all subsequent Chinese governments (Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty, ROC and PRC) have succeeded the Yuan Dynasty in exercising de jure sovereignty and de facto power over Tibet.

Unique ethnicity

According to the current government, successive Chinese governments have recognized Tibet as having its own unique culture and language; however, they believe that this situation does not necessarily argue in favor of its independence, because China has over 56 unique ethnic groups and is one of many multi-national states in the world.

De facto independence

The ROC government had no effective control over Tibet from 1912 to 1951; however, in the opinion of the Chinese government, this condition does not represent Tibet's independence as many other parts of China also enjoyed de facto independence when the Chinese nation was torn by warlordism, Japanese invasion, and civil war.[11] Goldstein explains what is meant by de facto independence in the following statement:

...[Britain] instead adopted a policy based on the idea of autonomy for Tibet within the context of Chinese suzerainty, that is to say, de facto independence for Tibet in the context of token subordination to China. Britain articulated this policy in the Simla Convention of 1914.[12]

While at times the Tibetans were fiercely independent-minded, at other times, Tibet indicated its willingness to accept subordinate status as part of China provided that Tibetan internal systems were left untouched and China relinquished control over a number of important ethnic Tibetan groups in Kham and Amdo.[13][14] China insists that during this period the ROC government continued to maintain sovereignty over Tibet. The Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China (1912) stipulated that Tibet was a province of the Republic of China. Provisions concerning Tibet in the Constitution of the Republic of China promulgated later all stress the inseparability of Tibet from Chinese territory, and the Central Government of China exercise of sovereignty in Tibet.[15][16][17][18] In 1927, the Commission in Charge of Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs[19] of the Chinese Government contained members of great influence in the Mongolian and Tibetan areas, such as the 13th Dalai Lama, the 9th Panchen Lama and other Tibetan government representatives.[15] In 1934, on his condolence mission for the demise of the Dalai Lama, the Chinese General Huang Musong posted notices in Chinese and Tibetan throughout Lhasa that alluded to Tibet as an integral part of China while expressing the utmost reverence for the Dalai Lama and the Buddhist religion.[20]

The 9th Panchen Lama traditionally ruled over one-third of Tibet.[21] On 1 February 1925, the Panchen Lama attended the preparatory session of the "National Reconstruction Meeting" (Shanhou huiyi) meant to identify ways and means of unifying the Chinese nation, and gave a speech about achieving the unification of five nationalities, including Tibetans, Mongolians and Han Chinese. In 1933, he called upon the Mongols to national unity and to obey the Chinese Government to resist Japanese invasion. In February 1935 the Chinese government appointed Panchen Lama "Special Cultural Commissioner for the Western Regions" and assigned him 500 Chinese troops.[22] He spent much of his time teaching and preaching Buddhist doctrines - including the principles of unity and pacification for the border regions - extensively in inland China, outside of Tibet, from 1924 until 1 December 1937, when he died on his way back to Tibet under the protection of Chinese troops.[23]

During the Sino-Tibetan War, the warlords Ma Bufang and Liu Wenhui jointly attacked and defeated invading Tibetan forces.[24]

The Kuomintang government sought to portray itself as necessary to validate the choice of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama. When the current (14th) Dalai Lama was installed in Lhasa, it was with an armed escort of Chinese troops and an attending Chinese minister. Alastair Lamb comments on contemporary news reports of the installation ceremony,

the impression conveyed to the world at large, duly reported in the Calcutta Statesman and The Times of London, for example, was that the Chinese were somehow essential to the recognition of the legitimate Dalai Lama. The Calcutta Statesman...declared...that Mr. Wu had conducted the Dalai Lama to his throne, and read out a proclamation, and that the Dalai Lama had made obeisance towards Peking.[15][21][25][26][27]

The Chinese Muslim General Ma Fuxiang, the chairman of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission stated that Tibet was an integral part of the Republic of China.

Our Party [the Guomindang] takes the development of the weak and small and resistance to the strong and violent as our sole and most urgent task. This is even more true for those groups which are not of our kind [Ch. fei wo zulei zhe]. Now the peoples [minzu] of Mongolia and Tibet are closely related to us, and we have great affection for one another: our common existence and common honor already have a history of over a thousand years.... Mongolia and Tibet's life and death are China's life and death. China absolutely cannot cause Mongolia and Tibet to break away from China's territory, and Mongolia and Tibet cannot reject China to become independent. At this time, there is not a single nation on earth except China that will sincerely develop Mongolia and Tibet."[28]

The Muslim Kuomintang General Bai Chongxi said that the Tibetans suffered under British repression, and he called upon the Republic of China to assist them in expelling the British.[29]

According to Yu Shiyu, during China's resistance war against Japanese invasion, Chiang Kai-shek ordered the Chinese Muslim General Ma Bufang, Governor of Qinghai (1937–1949), to repair the Yushu airport at Qinghai Province to deter Tibetan independence.[30] In May 1943, Chiang warned that Tibet must accept and follow the instructions and orders of the Central Government, that they must agree and help to build the Chinese-India [war-supply] road, and that they must maintain direct communications with the Office of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC) in Lhasa and not through the newly established "Foreign Office" of Tibet. He sternly warned that he would "send an air force to bomb Tibet immediately" should Tibet be found to be collaborating with Japan.[4]

Official Communications between Lhasa and Chiang Kai-shek's government was through MTAC, not the "Foreign Office", until July 1949 just before the Communists' final victory in the civil war. The presence of MTAC in Lhasa was viewed by both Nationalist and Communist governments as an assertion of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.[31]

Throughout the Kuomintang years, no country gave Tibet diplomatic recognition.[32]

Regarding Tibet’s assertion of its independence status before its "invasion" by People's Liberation Army, Goldstein documents the response of the India Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nehru, 8 September 1950:

Nehru responded bluntly: "The Government of India will continue the policy of the British period in considering Tibet outwardly a part of China but internally independent... ["Shakabpa wrote 'internally independent' but Nehru certainly said 'internally autonomous'," according to Goldstein in footnote 86, and the Tibetans' response following]." The Tibetans replied: "Because Tibet is independent please do not talk about 'internal autonomy' under China..." Nehru was a bit irritated by this and reply sharply to the Tibetans that it was not enough to speak about Tibet independence: such status had to be proved according to the law. [And Nehru rejected the Tibetan’s legal reasoning based on alleged "separate treaty" between Britain and Tibet in the Simla Convention of 1914. Nehru then replied to the Tibetans]: "There is no separate treaty like this and China never accepted the Simla Convention. The Chinese believe that Tibet is a part of China. Tibet thinks that because China didn’t accept Simla, it is independent but at that time Tibet did not make any clear decision. That was a mistake. And later when you had the time and the opportunity to do something [about "independence"] you did nothing and this was a mistake. During this period China has been very clever and have proclaimed widely in the internationally community that Tibet is part of China...[33]
Nehru advised the [Tibetan Yatung delegation who were about to negotiate with Beijing in April 1951] to admit that Tibet was a part of China, since it was seen as such in the eyes of the world. He also told them they would probably have to agree to Chinese control over Tibet's foreign relations...[34]

More recently the position of the Republic of China with regard to Tibet appeared to have changed as was stated in the following opening speech to the International Symposium on Human Rights in Tibet on 8 September 2007 through the pro-Taiwan independence then ROC President Chen Shui-bian:[35]

