Tibet (1912–1951)

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Tibet [1]

བོད་
Bod
1912–1951
Tibet,World War 2.svg
Location of Tibet in 1942
Status Unrecognized state ( de facto )
Regional state of Republic of China ( de jure )
Capital Lhasa
Common languages Tibetan, Tibetic languages
Religion
Buddhism
Government Buddhist theocratic [2] absolute monarchy [3]
Dalai Lama  
 1912–1933
Thubten Gyatso (first)
 1937–1951
Tenzin Gyatso (last)
Historical era 20th Century
 Three Point Agreement, [4] Proclamation
July 1912
  13th Dalai Lama returns
1913
 Placed under ROC Administration [5]
1928
  Nationalist government moved to Taiwan
7 December 1949
1950
23 May 1951
Area
 Total
1,221,600 km2 (471,700 sq mi)
Population
 1945
1,000,000 [6]
Currency Tibetan skar, Tibetan srang, Tibetan tangka
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Tibet under Qing rule
Tibet Area (administrative division) Blank.png
Central Tibetan Administration Blank.png
Today part of China
  Tibet Autonomous Region

The polity of Tibet from 1912 to 1951 came into being in the aftermath of the collapse of the Qing empire in 1912, and lasted until the incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China in 1951. The Tibetan Ganden Phodrang regime was a protectorate of the Qing Dynasty [7] [8] [9] [10] until 1912, [11] [12] when the Provisional Government of the Republic of China replaced the Qing dynasty as the government of China, and signed a treaty with the Qing government inheriting all territories of the previous dynasty into the new republic, giving Tibet the status of a "Protectorate" [13] [14] with high levels of autonomy as it was Protectorate under the dynasty. At the same time, Tibet was also a British Protectorate. [15] [ need quotation to verify ] [16] [17] However, at the same time, several Tibetan representatives signed a treaty between Tibet and Mongolia proclaiming mutual recognition and their independence from China, although the Government of the Republic of China did not recognize its legitimacy. With the high level of autonomy and the "proclaiming of independence" by several Tibetan representatives in this period, Tibet is described by Tibetan independence supporters as a " de facto independent state" as per international law [18] , although it never received "de jure" international recognition of an independent legal status separate from China. [19]

Xinhai Revolution revolution in China

The Xinhai Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Revolution of 1911, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty and established the Republic of China (ROC). The revolution was named Xinhai (Hsin-hai) because it occurred in 1911, the year of the Xinhai stem-branch in the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese calendar.

Incorporation of Tibet into the Peoples Republic of China

The incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China,, was the process by which the People's Republic of China (PRC) gained control of Tibet. These regions came under the control of China after attempts by the Government of Tibet to gain international recognition, efforts to modernize its military, negotiations between the Government of Tibet and the PRC, a military conflict in the Qamdo area of Western Kham in October 1950, and the eventual acceptance of the Seventeen Point Agreement by the Government of Tibet under Chinese pressure in October 1951. In the West, it is generally believed that China annexed Tibet. The Government of Tibet and Tibetan social structure remained in place in the Tibetan Autonomous Region under the authority of China until the 1959 Tibetan uprising, when the Dalai Lama fled into exile and after which the Government of Tibet and Tibetan social structures were dissolved.

Ganden Phodrang organization

The Ganden Phodrang or Ganden Podrang was the Tibetan government that was established by the 5th Dalai Lama with the help of the Güshi Khan of the Khoshut in 1642. Lhasa became the capital of Tibet in the beginning of this period, with all temporal power being conferred to the 5th Dalai Lama by Güshi Khan in Shigatse. After the expulsion of the Dzungars, Tibet was under administrative rule of the Qing dynasty between 1720 and 1912, but the Ganden Phodrang government lasted until the 1950s, when Tibet was incorporated into the People's Republic of China. Kashag became the governing council of the Ganden Phodrang regime during the early Qing rule.

Contents

In 1931 and again in 1946, the Tibetan government sent emissaries to the Chinese National Assembly to discuss Tibet's status but they came back empty-handed. [20] .

After the Dalai Lama's demise in 1933, a condolence mission sent to Lhassa by the Guomindang governement to start negotiations about Tibet's status was allowed to open an office and remain there although no agreement was reached. [21]

The era ended after the Nationalist government of China lost the Chinese Civil War against the Chinese Communist Party, when the People's Liberation Army entered Tibet in 1950 and the Seventeen Point Agreement was signed with the Chinese reaffirming China's sovereignty over Tibet the following year.

