Kham (Tibetan : ཁམས་, Wylie : khams; Chinese :康; pinyin :Kāng) or Do Kham, is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo in the north-east, and U-Tsang in the west which incorporated Ngari (including former Guge kingdom) in the north-west. Kham covers a land area largely divided between five regions in present-day China: Tibet Autonomous Region and Sichuan, with smaller portions located within Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces.
During the Republic of China's rule over mainland China (1911–1949), most of the region was administratively part of Hsikang. It held the status of "special administrative district" (Chinese :特別區) until 1939, when it became an official Chinese province. Its provincial status was nominal and without much cohesion, like most of China's territory during the time of Japanese invasion and civil war. The natives of the Kham region are called Khampas (Tibetan : ཁམས་པ་, Wylie : khams pa).
Kham has a rugged terrain characterized by mountain ridges and gorges running from northwest to southeast, and collectively known as the Hengduan Mountains. Numerous rivers, including the Mekong, Yangtze, Yalong River, and the Salween River flow through Kham.
Under the modern administrative division of China, Kham includes a total of 50 contemporary counties of the People's Republic of China which have been incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan (16 counties), Yunnan (three counties), and Qinghai (6 counties) as well as the eastern portion of the Tibet Autonomous Region (25 counties).
There are significant differences in traditions and beliefs—even physical appearance—between the peoples of Kham and Lhasa. At least one-third of Kham residents are speakers of Qiangic languages, a family of twelve distinct but interrelated languages that are not closely related to Khams Tibetan.
The people of Kham were reputed warriors renowned for their marksmanship and horsemanship.
Kham was traditionally referred to as Chushi Gangdruk , i.e. 'four rivers and six ranges'.[ according to whom? ] The peoples of Kham have endured a tumultuous past, their sovereignty often encroached upon and marginalized by both Tibetans to the west and the Han Chinese to the East.[ citation needed ] The five main independent regions were the Kingdom of Chakla, Derge, the Kingdom of Lingtsang, Nangchen and the Kingdom of Lhatok. Other important polities included Nangqen, Chamdo, Batang, Mili, and the Hor States.
Kham was never controlled by a single king,[ citation needed ] but most of the chieftains revered the Dalai Lamas and often made contact with the Lhasa government. Kham was a patchwork of two dozen or more kingdoms, tribes, and chiefdoms that were constantly at war with each other. After the contraction of the Tibetan Empire in the mid-9th century, the peoples of Kham had aggressively maintained their independence from invading nations. Local chieftains ruled their respective territories with hereditary titles bestowed by the Chinese government.[ citation needed ] Chieftains were able to rule with a large degree of independence from both China and Tibet. [ verification needed ]
In 1717, the Mongol Dzungar Khanate invaded Tibet and a period of internal strife and civil war followed. By 1720, local Tibetan leaders had pledged their allegiance to China and the Qing dynasty had sent armies into the area to defeat the Dzungars. In 1724, the regions of Amdo and Kham were made into the province of Qinghai (Kokonor), with parts of Eastern Kham incorporated into neighboring Chinese provinces.
In the early 19th century, Gombo Namgye raised a rebellion in Nyarong, an area of Eastern Kham. He is reported[ according to whom? ] to have taken control of Eastern Tibet, excepting Amdo. Residents of Derge and the Hor States appealed to both Lhasa and the Manchu government for help against Namgye. China was unable to take action, but Tibetan authorities sent an army in 1863 and defeated Namgye in 1865. Tibet then claimed Nyarong, Derge (or De-ge) and the Hor States north of Nyarong. This appears to have been accepted by the then Manchu Tongzhi Emperor.
Tibetan control of the Batang region of Kham appears to have continued uncontested from an agreement made in 1726until soon after the invasion of Tibet by Francis Younghusband in 1904, which alarmed the Qing rulers in China. They sent an imperial official to the region to begin reasserting Qing control, but the locals revolted and killed him. The Qing government in Beijing then appointed Zhao Erfeng, the Governor of Xining and Army Commander of Tibet to reintegrate Tibet into China. In 1905 or 1908 Erfeng was sent on a punitive expedition and began destroying many monasteries in Kham and Amdo, implementing sinicization of the region:
He abolished the powers of the Tibetan local leaders and appointed Chinese magistrates in their places. He introduced new laws that limited the number of lamas and deprived monasteries of their temporal power and inaugurated schemes for having the land cultivated by Chinese immigrants. Zhao's methods in eastern Tibet uncannily prefigured the Communist policies nearly half a century later. They were aimed at the extermination of the Tibetan clergy, the assimilation of territory and repopulation of the Tibetan plateaus with poor peasants from Sichuan. Like the later Chinese conquerors, Zhao's men looted and destroyed Tibetan monasteries, melted down religious images and tore up sacred texts to use to line the soles of their boots and, as the Communists were also to do later, Zhao Erfeng worked out a comprehensive scheme for the redevelopment of Tibet that covered military training reclamation work, secular education, trade and administration.