The relationship between Taiwan and Tibet is a delicate one. Historically speaking, there had been little contact between the two sides until the Kuomintang (KMT) government moved to Taiwan. As the KMT viewed Tibet as a part of the Republic of China, Taiwan was thereby indirectly linked to Tibet. However, such a relationship has never received wide acknowledgement among Taiwanese or Tibetans. As more and more Taiwanese people now recognize that the territory of their country covers only such islands as Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu, they also are increasingly aware that Tibet has never been a part of their country.
During the inauguration conference of the Taiwan-Tibet Exchange Foundation in 2003, I announced our new policy and emphasized that the Taiwan government will no longer treat people of the Tibetan government-in-exile as Chinese people. Instead, we will handle our relations with Tibet and China separately under this fresh perspective on our relations with Tibet. Our new policy has helped resolve many problems troubling the exchanges between the peoples of Taiwan and Tibet over the years.
Today, Tibet and Taiwan share a common plight due to intimidation from a hegemonic China. That is why Taiwan's 23 million people can empathize with the suffering Tibetan people. It is because we understand the feelings of the Tibetans that we firmly support them and wish them the best in their pursuit of self-determination. We also unreservedly respect any decision the Dalai Lama makes on the future of Tibet. I sincerely hope that closer cooperation can be fostered between Taiwan and the Tibetan government-in-exile, and that we can support and encourage each other's quest for freedom, peace, and human rights.

Foreign interventions

Finally, the PRC considers all pro-independence movements aimed at ending Chinese sovereignty in Tibet, including British attempts to establish control in the late 19th century and early 20th century,[36] the CIA's backing of Tibetan insurgents during the 1950s and 1960s,[37][38] and the Government of Tibet in Exile today, as one long campaign abetted by "Western imperialism" aimed at destroying Chinese territorial integrity and sovereignty, or destabilizing China.[39]

Shen Jirao writes on China Tibet Information Center website:

From 1913 to 1914, China was forced to send delegates to attend the tripartite conference at Simla...the British attempted to divide the areas inhabited by the Tibetans into "outer Tibet" which was Tibet, and "inner Tibet" which was composed of areas inhabited by the Tibetans in the four provinces neighboring Tibet. China would administer "inner Tibet" for the time being, but refrain from meddling with the affairs of "outer Tibet" which would follow the system of autonomy. The British controlled "outer Tibet" in a short period of time, and those who stood for "Tibetan independence" lauded the British occupation as "Tibetan autonomy" and even a period of "Tibetan independence"... A British Foreign Office's report titled Tibet and the Issue on China's "Suzerainty", issued in March 1943, proposed depriving China of its suzerainty over Tibet. Fearing that China would resort to force, the British Foreign Office consulted with the Indian Affairs Office and backed out of the plan.[40]

Until 2008 the British position remained the same that China held suzerainty over Tibet but not sovereignty. It was the only state still to hold this view which it revised on 29 October 2008, when the British Foreign Office recognised Chinese sovereignty over Tibet by issuing a statement on its website. The Economist stated that although the Foreign Office's website does not use the word sovereignty, officials at the Foreign Office said "it means that, as far as Britain is concerned, 'Tibet is part of China. Full stop.' "[41]

Tibetologist Melvyn C. Goldstein writes about CIA involvement in Tibet leading up to the uprising against Chinese rule in the 1950s:

Moreover, by 1956 the U.S. was encouraging the anti-Chinese faction, and in 1957, actually started to train and arm Tibetan guerrillas. Mao... reduced the number of Han cadre and troops in Tibet...the [1959] Tibetan rebellion also failed dismally...The CIA subsequently assisted the guerrillas in establishing a safe-haven base of operations in northern Nepal...[42]
A case can be made that U.S. active involvement in the 1950s, particularly from 1956, played a significantly role in destabilizing Tibet and inadvertently fostering the uprising in 1959...[43]

The New York Times commented on the American policy during the 1960s:

The decade-long covert program to support the Tibetan independence movement was part of the C.I.A.'s worldwide effort to undermine Communist governments, particularly in the Soviet Union and China.[37]

The American sinologist Tom Grunfeld writes that during The Cold War:

From exile, the Dalai Lama oversaw refugee resettlement and guerrilla warfare—although he officially renounced all violence. CIA support encouraged insurgent Tibetans to continue their war for independence, but the CIA was more interested in harassing communist China than in promoting Tibetan independence.[44]

And after the Cold War:

While officially recognizing Tibet as part of China, the U.S. Congress and White House unofficially encourage the campaign for independence. The support for this program was first provided by the CIA and later by the NED (National Endowment for Democracy).([44]

Much of the NED's fund goes to Tibet independence support groups. This democracy promotion invites suspicion. According to Michael Barker:

the NEDs first acting president, observed that in fact “A lot of what we [the NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA”...it appears that the NED was envisaged by US foreign policy elites to be a more suitable way to provide strategic funding to nongovernmental organizations than via covert CIA funding...Barker (2006) has illustrated the NED’s anti-democratic involvement in facilitating and manipulating the ‘colour revolutions’ which recently swept across Eastern Europe...the NED’s activities are intimately linked with those of the CIA. This article has demonstrated the close ties that exist between the Dalai Lama’s non-violent campaign for Tibetan independence and U.S. foreign policy elites who are actively supporting Tibetan causes through the NED...the overwhelmingly anti-democratic nature of the NED can only weaken the legitimacy of the claims of any group associated with the NED.[45]

F. William Engdahl[46] writes:

Washington has obviously decided on an ultra-high risk geopolitical game with Beijing's by fanning the flames of violence in Tibet just at this sensitive time in their relations and on the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. It's part of an escalating strategy of destabilization of China which has been initiated by the Bush Administration over the past months, and which includes the attempt to ignite an anti-China Saffron Revolution in the neighboring Myanmar region...The background actors in the Tibet actions confirm that Washington has been working overtime in recent months to prepare another of its infamous Color Revolutions...As in the other recent Color Revolutions... the US Government is fanning the flames of destabilization against China by funding opposition protest organizations inside and outside Tibet through its arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)...In short, US State Department and US intelligence community finger prints are all over the upsurge around the Free Tibet movement and the attacks of March...and NED operations embodied a series of 'democratic' or soft coup projects as part of a larger strategy which would strategically cut China off from access to its vital external oil and gas reserves.[47]

Tom Grunfeld also writes:

U.S. public diplomacy skirts the independence issue, focusing on criticism of human rights abuses. Yet recent concessions and overtures to the Tibet Lobby are seen as evidence by CCP hard-line factions that Washington’s ultimate goal is to fracture China.[44]

Human rights

Genocide charges

Groups such as the Madrid-based Committee to Support Tibet claim the death toll in Tibet since the 1950 People's Liberation Army invasion of Tibet to be 1,200,000 and have filed official charges of genocide against prominent Chinese leaders and officials.[48] This figure has been disputed by Patrick French, a supporter of the Tibetan cause who was able to view the data and calculations,[49][50] but rather, concludes a no less devastating death toll of half a million people as a direct result of Chinese policies.[51]

Other rights

(See Serfdom in Tibet controversy, Social classes of Tibet and Human rights in Tibet.)