Nationalist government Government of the Republic of China between 1925 and 1948

The Nationalist government, officially the National Government of the Republic of China or the Second Republic of China, refers to the government of the Republic of China between 1 July 1925 and 20 May 1948, led by the Kuomintang. The name derives from the Kuomintang's translated name "Nationalist Party". The government was in place until it was replaced by the current Government of the Republic of China in the newly promulgated Constitution of the Republic of China.

Chinese Civil War 1927–1950 civil war in China

The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC) lasting intermittently between 1927 and 1949. Although particular attention is paid to the four years of Chinese Communist Revolution from 1945 to 1949, the war actually started in August 1927, with the White Terror at the end of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Northern Expedition, and essentially ended when major hostilities between the two sides ceased in 1950. The conflict took place in two stages, the first between 1927 and 1937, and the second from 1946 to 1950; the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945 was an interlude in which the two sides were united against the forces of Japan. The Civil War marked a major turning point in modern Chinese history, with the Communists gaining control of mainland China and establishing the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, forcing the Republic of China (ROC) to retreat to Taiwan. It resulted in a lasting political and military standoff between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, with the ROC in Taiwan and the PRC in mainland China both officially claiming to be the legitimate government of all China.

Communist Party of China Political party of the Peoples Republic of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC), also referred to as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.

History

Downfall of Qing dynasty (1911–12)

A map of East Asia in 1914 published by Rand McNally, showing Tibet as a part of the Republic of China 1914 map of Asia.jpg
A map of East Asia in 1914 published by Rand McNally, showing Tibet as a part of the Republic of China

Tibet had been under the administrative rule of the Qing dynasty since 1720. Following the Xinhai Revolution in 1911–12, Tibetan militia launched a surprise attack on the Qing garrison stationed in Tibet after the Xinhai Lhasa turmoil. After the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912, the Qing officials in Lhasa then were forced to sign the "Three Point Agreement" for the surrender and expulsion of Qing forces in central Tibet. In early 1912, the Government of the Republic of China replaced the Qing dynasty as the government of China and the new republic asserted its sovereignty over all the territories of the previous dynasty, which included 22 Chinese provinces, Tibet and Mongolia.

Tibet under Qing rule

Tibet under Qing rule refers to the Qing dynasty's rule over Tibet from 1720 to 1912. During the Qing rule of Tibet, the region was controlled by the Qing dynasty established by the Manchus in China. In the history of Tibet, Qing administrative rule was established after a Qing army defeated the Dzungars who occupied Tibet in 1720, and lasted until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912, although the region retained a degree of political autonomy under the Dalai Lamas. The Qing emperors appointed imperial residents known as the Ambans to Tibet, who commanded over 2,000 troops stationed in Lhasa and reported to the Lifan Yuan, a Qing government body that oversaw the empire's frontier regions.

Qing dynasty former empire in Eastern Asia, last imperial regime of China

The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China. It was the fifth largest empire in world history. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci, originally a Ming Jianzhou Guard vassal, began organizing "Banners", military-social units that included Manchu, Han, and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Manchu clans into a unified entity. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of the Liaodong Peninsula and declared a new dynasty, the Qing.

Xinhai Lhasa turmoil refers to the ethnic clash in the Lhasa region of Tibet and various mutinies following the Wuchang Uprising. It effectively resulted in the end of Qing rule in Tibet.

Following the establishment of the new Republic, China's provisional President Yuan Shikai sent a telegram to the 13th Dalai Lama, restoring his earlier titles. The Dalai Lama spurned these titles, replying that he "intended to exercise both temporal and ecclesiastical rule in Tibet." [22] In 1913, the Dalai Lama, who had fled to India when the Qing sent a military expedition to establish direct Chinese rule over Tibet in 1910, [23] returned to Lhasa and issued a proclamation that stated that the relationship between the Chinese emperor and Tibet "had been that of patron and priest and had not been based on the subordination of one to the other." "We are a small, religious, and independent nation," the proclamation stated. [24] [25]

Yuan Shikai Chinese politician

Yuan Shikai was a Chinese military and government official who rose to power during the late Qing dynasty, and tried to save the dynasty with a number of modernization projects including bureaucratic, fiscal, judicial, educational, and other reforms. He established the first modern army and a more efficient provincial government in North China in the last years of the Qing dynasty before the abdication of the Xuantong Emperor, the last monarch of the Qing dynasty, in 1912. Through negotiation, he became the first official president of the Republic of China in 1912.