In February 1910, the Qing government sent a military expedition of its own to establish direct Chinese rule, deposing the 13th Dalai Lama and issuing an imperial edict prompting a search for a new incarnation, though it was largely ignored in Tibet.The Dalai Lama fled to British India where he friended Charles Alfred Bell, a British diplomatic officer stationed in Sikkim and a critic of Great Britain's policies in the region. "By going in and then coming out again, we knocked the Tibetans down and left them for the first comer to kick," wrote Bell later. The situation was soon to change, as after the fall of the Qing dynasty in October 1911, Zhao's soldiers mutinied and beheaded him.
The official position of the British Government was it would not intervene between China and Tibet and would only recognize the de facto government of China within Tibet at this time.In his history of Tibet, Bell wrote that "the Tibetans were abandoned to Chinese aggression, an aggression for which the British Military Expedition to Lhasa and subsequent retreat [and consequent power vacuum within Tibet] were primarily responsible". Later, Britain defined the Indo-Tibetan border at the 1914 Simla Accord with the McMahon Line. China's delegation refused to agree to the line and still claims the land India received from Tibet as South Tibet, although the McMahon line remains the de facto border.
In 1932, an agreement signed between Chinese warlord Liu Wenhui and Tibetan forces formalized the partition of Kham into two regions: Eastern Kham, which was administered by Chinese forces, and Western Kham, which was administered by Tibet. Eastern Kham subsequently became the actual area of control of China's Xikang province. The border between eastern and western Kham is the Yangtze - Dri Chu in Tibetan and Jinsha Jiang, or Chang Jiang respectively, in Chinese.
Tenpay Gyaltsan, a Khampa who was 5 years old, was selected as the fifth Jamyang Hutuktu in 1921.
The Kham Pandatsang family led the 1934 Khamba rebellion against the Tibetan government in Lhasa. The Kuomintang reached out to the Khampas, whose relationship with the Dalai Lama's government in Lhasa were deteriorating badly. The Khampa revolutionary leader Pandatsang Rapga founded the Tibet Improvement Party to overthrow the Tibetan government and establish a Tibetan Republic as part of China. In addition to using the Khampa's against the Tibetan Government in Lhasa, the Chinese Kuomintang also used them against the Communists during the Chinese Civil War.
The Kuomintang formulated a plan where three Khampa divisions would be assisted by the Panchen Lama to oppose the Communists.
Kuomintang intelligence reported that some Tibetan tusi chiefs and the Khampa Su Yonghe controlled 80,000 troops in Sichuan, Qinghai, and Tibet. They hoped to use them against the Communist army.
The Chinese Kuomintang (Nationalists) also enlisted Khampas to join their military.
The Chinese Kuomintang also sought the Khampas help in defending Sichuan from Japan during World War 2, since the temporary capital was located there.A Khampa member of the Mongolian Tibetan Academy was Han Jiaxiang.
300 "Khampa bandits" were enlisted into the Kuomintang's Consolatory Commission military in Sichuan, where they were part of the effort of the central government of China to penetrated and destabilize the local Han warlords such as Liu Wenhui. The Chinese government sought to exercise full control over frontier areas against the warlords. The Consoltary Commission forces were used to battle the Communist Red Army, but were defeated when their religious leader was captured by Communist forces.
The Republic of China government also used Khampa traders to operate secret transports between different places.
Kesang Tsering was sent by the Chinese to Batang to take control of Xikang, where he formed a local government. He was spread there for the purpose of propagating the Three People's Principle to the Khampa.