The PRC argues that the Tibetan authority under successive Dalai Lamas was also itself a human rights violator. The old society, say the Chinese government and its supporters, was a serfdom and, according to reports of an early English explorer, had remnants of "a very mild form of slavery" prior to the 13th Dalai Lama's reforms of 1913.[52]

Tibetologist Robert Barnett wrote about clerical resistance to the introduction of anything Anti-Buddhist that might disturb the prevailing power structure. Clergy obstructed modernization attempts by the 13th Dalai Lama.[53]

Old Tibet had a long history of persecuting non-Buddhist Christians. In the years 1630 and 1742, Tibetan Christian communities were suppressed by the lamas of the Gelugpa Sect, whose chief lama was the Dalai Lama. Jesuit priests were made prisoners in 1630 or attacked before they reached Tsaparang. Between 1850 and 1880, eleven fathers of the Paris Foreign Mission Society were murdered in Tibet, or killed or injured during their journeys to other missionary outposts in the Sino-Tibetan borderlands. In 1881 Father Brieux was reported to have been murdered on his way to Lhasa. Qing officials later discovered that the murder cases were in fact covertly supported and even orchestrated by local lamaseries and their patrons—the native chieftains. In 1904, Qing official Feng Quan sought to curtail the influence of the Gelugpa Sect and ordered the protection of Western missionaries and their churches. Indignation over Feng Quan and the Christian presence escalated to a climax in March 1905, when thousands of the Batang lamas revolted, killing Feng, his entourage, local Manchu and Han Chinese officials, and the local French Catholic priests. The revolt soon spread to other cities in eastern Tibet, such as Chamdo, Litang and Nyarong, and at one point almost spilled over into neighboring Sichuan Province. The missionary stations and churches in these areas were burned and destroyed by the angry Gelugpa monks and local chieftains. Dozens of local Westerners, including at least four priests, were killed or fatally wounded. The scale of the rebellion was so tremendous that only when panicked Qing authorities hurriedly sent 2,000 troops from Sichuan to pacify the mobs did the revolt gradually come to an end. The lamasery authorities and local native chieftains' hostility towards the Western missionaries in Tibet lingered through the last throes of the Manchu dynasty and into the Republican period.[6][54][55]

Three UN resolutions of 1959, 1961, and 1965 condemned human rights violation in Tibet. These resolutions were passed at a time when the PRC was not permitted to become a member and of course was not allowed to present its singular version of events in the region (however, the Republic of China on Taiwan, which the PRC also tries to claim sovereignty over, was a member of the UN at the time, and it equally claimed sovereignty over Tibet and opposed Tibetan self-determination). Sinologist Grunfeld called the resolutions impractical and justified the PRC in ignoring them.[56]

Grunfeld questioned Human Rights Watch reports on human rights abuses in Tibet, saying they distorted the big picture.[44]

According to Barnett, since Western powers and especially the United States used the Tibet issue in the 1950s and 1960s for cold war political purposes, the PRC is now able to get support from developing countries in defeating the last nine attempts at the United Nations to criticize China. Barnett writes that the position of the Chinese in Tibet would be more accurately characterized as a colonial occupation, and that such an approach might cause developing nations to be more supportive of the Tibetan cause.[57]

The Chinese government ignores the issue of its alleged violations of Tibetan human rights, and prefers to argue that the invasion was about territorial integrity and unity of the State.[58] Furthermore, Tibetan activists inside Tibet have until recently focused on independence, not human rights.[59]

Leaders of the Tibetan Youth Congress which claims 30,000 over members [60] are alleged by China to advocate violence. In 1998, Barnett wrote that India's military includes 10,000 Tibetans, causing China some unease; and that "at least seven bombs exploded in Tibet between 1995 and 1997, one of them laid by a monk, and a significant number of individual Tibetans are known to be actively seeking the taking up of arms; hundreds of Chinese soldiers and police have been beaten during demonstrations in Tibet, and at least one killed in cold blood, probably several more."[53]

Chinadaily.com reported on the discovery of weapons subsequent to the protests by peaceful Buddhists monks on March 14, 2008: "Police in Lhasa seized more than 100 guns, tens of thousands of bullets, several thousand kilograms of explosives and tens of thousands of detonators, acting on reports from lamas and ordinary people."[60]

And on 23 March 2008, there was a bombing incident in the Qambo prefecture.[61]


While the earliest ROC constitutional documents already claim Tibet as part of China, Chinese political leaders also acknowledged the principle of self-determination. For example, at a party conference in 1924, Kuomintang leader Sun Yat-sen issued a statement calling for the right of self-determination of all Chinese ethnic groups: "The Kuomintang can state with solemnity that it recognizes the right of self-determination of all national minorities in China and it will organize a free and united Chinese republic."[62] In 1931, the CCP issued a constitution for the short-lived Chinese Soviet Republic which states that Tibetans and other ethnic minorities, "may either join the Union of Chinese Soviets or secede from it."[63][64] It is notable that China was in a state of civil war at the time and that the "Chinese Soviets" only represents a faction. Saying that Tibet may secede from the "Chinese Soviets" does not mean that it can secede from China. The quote above is merely a statement of Tibetans' freedom to choose their political orientation. The possibility of complete secession was denied by Communist leader Mao Zedong in 1938: "They must have the right to self-determination and at the same time they should continue to unite with the Chinese people to form one nation".[64] This policy was codified in PRC's first constitution which, in Article 3, reaffirmed China as a "single multi-national state," while the "national autonomous areas are inalienable parts".[64] The Chinese government insists that the United Nations documents, which codifies the principle of self-determination, provides that the principle shall not be abused in disrupting territorial integrity: "Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations...."[65]


The PRC also points to what it claims are the autocratic, oppressive and theocratic policies of the government of Tibet before 1959, its toleration of existence of serfdom and slaves,[52] its renunciation of South Tibet (Arunachal Pradesh) which China regards as occupied by India, and its association with India and other foreign countries, and as such claims the Government of Tibet in Exile has no legitimacy to govern Tibet and no credibility or justification in criticizing PRC's policies.

The People's Liberation Army's march into Tibet in 1951 was not without the support of a handful of Tibetan people, including the 10th Panchen Lama. Ian Buruma writes:

...It is often forgotten that many Tibetans, especially educated people in the larger towns, were so keen to modernize their society in the mid-20th century that they saw the Chinese communists as allies against rule by monks and serf-owning landlords. The Dalai Lama himself, in the early 1950s, was impressed by Chinese reforms and wrote poems praising Chairman Mao.[5]

Instances have been documented when the PRC government gained support from a portion of the Tibetan population, including monastic leaders,[66] monks,[67] nobility[68][69] and ordinary Tibetans[68] prior to the crackdown in the 1959 uprising. The PRC government and some Tibetan leaders[66] characterize PLA's operation as a peaceful liberation of Tibetans from a "feudal serfdom system."(和平解放西藏).[70][71]

When Tibet complained to the United Nations through El Salvador about Chinese "invasion" in November 1950—after China captured Chamdo (or Qamdo) when Tibet failed to respond by the deadline to China's demand for negotiation--[72] members debated about it but refused to admit the "Tibet Question" into the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly. Key stakeholder India told the General Assembly that "the Peking Government had declared that it had not abandoned its intention to settle the difficulties by peaceful means", and that "the Indian Government was certain that the Tibet Question could still be settled by peaceful means". The Russian delegate said that "China's sovereignty over Tibet had been recognized for a long time by the United Kingdom, the United States, and the U.S.S.R." The United Nations postponed this matter on the pretext Tibet was officially an "autonomous nationality region belonging to territorial China", and because the outlook of peaceful settlement seemed good.[73][74]