13th Dalai Lama 19th and 20th-century Dalai Lama of Tibet

Thubten Gyatso was the 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

In January 1913, Agvan Dorzhiev and three other Tibetan representatives [26] signed a treaty between Tibet and Mongolia in Urga, proclaiming mutual recognition and their independence from China. The British diplomat Charles Bell wrote that the 13th Dalai Lama told him that he had not authorized Agvan Dorzhiev to conclude any treaties on behalf of Tibet. [27] [28] Because the text was not published, some initially doubted the existence of the treaty, [29] but the Mongolian text was published by the Mongolian Academy of Sciences in 1982. [26] [30] [ need quotation to verify ]

Simla Convention (1914)

In 1913–14, a conference was held in Simla between the UK, Tibet, and the Republic of China. The British suggested dividing Tibetan-inhabited areas into an Outer and an Inner Tibet (on the model of an earlier agreement between China and Russia over Mongolia). Outer Tibet, approximately the same area as the modern Tibet Autonomous Region, would be autonomous under Chinese suzerainty. In this area, China would refrain from "interference in the administration." In Inner Tibet, consisting of eastern Kham and Amdo, Lhasa would retain control of religious matters only. [31] In 1908–18, there was a Chinese garrison in Kham and the local princes were subordinate to its commander.

When negotiations broke down over the specific boundary between Inner and Outer Tibet, the British chief negotiator Henry McMahon drew what has become known as the McMahon Line to delineate the Tibet-India border, amounting to the British annexation of 9,000 square kilometers of traditional Tibetan territory in southern Tibet, namely the Tawang district, which corresponds to the northwest extremity of the modern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, while recognizing Chinese suzerainty over Tibet [32] and affirming the latter's status as part of Chinese territory, with a promise from the Government of China that Tibet would not be converted into a Chinese province. [33] [34]

Later Chinese governments claimed that this McMahon Line illegitimately transferred a vast amount of territory to India. The disputed territory is called Arunachal Pradesh by India and South Tibet by China. The British had already concluded agreements with local tribal leaders and set up the Northeast Frontier Tract to administer the area in 1912.

The Simla Convention was initialed by all three delegations, but was immediately rejected by Beijing because of dissatisfaction with the way the boundary between Outer and Inner Tibet was drawn. McMahon and the Tibetans then signed the document as a bilateral accord with a note attached denying China any of the rights it specified unless it signed. The British-run Government of India initially rejected McMahon's bilateral accord as incompatible with the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention. [35] [36]

The McMahon Line was considered by the British and later the independent Indian government to be the boundary; however, the Chinese view since then has been that since China, which claimed sovereignty over Tibet, did not sign the treaty, the treaty was meaningless, and the annexation and control of parts of Arunachal Pradesh by India is illegal. (This later paved the way to the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the boundary dispute between China and India that persists today.)

In 1938, the British finally published the Simla Convention as a bilateral accord and demanded that the Tawang monastery, located south of the McMahon Line, cease paying taxes to Lhasa. Hsiao-Ting Lin claims that a volume of C.U. Aitchison's A Collection of Treaties, originally published with a note stating that no binding agreement had been reached at Simla, was recalled from libraries [37] and replaced with a new volume that has a false 1929 publication date and includes Simla together with an editor's note stating that Tibet and Britain, but not China, accepted the agreement as binding.

The 1907 Anglo-Russian Treaty, which had earlier caused the British to question the validity of Simla, had been renounced by the Russians in 1917 and by the Russians and British jointly in 1921. [38] Tibet, however, altered its position on the McMahon Line in the 1940s. In late 1947, the Tibetan government wrote a note presented to the newly independent Indian Ministry of External Affairs laying claims to Tibetan districts south of the McMahon Line. [39] Furthermore, by refusing to sign the Simla documents, the Chinese Government had escaped according any recognition to the validity of the McMahon Line. [40]

After the death of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1933

A seal granted by the Government of the Republic of China to the Panchen Lama, reading "Seal of the Panchen Lama, the National Guardian of Vast Wisdom (Chinese: Hu Guo Xuan Hua Guang Hui Da Shi Ban Chan Zhi Yin )" Chop of Panchen Lama.JPG
A seal granted by the Government of the Republic of China to the Panchen Lama, reading "Seal of the Panchen Lama, the National Guardian of Vast Wisdom (Chinese: 護國宣化廣慧大師班禪之印)"

Since the expulsion of the Amban from Tibet in 1912, communication between Tibet and China had taken place only with the British as mediator. [25] Direct communications resumed after the 13th Dalai Lama's death in December 1933, [25] when China sent a "condolence mission" to Lhasa headed by General Huang Musong. [41]