In 1950, following the defeat of the Kuomintang rulers of China by communist forces in the Chinese Civil War, the People's Liberation Army entered western Kham. Western Kham was then set up as a separate Qamdo Territory[ citation needed ], then merged into Tibet Autonomous Region in 1965. Meanwhile, Xikang, comprising eastern Kham, was merged into Sichuan in 1955. The border between Sichuan and Tibet Autonomous Region has remained the Yangtze River.
Tibet is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about 2.5 million km2. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 5,000 m (16,000 ft). Located in the Himalayas, the highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.
The Panchen Lama, is a tulku of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Panchen Lama is one of the most important figures in the Gelug tradition, with its spiritual authority second only to Dalai Lama. "Panchen" is a portmanteau of "Pandita" and "Chenpo", meaning "Great scholar".
Tibetan history, as it has been recorded, is particularly focused on the history of Buddhism in Tibet. This is partly due to the pivotal role this religion has played in the development of Tibetan and Mongol cultures and partly because almost all native historians of the country were Buddhist monks.
Amdo is one of the three traditional regions of Tibet, the others being U-Tsang in the west, Kham in the east. Ngari in the north-west was incorporated into Ü-Tsang. Amdo is also the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama. Amdo encompasses a large area from the Machu to the Drichu (Yangtze). Amdo is mostly coterminous with China's present-day Qinghai province, but also includes small portions of Sichuan and Gansu provinces.
Xikang was a province of the Republic of China and early People's Republic of China. It comprised most of the Kham region of traditional Tibet, where the Khampa, a subgroup of the Tibetan people, live. The eastern part of the province was inhabited by a number of different ethnic groups, such as Han Chinese, Yi, Qiang people and Tibetan, while the western part of the province was inhabited by Tibetans. Xikang, then known as Chuanbian (川邊), was a special administrative region of the Republic of China until 1939, when it became an official province. The provincial capital was Kangding from 1939 to 1951 and Ya'an from 1951 to 1955. The province had a population of some 3.4 million in 1954.
Lobsang Trinley Lhündrub Chökyi Gyaltsen, ; was the tenth Panchen Lama, officially the 10th Panchen Erdeni, of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Panchen Lamas are living emanations of the buddha Amitaba. He was often referred to simply as Choekyi Gyaltsen.
Liu Wenhui was one of the warlords of Sichuan province during China's Warlord era. Liu who rose to prominence in Sichuan in the 1920s and 1930s, came from a peasant family. At the beginning of his career, he was aligned with the Kuomintang (KMT), commanding the Sichuan-Xikang Defence Force from 1927 to 1929. The western part of Sichuan province was then known as Xikang. Bordering Tibet, the region had a mixed population of Tibetans and Han Chinese.
Ma Bufang (1903 – 31 July 1975) (traditional Chinese: 馬步芳; simplified Chinese: 马步芳; pinyin: Mǎ Bùfāng; Wade–Giles: Ma3 Pu4-fang1, Xiao'erjing: ما بوفنگ) was a prominent Muslim Ma clique warlord in China during the Republic of China era, ruling the province of Qinghai. His rank was Lieutenant-general.
Zhao Erfeng (1845–1911), courtesy name Jihe, was a Qing Dynasty official and Han Chinese bannerman, who belonged to the Plain Blue Banner. He is known for being the last amban in Tibet, appointed in March, 1908. Lien Yu, a Manchu, was appointed as the other amban. Formerly Director-General of the Sichuan - Hubei Railway and acting viceroy of Sichuan province, Zhao was the much-maligned Chinese general of the late imperial era who led military campaigns throughout Kham and eventually reaching Lhasa in 1910, thus earning himself the nickname "Zhao the Butcher".
The 1959 Tibetan uprising or the 1959 Tibetan rebellion began on 10 March 1959, when a revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which had been under the effective control of the People's Republic of China since the Seventeen Point Agreement was reached in 1951. Armed conflict between Tibetan guerillas and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had started in 1956 in the Kham and Amdo regions, which had been subjected to socialist reform. The guerrilla warfare later spread to other areas of Tibet and lasted through 1962. Some regard the Xunhua Incident in 1958 as a precursor of the Tibetan uprising.
The polity of Tibet between the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1912 and the annexation by the People's Republic of China in 1951 was a de facto independent state comprising the western half of the Tibetan Plateau.