Subsequently, The Agreement Between the Central Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Method for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, also known as Seventeen-Point Agreement, was signed between delegates of China and Tibet on 23 May 1951. The Dalai Lama,despite the massive Chinese military presence, had ample time and opportunity to repudiate and denounce the Seventeen-Point Agreement. He was encouraged and instigated to do so with promise of public but not military support by the US, which by now had become hostile to Communist-ruled China.[75]

On May 29, the 10th Panchen Erdeni (i.e. 10th Panchen Lama) and the Panchen Kampus Assembly made a formal statement, expressing their heartfelt support for the agreement. The statement indicated their resolution to guarantee the correct implementation of the agreement and to realize solidarity between the different ethnic groups of China and ethnic solidarity among the Tibetans; and on May 30, the 10th Panchen Erdeni telegrammed the 14th Dalai Lama, expressing his hope for unity and his vow to support the 14th Dalai Lama and the government of Tibet with the implementation of the agreement under the guidance of the Central Government and Chairman Mao.[76]

The Agreement was finally accepted by Tibet's National Assembly, which then advised the Dalai Lama to accept it. Finally, on 24 October 1951, the Dalai Lama dispatched a telegram to Mao Zedong:

The Tibet Local Government as well as the ecclesiastic and secular People unanimously support this agreement, and under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Central People's Government, will actively support the People's Liberation Army in Tibet to consolidate defence, drive out imperialist influences from Tibet and safeguard the unification of the territory and sovereignty of the Motherland.[77]

On 28 October 1951, the Panchen Rinpoche [i.e. Panchen Lama] made a similar public statement accepting the agreement. He urged the "people of Shigatse to give active support" to carrying out the agreement.[78]

Tsering Shakya writes about the general acceptance of the Tibetans toward the Seventeen-Point Agreement, and its legal significance:

The most vocal supporters of the agreement came from the monastic community...As a result many Tibetans were willing to accept the agreement....Finally there were strong factions in Tibet who felt that the agreement was acceptable...this section was led by the religious community...In the Tibetans' view their independence was not a question of international legal status, but as Dawa Norbu writes, "Our sense of independence was based on the independence of our way of life and culture, which was more real to the unlettered masses than law or history, canons by which the non-Tibetans decide the fate of Tibet...This was the first formal agreement between Tibet and Communist China and it established the legal basis for Chinese rule in Tibet." [78]

Thus, the People's Liberation Army marched into Tibet peacefully following the signing of the Seventeen Point Agreement.

View of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile

Flag of Tibet between 1912 and 1950. This version was introduced by the 13th Dalai Lama in 1912.[79] It sports two Snowlions amongst other elements and still continues to be used by the Government of Tibet in Exile, but is outlawed in the People's Republic of China.

In 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet and established a government in exile at Dharamsala in northern India. This group claims sovereignty over various ethnically or historically Tibetan areas now governed by China. Aside from the Tibet Autonomous Region, an area that was administered directly by the Dalai Lama's government until 1951, the group also claims Amdo (Qinghai) and eastern Kham (western Sichuan).[80] About 45 percent of ethnic Tibetans under Chinese rule live in the Tibet Autonomous Region, according to the 2000 census. Prior to 1949, much of Amdo and eastern Kham were governed by local rulers and even warlords.[citation needed]

A proclamation issued by 13th Dalai Lama in 1913 states, "During the time of Genghis Khan and Altan Khan of the Mongols, the Ming dynasty of the Chinese, and the Qing Dynasty of the Manchus, Tibet and China cooperated on the basis of benefactor and priest relationship." The relationship did not imply "subordination of one to the other." He condemned the Chinese authorities for attempting to colonize Tibetan territory in 1910–12. "We are a small, religious, and independent nation," the proclamation states.[81]

The view of the current Dalai Lama is as follows:

During the 5th Dalai Lama's time [1617–1682], I think it was quite evident that we were a separate sovereign nation with no problems. The 6th Dalai Lama [1683–1706] was spiritually pre-eminent, but politically, he was weak and uninterested. He could not follow the 5th Dalai Lama's path. This was a great failure. So, then the Chinese influence increased. During this time, the Tibetans showed quite a deal of respect to the Chinese. But even during these times, the Tibetans never regarded Tibet as a part of China. All the documents were very clear that China, Mongolia and Tibet were all separate countries. Because the Chinese emperor was powerful and influential, the small nations accepted the Chinese power or influence. You cannot use the previous invasion as evidence that Tibet belongs to China. In the Tibetan mind, regardless of who was in power, whether it was the Manchus, the Mongols or the Chinese, the east of Tibet was simply referred to as China. In the Tibetan mind, India and China were treated the same; two separate countries.[82]

The International Commission of Jurists concluded that from 1913 to 1950 Tibet demonstrated the conditions of statehood as generally accepted under international law. In the opinion of the commission, the government of Tibet conducted its own domestic and foreign affairs free from any outside authority, and countries with whom Tibet had foreign relations are shown by official documents to have treated Tibet in practice as an independent State.[83][84]

The United Nations General Assembly passed resolutions urging respect for the rights of Tibetans in 1959,[85] 1961[86] and 1965.[87] The 1961 resolution asserts that "principle of self-determination of peoples and nations" applies to the Tibetan people.

The Tibetan Government in Exile views current PRC rule in Tibet as colonial and illegitimate, motivated solely by the natural resources and strategic value of Tibet, and in gross violation of both Tibet's historical status as an independent country and the right of Tibetan people to self-determination. It also points to PRC's autocratic policies, divide-and-rule policies, and what it contends are assimilationist policies, and regard those as an example of ongoing imperialism aimed at destroying Tibet's distinct ethnic makeup, culture, and identity, thereby cementing it as an indivisible part of China. That said, the Dalai Lama has recently stated that he wishes only for Tibetan autonomy, and not separation from China, under certain democratic conditions, like freedom of speech and expression and genuine self-rule.

Tibetan passports

The passport

In 2003, an old Tibetan passport was rediscovered in Nepal by Tibet independence supporters.[88] Issued by the 13th Dalai Lama to Tibet's finance minister (Tsepon Shakabpa) for foreign travel, the passport was a single piece of pink paper, complete with photograph, and had visas issued by many countries, including Britain. It has a message in typed English and hand-written Tibetan, similar to the message by the nominal issuing officers of today's passports. There is no Chinese on the passport, but two stamps could be official Chinese seals, or they could be Chinese entry stamps.[89] However, acceptance of a passport does not indicate recognition of independence, as for example the Republic of China passport is accepted by almost all the countries of the world, even though very few of them recognize the ROC as independent.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy said it was not clear if the passport was genuine since experts had not examined it.

Third-party views

During the Tang Dynasty of China, Tibet and China frequently warred. Parts of Tibet were temporarily captured by the Chinese and became territories of the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD).[90] Around 650, the Chinese even captured Lhasa.[91][92][93][93] In 763, Tibet reversed this situation and briefly took the Chinese capital of Chang'an [90] during the Chinese Tang civil war.