Soon after the 13th Dalai Lama died, according to some accounts, the Kashag reaffirmed their 1914 position that Tibet remained nominally part of China, provided Tibet could manage its own political affairs. [42] [43] In his essay Hidden Tibet: History of Independence and Occupation published by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives at Dharamsala, S.L. Kuzmin cited several sources indicating then Tibetan government had not declared Tibet a part of China, despite an imitation of Chinese sovereignty made by the KMT government. [44] Since 1912 Tibet had been de facto independent of Chinese control, but on other occasions it had indicated willingness to accept nominal subordinate status as a part of China, provided that Tibetan internal systems were left untouched, and provided China relinquished control over a number of important ethnic Tibetan areas in Kham and Amdo. [45] In support of claims that China's rule over Tibet was not interrupted, China argues that official documents showed that the National Assembly of China and both chambers of parliament had Tibetan members, whose names had been preserved all along. [46]

China was then permitted to establish an office in Lhasa, staffed by the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission and headed by Wu Zhongxin (Wu Chung-hsin), the Commission's director of Tibetan Affairs, [47] which Chinese sources claim was an administrative body [46] —but the Tibetans claim that they rejected China's proposal that Tibet should be a part of China, and in turn demanded the return of territories east of the Drichu (Yangtze River). [47] In response to the establishment of a Chinese office in Lhasa, the British obtained similar permission and set up their own office there. [48]

The 1934 Khamba Rebellion led by Pandastang Togbye and Pandatsang Rapga broke out against the Tibetan Government during this time, with the Pandatsang family leading Khamba tribesmen against the Tibetan army.

1930s to 1949

The 14th Dalai Lama as a young boy. Dalai Lama boy.jpg
The 14th Dalai Lama as a young boy.

In 1935 the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born in Amdo in eastern Tibet and recognized by all concerned as the incarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, without the use of the Chinese "Golden Urn". After a ransom of 400,000 silver dragons had been paid by Lhasa, contrary to the wishes of the Chinese government, to the Hui Muslim warlord Ma Bufang, who ruled Chinghai from Xining, Ma Bufang released him to travel to Lhasa in 1939. He was then enthroned by the Ganden Phodrang government at the Potala Palace on the Tibetan New Year. [49] [50]

The 'approval certificate' of the accession of the 14th Dalai Lama said to be issued by the Government of the Republic of China on 1 January 1940 Guo Min Zheng Fu Pi Zhun Di Shi Si Shi Da Lai La Ma Zuo Chuang Ling .jpg
The 'approval certificate' of the accession of the 14th Dalai Lama said to be issued by the Government of the Republic of China on 1 January 1940

China[ which? ] claims that the Kuomintang Government 'ratified' the current 14th Dalai Lama, and that KMT representative General Wu Zhongxin presided over the ceremony; both the ratification order of February 1940 and the documentary film of the ceremony still exist intact. [46] According to Tsering Shakya, Wu Zhongxin (along with other foreign representatives) was present at the ceremony, but there is no evidence that he presided over it. [48] The British Representative Sir Basil Gould who was present at the ceremony bore witness to the falsity of the Chinese claim to have presided over it. He criticised the Chinese account as follows:

The report was issued in the Chinese Press that Mr Wu had escorted the Dalai Lama to his throne and announced his installation, that the Dalai Lama had returned thanks, and prostrated himself in token of his gratitude. Every one of these Chinese claims was false. Mr Wu was merely a passive spectator. He did no more than present a ceremonial scarf, as was done by the others, including the British Representative. But the Chinese have the ear of the world, and can later refer to their press records and present an account of historical events that is wholly untrue. Tibet has no newspapers, either in English or Tibetan, and has therefore no means of exposing these falshoods. [51]

In 1942, the U.S. government told the government of Chiang Kai-shek that it had never disputed Chinese claims to Tibet. [52] In 1944, the USA War Department produced a series of seven documentary films on Why We Fight; in the sixth series The Battle of China, Tibet is clearly recognised as a province of China. [53] In 1944, during World War II, two Austrian mountaineers, Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter, came to Lhasa, where Harrer became a tutor and friend to the young Dalai Lama, giving him sound knowledge of Western culture and modern society, until he chose to leave in 1949.

The Tibetan representative who attended the Chinese Constitutional Assembly. 1946Tibet representive.jpg
The Tibetan representative who attended the Chinese Constitutional Assembly.