The Sino-Tibetan War was a war that began in 1930 when the Tibetan Army under the 13th Dalai Lama invaded Xikang and Yushu in Qinghai in a dispute over monasteries. Ma clique warlord Ma Bufang secretly sent a telegram to Sichuan warlord Liu Wenhui and the leader of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek, suggesting a joint attack on the Tibetan forces. Their armies rapidly overwhelmed and defeated the Tibetan Army.
The Kuomintang Islamic insurgency refers to a continuation of the Chinese Civil War by Chinese Muslim nationalist Kuomintang Republic of China Army forces in Northwest China, in the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, and Xinjiang, and another insurgency in Yunnan.
The Ngolok rebellions (1917–1949) were a series of military campaigns against unconquered Ngolok (Golok) tribal Tibetan areas of Qinghai (Amdo), undertaken by two Hui commanders, Gen. Ma Qi and Gen. Ma Bufang, on behalf of the Beiyang and Kuomintang governments of the Republic of China. The campaigns lasted between 1917 and 1949.
Ma Liang was a Chinese Muslim General and a member of the Ma Clique.
Ma Yuanxiang was a Chinese Muslim General and a member of the Ma Clique.
The Battle of Chamdo occurred from 6 through 19 October 1950. It was a military campaign by the People's Republic of China (PRC) to take the Chamdo Region from a de facto independent Tibetan state after months of failed negotiations on the status of Tibet. The campaign resulted in the capture of Chamdo and further negotiations between the PRC and Tibetan representatives that eventually resulted in the annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China.
Chinese Muslims in the Second Sino-Japanese War were courted by both Chinese and Japanese generals, but tended to fight against the Japanese, with or without the support of higher echelons of other Chinese factions. Japan attempted to reach out to ethnic minorities to rally to their side during the Second Sino-Japanese War, but only succeeded with Manchukuo and Mengjiang.
The Tibet Improvement Party was a nationalist, revolutionary, anti-feudal and pro-Republic of China political party in Tibet. It was affiliated with the Kuomintang and was supported by mostly Khampas, with the Pandatsang family playing a key role.
Pandatsang Rapga was a Khamba revolutionary during the first half of the 20th century in Tibet. He was pro-Kuomintang and pro-Republic of China, anti-feudal, anti-communist. He believed in overthrowing the Dalai Lama's feudal regime and driving British imperialism out of Tibet, and acted on behalf of Chiang Kai-shek in countering the Dalai Lama. He was later involved in rebelling against communist rule.
and established a military garrison.35 In 1921, when five-year-old Khampa Tibetan Tenpay Gyaltsan (aka Huang Zhengguang) was identified and enthroned as the new fifth Jamyang Hutuktu, Labrang remained under the Ma family's control.
China's far northwest.23 A simultaneous proposal suggested that, with the support of the new Panchen Lama and his entourage, at least three army divisions of the anti-Communist Khampa Tibetans could be mustered in southwest China.
(tusi) from the Sichuan-Qinghai border; and Su Yonghe, a Khampa native-chieftain from Nagchuka on the Qinghai- Tibetan border. According to Nationalist intelligence reports, these leaders altogether commanded about 80000 irregulars.
the reorganization of local militia, the recruitment of Khampa aborigines into the Nationalist armies, and the strengthening of the taxation and judicial systems.34 Xikang, however, was not the sole focus of Nationalist frontier
Qinghai and Gansu, who threatened to ally with the Japanese at the early state of the war; and to control Xikang and the local Khampa Tibetans would be to protect the whole of Sichuan, the wartime headquarters of the Nationalists.
His reports and telegrams back to Nanking served as perhaps the most reliable sources of information for Nanking before its final collapse 1949.74 Han Jiaxiang, a native Khampa, was a senior at the Mongolian and Tibetan Academy in
A force of about 300 soldiers was organized and augmented by recruiting local Khampa bandits into the army. The relationship between the Consolatory Commission and Liu Wenhui seriously deteriorated in early 1936, when the Norla Hutuktu
A new pack-transport firm, operated by Khampa-Tibetan traders but covertly backed by Chongqing, was accordingly set up in Dartsendo to manage the route.35 A new branch of the Bank of China was also opened in Kalimpong in northeast India
area and spreading Sun Yat-sen's Three People's Principle among the Tibetan and Khampa minorities, Kesang Tsering set up a field headquarters in Batang (Pa'an). There he appointed his own Xikang provincial government staff and issued an
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