Most scholars outside the PRC say that during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), Tibet was de facto independent while Ming nominal suzerainty remained.[94] According to historian Zahiruddin Ahmad, since the 18th century, when the Qing Government was setting up its local government structure and promulgated laws for the governing, Beijing had, in the words of a foreign missionary, "absolute dominion over Tibet".[95] Other western scholars agree that since the mid-18th century China had control over Tibet[96] Luciano Petech, a scholar of Himalayan history, writes:

In 1751 the organization of the protectorate took its final shape, which it maintained, except for some modifications in 1792, till its end in 1912. The ambans were given rights of control and supervision and since 1792 also a direct participation in the Tibetan government.[97]

Tibetologist Melvyn C. Goldstein writes that Britain and Russia formally acknowledged Chinese authority over Tibet in treaties of 1906 and 1907; and that the British invasion of Tibet stirred China into getting more directly involved in Tibetan affairs and working to integrate Tibet with "the rest of China."[98]

Barnett observes that there is no document before 1950 in which Tibet explicitly recognizes Chinese sovereignty, and considers Tibet subordination to China (in the periods when China had most authority) comparable to that of a colony.[53]

F. Spencer Chapman questions the validity of China's purported authority in deposing the Dalai Lama twice in the early 20th century, noting that, at the same time China "deposed" the 13th Dalai Lama, it made claims not only over Tibet, but also over Nepal and Bhutan.[99]

The "Patron-Priest" relationship (Tibetan: chöyönWylie: mchod-yon) held between the Chinese court and the Tibetan lamas has been subjected to varying interpretation. The 13th Dalai Lama, for example, knelt, but did not kowtow, before the Empress Dowager and the young Emperor while he delivered his petition in Beijing. Chinese sources emphasize the submission of kneeling; Tibetan sources emphasize the lack of the kowtow. Titles and commands given to Tibetans by the Chinese, likewise, are variously interpreted. The Chinese gave the 13th Dalai Lama the title of "Loyally Submissive Vice-Regent", and ordered to follow China's commands and communicate with the Emperor only through the Chinese Amban in Lhasa; but opinions vary as to whether these titles and commands reflected actual political power, or symbolic gestures ignored by Tibetans.[100][101] The kneeling before the Emperor followed the 17th-century precedent in the case of the 5th Dalai Lama.[102]

Thomas Heberer, professor of political science and East Asian studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, wrote: "No country in the world has ever recognized the independence of Tibet or declared that Tibet is an 'occupied country'. For all countries in the world, Tibet is Chinese territory."[103] However, in 1991, United States President Bush signed a State Department Authorization Act that explicitly called Tibet "an occupied country", and identified the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile as "Tibet's true representatives".[104]

Other tibetologists write that no country publicly accepts Tibet as an independent state,[105][106][107][108] although there are several instances of government officials appealing to their superiors to do so.[109][110] Treaties signed by Britain and Russia in the early years of the 20th century,[6][111] and others signed by Nepal and India in the 1950s,[112] recognized Tibet's political subordination to China. The Americans presented their view on 15 May 1943:

For its part, the Government of the United States has borne in mind the fact that...the Chinese constitution lists Tibet among areas constituting the territory of the Republic of China. This Government has at no time raised a question regarding either of these claims.[44][113]

The 1994 U.S. State Department report to Congress declares:

Historically the U.S. has acknowledged Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Since at least 1966, U.S. policy has explicitly recognized the Tibet Autonomous Region...as part of the People’s Republic of China. This long-standing policy is consistent with the view of the entire international community, including all China’s neighbors: no country recognizes Tibet as a sovereign state. Because we do not recognize Tibet as an independent state, the U.S. does not conduct diplomatic relations with the self-styled 'Tibetan government-in-exile'.[114]

The US government recognizes Tibet as part of China, but the US Congress has at times expressed a different perspective, calling Tibet an occupied country.[115]

The latest US official statement on Tibet being part of China came from President Obama to Chinese President Hu Jintao during his State visit to Beijing in November 2009.[116][117]

In 2008, European Union leader Jose Manuel Barroso stated that the EU recognized Tibet as integral part of China:[118][119]

I have confirmed that the EU is attached to the territorial integrity and unity of China, and that naturally applies to Tibet [120]

In October, 2008, the British government clarified their official position on Tibet's status:

Our ability to get our points across has sometimes been clouded by the position the UK took at the start of the 20th century on the status of Tibet, a position based on the geopolitics of the time. Our recognition of China’s “special position” in Tibet developed from the outdated concept of suzerainty. Some have used this to cast doubt on the aims we are pursuing and to claim that we are denying Chinese sovereignty over a large part of its own territory. We have made clear to the Chinese Government, and publicly, that we do not support Tibetan independence. Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China.[121]

Until 2008 the British Government's position remained the same, that China held suzerainty over Tibet, which might imply full or less-than-full sovereignty. It was the only state still to hold this view.[41] David Miliband, then the British Foreign Secretary, described the old position as an anachronism originating in the geopolitics of the early 20th century.[122] Britain re-repackaged its view on 29 October 2008, when it recognised Chinese sovereignty over Tibet unambiguously by issuing a statement on its website.[123] The Economist stated that although the British Foreign Office's website does not use the word sovereignty, officials at the Foreign Office said "it means that, as far as Britain is concerned, 'Tibet is part of China. Full stop.'"[41]

The British Government sees their new stance as an updating of their position, while some others have viewed it as a major shift in the British position.[124] Tibetologist Robert Barnett thinks that the decision has wider implications. India’s claim to a part of its northeast territories, for example, is largely based on the same agreements — notes exchanged during the Simla convention of 1914, which set the boundary between India and Tibet — that the British appear to have just discarded.[125] It has been speculated that Britain's shift was made in exchange for China making greater contributions to the International Monetary Fund.[125][126][127]

However, as related by a pro-Tibet-independent website Britain has not changed its position at all, and had deprived Tibet's right to independence in 1959 at the United Nations. Secretary Milliband's statement was merely a "re-assemblage of its former position on Tibet".[128]

Britain has not suddenly taken a unilateral action to decide upon now recognising Tibet as being part of communist China. It is reasserting its position within a collective European framework, and even then Miliband employs a term (‘regard‘), no doubt chosen with minute attention to diplomatic meaning by his Foreign Offices advisers, that implies a previously held position, whilst leaving space for interpretation and manoeuvre, as opposed to ‘recognize’ which defines a more legal and final acceptance.[128]

Tibetologist Melvyn C. Goldstein also says that a 1943 British official letter "reconfirmed that Britain considered Tibet as part of China." [129]

Actually, Britain has explicitly "recognized" Chinese "sovereignty" over Tibet. In 1999 when Chinese President Jiang Zemin visited Britain, the spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated clearly and unambiguously that, "They [i.e. the Chinese] are well aware of our position on Tibet. We do recognize their sovereignty over it."[130]

On 1 April 2009, the French Government reaffirmed its position on the Tibet issue:

France fully appreciates the importance and sensitivity of the Tibet issue and reaffirms her adherence to the One China Policy and her position that Tibet is an integral part of Chinese territory, in conformity with the decision taken by General de Gaulle which has not changed and will not change. With this in mind and with due regard for the principle of non-interference, France objects to all support for Tibet’s independence in any form whatsoever.[131]