Tibet established a Foreign Office in 1942, and in 1946 it sent congratulatory missions to China and India (related to the end of World War II). The mission to China was given a letter addressed to Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek which states that, "We shall continue to maintain the independence of Tibet as a nation ruled by the successive Dalai Lamas through an authentic religious-political rule." The mission agreed to attend a Chinese constitutional assembly in Nanjing as observers. [54]

Under orders from the Kuomintang government of Chiang Kai-shek, Ma Bufang repaired the Yushu airport in 1942 to deter Tibetan independence.[ citation needed ] Chiang also ordered Ma Bufang to put his Muslim soldiers on alert for an invasion of Tibet in 1942. [55] [56] Ma Bufang complied, and moved several thousand troops to the border with Tibet. [57] Chiang also threatened the Tibetans with bombing if they did not comply.

In 1947, Tibet sent a delegation to the Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi, India, where it represented itself as an independent nation, and India recognised it as an independent nation from 1947 to 1954. [58] This may have been the first appearance of the Tibetan national flag at a public gathering. [59]

André Migot, a French doctor who travelled for many months in Tibet in 1947, described the complex border arrangements between Tibet and China, and how they had developed: [60]

In order to offset the damage done to their interests by the [1906] treaty between England and Tibet, the Chinese set about extending westwards the sphere of their direct control and began to colonize the country round Batang. The Tibetans reacted vigorously. The Chinese governor was killed on his way to Chamdo and his army put to flight after an action near Batang; several missionaries were also murdered, and Chinese fortunes were at a low ebb when a special commissioner called Chao Yu-fong appeared on the scene.

Acting with a savagery which earned him the sobriquet of "The Butcher of Monks," he swept down on Batang, sacked the lamasery, pushed on to Chamdo, and in a series of victorious campaigns which brought his army to the gates of Lhasa, re-established order and reasserted Chinese domination over Tibet. In 1909 he recommended that Sikang should be constituted a separate province comprising thirty-six subprefectures with Batang as the capital. This project was not carried out until later, and then in modified form, for the Chinese Revolution of 1911 brought Chao's career to an end and he was shortly afterwards assassinated by his compatriots.

The troubled early years of the Chinese Republic saw the rebellion of most of the tributary chieftains, a number of pitched battles between Chinese and Tibetans, and many strange happenings in which tragedy, comedy, and (of course) religion all had a part to play. In 1914 Great Britain, China, and Tibet met at the conference table to try to restore peace, but this conclave broke up after failing to reach agreement on the fundamental question of the Sino-Tibetan frontier. This, since about 1918, has been recognized for practical purposes as following the course of the Upper Yangtze. In these years the Chinese had too many other preoccupations to bother about reconquering Tibet. However, things gradually quieted down, and in 1927 the province of Sikang was brought into being, but it consisted of only twenty-seven subprefectures instead of the thirty-six visualized by the man who conceived the idea. China had lost, in the course of a decade, all the territory which the Butcher had overrun.

Since then Sikang has been relatively peaceful, but this short synopsis of the province's history makes it easy to understand how precarious this state of affairs is bound to be. Chinese control was little more than nominal; I was often to have first-hand experience of its ineffectiveness. In order to govern a territory of this kind it is not enough to station, in isolated villages separated from each other by many days' journey, a few unimpressive officials and a handful of ragged soldiers. The Tibetans completely disregarded the Chinese administration and obeyed only their own chiefs. One very simple fact illustrates the true status of Sikang's Chinese rulers: nobody in the province would accept Chinese currency, and the officials, unable to buy anything with their money, were forced to subsist by a process of barter.

Once you are outside the North Gate [of Dardo or Kangting], you say good-by to Chinese civilization and its amenities and you begin to lead a different kind of life altogether. Although on paper the wide territories to the north of the city form part of the Chinese provinces of Sikang and Tsinghai, the real frontier between China and Tibet runs through Kangting, or perhaps just outside it. The empirical line which Chinese cartographers, more concerned with prestige than with accuracy, draw on their maps bears no relation to accuracy.