This lack of legal recognition of independence has forced even some strong supporters of the refugees to admit that:

...even today international legal experts sympathetic to the Dalai Lama's cause find it difficult to argue that Tibet ever technically established its independence of the Chinese Empire, imperial, or republican.[132]

On the other hand, in 1959 and 1960, the International Commission of Jurists evaluated in its studies the status of Tibet in international law:

The Commission feels that although, due to its peculiar history and local conditions, the international position of Tibet is difficult to appraise it is clear that Tibet has been to all intents and purposes an independent country and has enjoyed a large degree of sovereignty.[133]
Tibet demonstrated from 1913 to 1950 the conditions of statehood as generally accepted under international law.[134]

The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, gathered in Strasbourg to examine testimonies and arguments in November 1992, concluded that the Tibetans meet the legal criteria, generally accepted, of "a people" having the right of self-determination and "are therefore entitled to exercise the right to self- determination." The Tribunal concluded also that "the presence of the Chinese administration on Tibetan territory must be considered as foreign domination of the Tibetan people." The Tribunal also concluded that "the Tibetan people have from 1950 been, continuously, deprived of their right to self-determination."[135]

In January 1993, in London, a conference gathered 30 eminent international lawyers from many countries to consider issues of the right of self-determination of the Tibetan people. At the issue of their work, the participants concluded in a written statement that:[136]

  1. under international law the Tibetan people are entitled to the right to self-determination, that this right belongs to the Tibetan people and that it is not for the state apparatus of the PRC, or any other nation or state, to deny the Tibetan people's right to self-determination.
  2. since the military action of 1949-50, Tibet has been under the alien occupation and domination of the PRC and has been administered with the characteristics of an oppressive colonial administration.
  3. in the particular case of Tibet and having regard to its long history of separate existence, the Tibetan people's claim to self-determination, including independence, is compatible with the principles of national unity and territorial integrity of states.

Another view supported by a number of international groups, including the Free Tibet Campaign, is that Tibet should be granted total independence from China.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Image from a display at the UN building. See also:http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/english/htmain.htm United Nations Cartographic Section - The World in 1945, no. 4135 Rev.2 September 2009
  2. ^ The World in 1945, no. 4135 "The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or any area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers boundaries."
  3. ^ History of Tibet
  4. ^ a b The Issue of Tibet in China-US Relations During The Second World War
  5. ^ a b The last of the Tibetans By Ian Buruma
  6. ^ a b c d e The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIV. Published 1912: Tibet
  7. ^ Convention Between Great Britain and China Respecting Tibet (1906)
  8. ^ Convention Between Great Britain and Russia (1907)
  9. ^ For the PRC's position, see State Council's whitepaper Tibet - Its Ownership and Human Rights Situation, 1992 and Beijing Review's 100 Question about Tibet, 1989; for ROC's position, see Government Information Office's online publication
  10. ^ Grunfeld, A. Tom, Reassessing Tibet Policy, 2000 (also in PDF file)
  11. ^ Grunfeld, 1996, p256
  12. ^ A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p822
  13. ^ Goldstein, Melvyn C., A History of Modern Tibet: 1913-1951, 1989, pp 239-241, 248, 271
  14. ^ Grunfeld, A. Tom, The Making of Modern Tibet, M.E. Sharpe, 1996, p245, regarding Kham and Amdo: "The historical reality is that the Dalai Lamas have not ruled these outer areas since the mid-eighteenth century, and during the Simla Conference of 1913, the 13th Dalai Lama was even willing to sign away rights to them"
  15. ^ a b c History of Tibet
  16. ^ The Consistent Stand Taken by the Successive Chinese Central Governments towards the Sovereignty over Tibet after the Revolution of 1911
  17. ^ Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China, issued March, 1912; Constitution of the Republic of China, issued May, 1914; Provisional Constitution in the Political Tutelage Period of the Republic of China, issued June 1931
  18. ^ "Did Tibet Become an Independent Country after the Revolution of 1911?", China Internet Information Center
  19. ^ The History of Tibet By Alex McKay (ed), London: RoutledgeCurzon (2003) p.427,571
  20. ^ A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn C. Goldstein, 1989, p227
  21. ^ a b A Short History of Tibet by T.T. Moh
  22. ^ A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn C. Goldstein, 1989, p.263
  23. ^ McKay (ed), p419-431; Panchen Lama's speech about unification of five nationalities, p422; Panchen Lama preached resistance against Japanese, p425; Panchen Lama preached about principles of unity and peace for the border regions, p.429; under the protection Chinese troops, p.431
  24. ^ Richardson, Hugh E. (1984). Tibet and its History. 2nd Edition, pp. 134-136. Shambhala Publications, Boston. ISBN 0-87773-376-7 (pbk).
  25. ^ The History of Tibet By Alex McKay (ed), London: RoutledgeCurzon (2003) p571; "the coronation of the Dalai Lama"; the British representative Basil Gould there was not afforded the privilege to attend the installation ceremony; Note 2 on p.572
  26. ^ Wu Chung hsin walking towards a sedan chair "Information" of the photo: Richardson discusses Wu's mission to Lhasa in Tibet and Its History(2nd Ed.)Boston & London: Shambala (1984), "Wu also claimed that he personally conducted the enthronement and that, in gratitude, the Dalai Lama prostrated himself in the direction of Peking." (p. 154)
  27. ^ The Search for, and Installation of 5-Year-Old Tenzin Gyatso as the 14th Dalai Lama. Video No. 2 (in Chinese)
  28. ^ Jonathan Neaman Lipman (2004). Familiar strangers: a history of Muslims in Northwest China. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 167. ISBN 0-295-97644-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=90CN0vtxdY0C&pg=PA167&lpg=PA167&dq=ma+fuxiang+our+party#v=onepage&q=Our%20Party%20%5Bthe%20Guomindang%5D%20takes%20the%20development%20of%20the%20weak%20and%20small%20and%20resistance%20to%20the%20strong%20and%20violent%20as%20our%20sole%20and%20most%20urgent%20task.&f=false. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  29. ^ Diana Lary (1974). Region and nation: the Kwangsi clique in Chinese politics, 1925-1937. Cambridge University Press. p. 124. ISBN 0521202043. http://books.google.com/books?id=tCA9AAAAIAAJ&dq=accused+chiang+feudal&q=muslim#v=onepage&q=pai%20minority%20tibetans%20british%20foreign&f=false. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  30. ^ 奥运会、“藏独”和文化自信 Chinese article, retrieved on April 17, 2008
  31. ^ The Dragon in the Land of Snows by Tsering Shakya,pp.7,11
  32. ^ For the British and U.S. positions on Tibet, see Goldstein, 1989, p 399, p386, UK Foreign Office Whitepaper: Tibet and the Question of Chinese Suzerainty (10 April 1943), Foreign Office Records: FO371/35755 and aide-mémoire sent by the US Department of States to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. (dated 15 May 1943), Foreign Office Records: FO371/35756
  33. ^ A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p673-4
  34. ^ A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p759
  35. ^ 'President Chen Shui-bian's Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the 2007 International Symposium on Human Rights in Tibet' Sep 8, 2007
  36. ^ Jacques Gernet's A History of Chinese Civilization [Cambridge University Press, 1996] saying "From 1751 onwards Chinese control over Tibet became permanent and remained so more or less ever after, in spite of British efforts to seize possession of this Chinese protectorate at the beginning of the twentieth century."
  37. ^ a b Dalai Lama Group Says It Got Money From CIA
  38. ^ Reassessing Tibet Policy by A. Tom Grunfeld; Tibet, China and the United States: Reflections on the Tibet Question by Melvyn C. Goldstein; Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA
  39. ^ Origins of So-Called "Tibetan Independence, Information Office of the State Council, 1992
  40. ^ "Tibetan issue": evolution and way out
  41. ^ a b c Staff, Britain's suzerain remedy, The Economist, 6 November 2008
  42. ^ Tibet, China and the United States: Reflections on the Tibet Question p.4, by Melvyn C. Goldstein
  43. ^ The United States, Tibet and the Cold War Melvyn C. Goldstein, p149 or pdf p3 [footnote 10]
  44. ^ a b c d e Reassessing Tibet Policy by Tom Gunfeld
  45. ^ Global Researcher,"Democratic Imperialism": Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy by Michael Barker
  46. ^ F. William Engdahl's Website
  47. ^ Why Washington plays 'Tibet Roulette' with China By William Engdahl (china.org.cn). Article downloadable on Engdahl's website.
  48. ^ China rejects Spain's 'genocide' claims
  49. ^ He May Be a God, but He’s No Politician By PATRICK FRENCH
  50. ^ Contemporary Tibet: Politics, Development, and Society in a Disputed Region by Barry Sautman and June Teufel Dreyer, New York: M.E.Sharpe (2006),p12
  51. ^ [1] TIBET, TIBET, A PERSONAL HISTORY OF A LOST LAND Nov 17, 2008 Category: Book Reviews
  52. ^ a b For existence of serfdom and slaves, see Grunfeld, 1996, pp12-17 and Bell, Charles, 1927, pp78-79; for other forms of human rights violation, see Bessac, Frank, "This Was the Perilous Trek to Tragedy", Life, 13 Nov 1950, pp130-136, 198, 141; Ford, Robert W., "Wind Between The Worlds", New York, 1957, p37; MacDonald, David, "The Land of the Lamas", London, 1929, pp196-197
  53. ^ a b c Robert Barnett in Steve Lehman, The Tibetans: Struggle to Survive, Umbrage Editions, New York, 1998. pdf p.12, [2]
  54. ^ When Christianity and Lamaism Met: The Changing Fortunes of Early Western Missionaries in Tibet by Hsiao-ting Lin
  55. ^ The History of Tibet By Alex McKay (ed), London: RoutledgeCurzon (2003) p640-1,643 Christian missionaries banned
  56. ^ Grunfeld, 1996, p180
  57. ^ Passages extracted by Robert Barnett from Steve Lehman, The Tibetans: Struggle to Survive, Umbrage Editions, New York, 1998. pdf p.9
  58. ^ http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-04/12/content_6612118.htm Retrieved on 12 April 2008
  59. ^ Passages extracted by Robert Barnett from Steve Lehman, The Tibetans: Struggle to Survive, Umbrage Editions, New York, 1998. pdf p.13
  60. ^ a b http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-04/11/content_6608921.htm 'Tibetan Youth Congress' is pure terrorist organization Retrieved on 13 April 2008
  61. ^ Police crack bombing at Tibetan township government building
  62. ^ Quoted from National and Minority Policies, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science: Report of China 277, 1951, pp148-149
  63. ^ Brandt, C., Schwartz, B. and Fairbank, John K. (ed.), A Documentary History of Chinese Communism, 1960, pp223-224
  64. ^ a b c "Report on the International Seminar on the Nationality Question"
  65. ^ United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
  66. ^ a b Goldstein, Melvyn C., "A history of modern Tibet", pp683-687
  67. ^ Ford, R. W., "Wind between the Worlds", p178, saying: ' There was no sacking of monasteries at this time. On the contrary, the Chinese took great care not to cause offense through ignorance. They soon had the monks thanking the gods for their deliverance. '
  68. ^ a b Grunfeld, A.T., "The Making of Modern Tibet", p115, saying: ' By most accounts there were some Tibetans who were pleased to see the Han in Tibet. Peter Aufschneiter told British diplomats in Kathmandu that ordinary Tibetans liked the Han because they were honest and they distributed land. Among the younger generation of the nobility it was seen as an opportunity to make some positive changes. '
  69. ^ Grunfeld, A.T., "The Making of Modern Tibet", M. E. Sharpe, 1996, p127, saying ' When the communists first arrived in Lhasa, only a few of the aristocracy joined them enthusiastically. In Kham, however, the upper classes welcomed them as potential liberators from the strongly disliked Lhasan officials. '