André Migot, Tibetan Marches [61]

In 1947–49, Lhasa sent a trade mission led by Finance Minister Tsepon W. D. Shakabpa to India, China, Hong Kong, the US, and the UK. The visited countries were careful not to express support for the claim that Tibet was independent of China and did not discuss political questions with the mission. [62] These Trade Mission officials entered China via Hong Kong with their newly issued Tibetan passports that they applied at the Chinese Consulate in India and stayed in China for three months. Other countries did, however, allow the mission to travel using passports issued by the Tibetan government. The U.S. unofficially received the Trade Mission. The mission met with British Prime Minister Clement Attlee in London in 1948. [63]

Incorporation into the People's Republic of China

In 1949, seeing that the Communists were gaining control of China, the Kashag government expelled all Chinese officials from Tibet despite protests from both the Kuomintang and the Communists. [64] The Chinese Communist government led by Mao Zedong which came to power in October lost little time in asserting a new Chinese presence in Tibet. In June 1950 the British government stated in the House of Commons that His Majesty's Government "have always been prepared to recognise Chinese suverainty over Tibet, but only on the understanding that Tibet is regarded as autonomous". [65] In October 1950, the People's Liberation Army entered the Tibetan area of Chamdo, defeating sporadic resistance from the Tibetan army. In 1951, representatives of the Tibetan authorities, headed by Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, with the Dalai Lama's authorization, [66] participated in negotiations in Beijing with the Chinese government. It resulted in the Seventeen Point Agreement which affirmed China's sovereignty over Tibet. The agreement was ratified in Lhasa a few months later. [67] China called the whole process as the "peaceful liberation of Tibet". [68]

Politics

Government

Organizational chart of Ganden Phodrang Organizational chart of Ganden Phodrang.png
Organizational chart of Ganden Phodrang

Military

The Tibetan Army on parade in 1938 Bundesarchiv Bild 135-S-17-14-39, Tibetexpedition, Shigatse, Truppenparade.jpg
The Tibetan Army on parade in 1938

After the 13th Dalai Lama had assumed full control over Tibet in the 1910s, he began to build up the Tibetan Army with support from Great Britain which provided advisors and weapons. This army was supposed to be large and modern enough to not just defend Tibet, but to also conquer surrounding regions like Kham which were inhabited by Tibetan peoples. The Tibetan Army was constantly expanded during the 13th Dalai Lama's reign, [69] and had about 10,000 soldiers by 1936. These were adequately armed and trained infantrymen for the time, though the army almost completely lacked machine guns, artillery, planes and tanks. [70] In addition to the regular army, Tibet also made use of great numbers of poorly armed village militias. [71] Considering that it was usually outgunned by their opponents, the Tibetan Army performed relatively well against various Chinese warlords in the 1920s and 1930s. [72] Overall, the Tibetan soldiers proved to be "fearless and tough fighters" during the Warlord Era. [73]

Despite this, the Tibetan Army was wholly inadequate to resist the People's Liberation Army (PLA) during the Chinese invasion of 1950. It consequently disintegrated and surrendered without much resistance. [74]

Foreign relations

The division of China into military cliques kept China divided, and the 13th Dalai Lama ruled but his reign was marked with border conflicts with Han Chinese and Muslim warlords, which the Tibetans lost most of the time. At that time, the government of Tibet controlled all of Ü-Tsang (Dbus-gtsang) and western Kham (Khams), roughly coincident with the borders of the Tibet Autonomous Region today. Eastern Kham, separated by the Yangtze River, was under the control of Chinese warlord Liu Wenhui. The situation in Amdo (Qinghai) was more complicated, with the Xining area controlled after 1928 by the Hui warlord Ma Bufang of the family of Muslim warlords known as the Ma clique, who constantly strove to exert control over the rest of Amdo (Qinghai). Southern Kham along with other parts of Yunnan belonged to the Yunnan clique from 1915 till 1927, then to Governor and warlord Long (Lung) Yun until near the end of the Chinese Civil War, when Du Yuming removed him under the order of Chiang Kai-shek. Within territory under Chinese control, war was being waged against Tibetan rebels in Qinghai during the Kuomintang Pacification of Qinghai.

In 1918, Lhasa regained control of Chamdo and western Kham. A truce set the border at the Yangtze River. At this time, the government of Tibet controlled all of Ü-Tsang and Kham west of the Yangtze River, roughly the same borders as the Tibet Autonomous Region has today. Eastern Kham was governed by local Tibetan princes of varying allegiances. Qinghai province was controlled by ethnic Hui and pro-Kuomintang warlord Ma Bufang. In 1932 Tibet invaded Qinghai, attempting to capture southern parts of Qinghai province, following contention in Yushu, Qinghai over a monastery in 1932. Ma Bufang's Qinghai army defeated the Tibetan armies.

During the 1920s and 1930s, China was divided by civil war and occupied with the anti-Japanese war, but never renounced its claim to sovereignty over Tibet, and made occasional attempts to assert it.