  70. ^ Xinhuanet.com. "Xinhuanet.com." 人民解放軍和平解放西藏.
  71. ^ "[3]." Full Text of Speech By Chinese President Hu Jintao at Tibet's Peaceful Liberation Anniversary Rally
  72. ^ Tell you a true Tibet -- Peaceful Liberation of Tibet
  73. ^ A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn C. Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p676-9,699,729-735
  74. ^ Melvyn C. Goldstein, The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama Berkeley:University of California Press, (1999), p41; cited by Yuliya Babayeva in the article The Khampa Uprising: Tibetan Resistance Against the Chinese Invasion pdf p15.
  75. ^ A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p761-769,784-812
  76. ^ Signing of the Agreement on Methods for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet Retrieved on 25 April 2008.
  77. ^ The History of Tibet: Volume III The Modern Period: 1895-1959 edited by Alex McKay, London and New York: Routledge Curzon (2003), p.603
  78. ^ a b The History of Tibet: Volume III The Modern Period: 1895-1959 edited by Alex McKay, London and New York: Routledge Curzon (2003), p.604
  79. ^ Flag of Tibet
  80. ^ Goldstein, Melvyn C., The Snow Lion and the Dragon, University of California Press, 1997, p71
  81. ^ Independence as Tibet's Only Option: Why the 'Middle Path' is a Dead End, Phayul.com, Jan 2007
  82. ^ Gyatso, Tenzin, 14th Dalai Lama. Tibet, China and the World: A Compilation of Interviews, Dharamsala, 1989, p. 31.
  83. ^ Legal Inquiry Committee, Tibet and Chinese People's Republic, Geneva: International Commission of Jurists, 1960, pp. 5,6
  84. ^ Walt Van Praag, Michael C. van, The Status of Tibet: History, Rights and Prospects in International Law, (Westview, 1987)
  85. ^ United Nations General Assembly - Resolution 1353 (XIV)
  86. ^ United Nations General Assembly - Resolution 1723 (XVI)
  87. ^ United Nations General Assembly - Resolution 2079 (XX)
  88. ^ This passport had been published by the former holder in Shakabpa, Tsepon W.D [Wangchuk Deden (dbang phyug bde ldan)]: Tibet. A Political History, Potala Publications, New York, 1984
  89. ^ Jeremy Page (2007-06-23). "Crumpled passport ‘proves’ Tibet independence claim". Times Online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article1975197.ece. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  90. ^ a b WORLD HISTORY: THE HUMAN ODYSSEY, West Educational Publishing ISBN 0-314-2056105 Author: Jackson J. Spiegvogel
  91. ^ Charles Bell (1992). Tibet Past and Present. CUP Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. p. 28. ISBN 8120810481. http://books.google.com/books?id=U7C0I2KRyEUC&pg=PA28&dq=chinese+captured+lhasa+650#v=onepage&q=chinese%20captured%20lhasa%20650&f=false. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  92. ^ University of London. Contemporary China Institute, Congress for Cultural Freedom (1960). The China quarterly, Issue 1. p. 88. http://books.google.com/books?id=faoSAAAAIAAJ&q=chinese+captured+lhasa+650&dq=chinese+captured+lhasa+650. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  93. ^ a b Roger E. McCarthy (1997). Tears of the lotus: accounts of Tibetan resistance to the Chinese invasion, 1950-1962. McFarland. p. 12. ISBN 0786403314. http://books.google.com/books?id=Ecaeybfrl1IC&pg=PA12&dq=chinese+captured+lhasa+650#v=onepage&q=chinese%20captured%20lhasa%20650&f=false. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  94. ^ The 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica reports: "When the Mongol dynasty of China passed away, the Mings confirmed and enlarged the dominion of the Tibetan rulers, recognizing at the same time the chief lamas of the eight principal monasteries of the country ."
  95. ^ Zahiruddin Ahmad, "China and Tibet, 1708-1959. A Resume of Facts", 1960, p7
  96. ^ Gernet, J., Foster, J.R. & Hartman C., A History of Chinese Civilization, Cambridge University Press, 1982, p481, reads in part: "From 1751 onwards Chinese control over Tibet became permanent and remained so more or less ever after, in spite of British efforts to seize possession of this Chinese protectorate at the beginning of the twentieth century."
  97. ^ Petech L.,China and Tibet in the Early XVIIIth Century: History of the Establishment of Chinese Protectorate in Tibet, 1972, p260
  98. ^ Tibet, China and the United States: Reflections on the Tibet Question by Melvyn C. Goldstein
  99. ^ Chapman 1940, pg. 137
  100. ^ The History of Tibet: Volume III The Modern Period: 1895-1959 edited by Alex McKay, London and New York: Routledge Curzon (2003), p.9
  101. ^ A wall painting showing the 13th Dalai Lama kneeling before the Dowager Queen
  102. ^ Grunfeld, A. Tom, The Making of Modern Tibet, p. 42, reads in part "Both (Tibetan and Chinese) accounts agree that the Dalai Lama was exempt from the traditional kowtow symbolizing total subservience; he was, however, required to kneel before the emperor."
  103. ^ West is 'waging a new Cold War against China' Chinadaily.com quotes German newspaper. Retrieved on April 17, 2008
  104. ^ Goldstein 1997, pg. 119
  105. ^ Contemporary Tibet: Politics, Development, and Society in a Disputed Region by Barry Sautman and June Teufel Dreyer, New York: M.E.Sharpe (2006),p3
  106. ^ Clark, Gregory, "In fear of China", 1969, saying: ' Tibet, although enjoying independence at certain periods of its history, had never been recognised by any single foreign power as an independent state. The closest it has ever come to such recognition was the British formula of 1943: suzerainty, combined with autonomy and the right to enter into diplomatic relations. '
  107. ^ Clark, Gregory, "No rest for 'China threat' lobby", Japan Times, 7 Jan 2006
  108. ^ Grunfeld, A. Tom, "The Making of Modern Tibet", p258
  109. ^ Goldstein, 1989, p717
  110. ^ The History of Tibet By Alex McKay (ed), London: RoutledgeCurzon (2003) p657-8
  111. ^ Treaties of 1906, 1907 and 1914
  112. ^ Since then Tibet has been regarded by Nepal and the Republic of India as a Region of China
  113. ^ Aide-mémoire sent by the US Department of States to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.(dated 15 May 1943), Foreign Office Records: FO371/35756, quoted from Goldstein, 1989, p386
  114. ^ Report mandated by Section 536(a)(2) of Public Law 103-236, Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994-1995 "Relations of the United States with Tibet"; cited in The United States, Tibet and the Cold War by Melvyn C. Goldstein p162-3
  115. ^ Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995, Pub. L. No. 103-236, § 536, 108 Stat. 382, 481 (1994), saying "Because Congress has determined that Tibet is an occupied sovereign country under international law". Congress has imposed a reporting requirement on the Secretary of State regarding, inter alia, the state of relations between the United States and "those recognized by Congress as the true representatives of the Tibetan people."), see also Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, Pub. L. No. 102-138, § 355, 105 Stat. 647, 713 (1991) saying "It is the sense of the Congress that...Tibet...is an occupied country under the established principles of international law [and] Tibet’s true representatives are the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile as recognized by the Tibetan people..." (See GlobalSecurity.org article)
  116. ^ Obama meets Hu, says Tibet part of China
  117. ^ (President Obama's Statement On Tibet On Video)
  118. ^ EU boss wants good news soon on Tibet, NEWS.com.au, 25 April 2008
  119. ^ EU's Barroso Encouraged by Tibet Talks with China, Deutsche Welle, 25 April 2008
  120. ^ EU considers Tibet part of China, Daily Times (Pakistan), 26 April 2008
  121. ^ UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  122. ^ Lunn, p. 8
  123. ^ British's Policy Change, David Miliband, Written Ministerial Statement on Tibet (29/10/2008), Foreign Office website, Retrieved 2008-11-25.
    Our ability to get our points across has sometimes been clouded by the position the UK took at the start of the 20th century on the status of Tibet, a position based on the geo-politics of the time. Our recognition of China's "special position" in Tibet developed from the outdated concept of suzerainty. Some have used this to cast doubt on the aims we are pursuing and to claim that we are denying Chinese sovereignty over a large part of its own territory. We have made clear to the Chinese Government, and publicly, that we do not support Tibetan independence. Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China. Our interest is in long term stability, which can only be achieved through respect for human rights and greater autonomy for the Tibetans.'
  124. ^ Lunn, p. 7 "However, in October 2008 there was what some have viewed as a major shift in the British position, although the Government sees it more as an updating of it. This involved abandoning the concept of ‘Chinese suzerainty’ on the grounds that it was unclear and out-dated."
  125. ^ a b Robert Barnett, Did Britain Just Sell Tibet?, The New York Times, 24 November 2008
  126. ^ Forsyth, James (the web editor of The Spectator). Have Brown and Miliband sold out Tibet for Chinese cash?, website of The Spectator, 25 November 2008.
  127. ^ Editorial The neglect of Tibet, Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2009.
  128. ^ a b Britain has NOT Changed It’s Policy On Tibet’s Status
  129. ^ Melvyn C. Goldstein, A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State pp.401-402
  130. ^ Britain Wants China To Grant Tibet Freedoms
  131. ^ Joint communiqué issued by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  132. ^ Bradsher, Henry S., "Tibet Struggles to Survive, Foreign Affairs, July 1969
  133. ^ Tibet - New Report: "The Question of Tibet and the Rule of Law" 24th July 1959
  134. ^ Tibet and the Chinese People's Republic, International Commission of Jurists, 1960
  135. ^ [Session on Tibet, Verdict, Permanent Tribunal of Peoples, Strasbourg, Novembre 20, 1992, pp.15 and 23]


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