In 1932, the Muslim Qinghai and Han-Chinese Sichuan armies of the National Revolutionary Army led by Ma Bufang and Liu Wenhui defeated the Tibetan army in the Sino-Tibetan War when the 13th Dalai Lama tried to seize territory in Qinghai and Xikang. They warned the Tibetans not to dare cross the Jinsha river again. [75] A truce was signed, ending the fighting. [76] [77] The Dalai Lama had cabled the British in India for help when his armies were defeated, and started demoting his Generals who had surrendered. [78]

In 1936, after Sheng Shicai expelled 30,000 Kazakhs from Xinjiang to Qinghai, Hui led by General Ma Bufang massacred their fellow Muslim Kazakhs, until there were 135 of them left. [79] [80] [81] [ relevant? ]

From Northern Xinjiang over 7,000 Kazakhs fled to the Tibetan-Qinghai plateau region via Gansu and were wreaking massive havoc so Ma Bufang solved the problem by relegating the Kazakhs into designated pastureland in Qinghai, but Hui, Tibetans, and Kazakhs in the region continued to clash against each other. [82]

Tibetans attacked and fought against the Kazakhs as they entered Tibet via Gansu and Qinghai.

In northern Tibet Kazakhs clashed with Tibetan soldiers and then the Kazakhs were sent to Ladakh. [83]

Tibetan troops robbed and killed Kazakhs 400 miles east of Lhasa at Chamdo when the Kazakhs were entering Tibet. [84] [85]

In 1934, 1935, 1936–1938 from Qumil Eliqsan led the Kerey Kazakhs to migrate to Gansu and the amount was estimated at 18,000, and they entered Gansu and Qinghai. [86]

In 1951, the Uyghur Yulbars Khan was attacked by Tibetan troops as he fled Xinjiang to reach Calcutta.

The anti-communist American CIA agent Douglas Mackiernan was killed by Tibetan troops on April 29, 1950.

Society and culture

Part of a series on the
History of Tibet
Lhasa Potala.jpg
See also
Himalayas-Lhasa10.JPG Tibetportal

Traditional Tibetan society consists of feudal class structure, serfdom and slavery, which was one of the reason the Chinese Communist Party claims that they had to liberate Tibet and reform its government. [87]

Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan studies Donald S.Lopez stated that at the time:

Traditional Tibet, like any complex society, had great inequalities, with power monopolized by an elite composed of a small aristocracy, the hierarchs of various sects . . and the great Geluk monasteries. [88]

These institutional groups retained great power down to 1959. [89]

The thirteenth Dalai Lama had reformed the pre-existing serf system in the first decade of the 20th century, and by 1950, slavery itself had probably ceased to exist in central Tibet, though perhaps persisting in certain border areas. [90] Slavery did exist, for example, in places like the Chumbi Valley, though British observers like Charles Bell called it 'mild'. [91] and beggars (ragyabas) were endemic. The pre-Chinese social system however was rather complex.

Estates (shiga), roughly similar to the English manorial system, were granted by the state and were hereditary, though revocable. As agricultural properties they consisted of two kinds: land held by the nobility or monastic institutions (demesne land), and village land (tenement or villein land) held by the central government, though governed by district administrators. Demesne land consisted on average of one half to three quarters of an estate. Villein land belonged to the estates, but tenants normally exercised hereditary usufruct rights in exchange for fulfilling their corvée obligations. Tibetans outside the nobility and the monastic system were classified as serfs, but two types existed and functionally were comparable to tenant farmers. Agricultural serfs, or "small smoke" (düchung) were bound to work on estates as a corvée obligation (ula) but they had title to their own plots, owned private goods, were free to move about outside the periods required for their tribute labour, and free of tax obligations. They could accrue wealth and on occasion became lenders to the estates themselves, and could sue the estate owners: village serfs (tralpa)were bound to their villages but only for tax and corvée purposes, such as road transport duties (ula), and were only obliged to pay taxes. Half of the village serfs were man-lease serfs (mi-bog), meaning that they had purchased their freedom. Estate owners exercised broad rights over attached serfs, and flight or a monastic life was the only venue of relief. Yet no mechanism existed to restore escaped serfs to their estates, and no means to enforce bondage existed, though the estate lord held the right to pursue and forcibly return them to the land.

Any serf who had absented himself from his estate for three years was automatically granted either commoner (chi mi) status or reclassified as a serf of the central government. Estate lords could transfer their subjects to other lords or rich peasants for labour, though this practice was uncommon in Tibet. Though rigid structurally, the system exhibited considerable flexibility at ground level, with peasants free of constraints from the lord of the manor in order once they had fulfilled their corvée obligations. Historically, discontent or abuse of the system, according to Warren W. Smith, appears to have been rare. [92] [93] Tibet was far from a meritocracy, but the Dalai Lamas were recruited from the sons of peasant families, as the sons of nomads could rise to master the monastic system and become scholars and abbots. [94]

See also

Related Research Articles

McMahon Line

The McMahon Line is the demarcation line between the Tibetan region of China and the North-east region of India proposed by British colonial administrator Henry McMahon at the 1914 Simla Convention signed between British and Tibetan representatives. It is currently the effective boundary between China and India, although its legal status is disputed by the Chinese government.

History of Tibet aspect of history

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 Place

Amdo is one of the three traditional regions of Tibet, the other two being Ü-Tsang and Kham; it is also the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama. Amdo encompasses a large area from the Machu to the Drichu (Yangtze). In the Han dynasty, Qinghai Lake was called the West Sea, and substantial numbers of Han Chinese lived in the Xining valley. While historically, culturally, and ethnically a Tibetan area, Amdo was administered by a series of local rulers since the mid-18th century and the Dalai Lamas have not governed the area directly since that time. From 1917 to 1928, much of Amdo was occupied intermittently by the Hui Muslim warlords of the Ma clique. In 1928, the Ma Clique joined the Kuomintang, and during the period from 1928 to 1949, much of Amdo was gradually assimilated into the Qinghai province of the Kuomintang Republic of China. By 1952, Communist Party of China forces had defeated both the Kuomintang and the local Tibetans and had assumed control of the region, solidifying their hold on the area by 1958 and formally spelling the end of the political existence of Amdo as a distinct Tibetan province.

The Tibetan independence movement is a movement for the independence of Tibet and the political separation of Tibet from China. It is principally led by the Tibetan diaspora in countries like India and the United States, and by celebrities and Tibetan Buddhists in the United States, India and Europe. The movement is not supported by the 14th Dalai Lama, who although having advocated it from 1961 to the late 1970s, proposed a sort of high-level autonomy in a speech in Strasbourg in 1988, and has since then restricted his position to either autonomy for the Tibetan people in the Tibet Autonomous Region within China, or extending the area of the autonomy to include parts of neighboring Chinese provinces inhabited by Tibetans.

The foreign relations of Tibet are documented from the 7th century onward, when Buddhism was introduced by missionaries from India. The Tibetan Empire sparred with Tang China for control over territory, but relations became good with a peace marriage. Tibet was conquered by the Mongol Empire and that changed its internal system of government, introducing the Dalai Lamas, as well as subjecting Tibet to foreign hegemony under the Yuan Dynasty. Tibetan foreign relations during the Ming Dynasty are opaque, with Tibet being either a tributary state or under full Chinese sovereignty. But by the 18th century, the Qing Dynasty indisputably made Tibet a subject. In the early 20th century, after a successful invasion, Britain established a trading relationship with Tibet and was permitted limited diplomatic access to "Outer Tibet", basically Shigatse and Lhasa. Britain supported Tibetan autonomy under the 13th Dalai Lama but did not contest Chinese suzerainty; while "Inner Tibet", areas such as Amdo and Kham with mixed Chinese and Tibetan populations to the east and north, remained nominally under the control of the Republic of China although that control was seldom effective. Though the sovereignty of Tibet was unrecognized, Tibet was courted in unofficial visits from Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the United States during and after World War II. The foreign relations of Tibet ended with the Seventeen Point Agreement that formalized Chinese sovereignty over most all of political Tibet in 1951.

Kham former Tibet area

Kham is a historical region of Tibet covering a land area largely divided between present-day Tibet Autonomous Region and Sichuan, with smaller portions located within Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces of China. 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" 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.

Ü-Tsang Union of Ü and Tsang kingdoms in central Tibet, do not include Amdo (Qinghai) and Kham (Xikang) nor Ngari (western region, former Guge kingdom)

Ü-Tsang or Tsang-Ü, is one of the four traditional provinces of Tibet, the other being Amdo in the North-East, the Kham in the East and the Ngari in the North-West. Geographically Ü-Tsang covered the south-central of the Tibetan cultural area, including the Brahmaputra River watershed. The western districts surrounding and extending past Mount Kailash are included in Ngari, and much of the vast Changtang plateau to the north. The Himalayas defined Ü-Tsang's southern border. The present Tibet Autonomous Region corresponds approximately to what was ancient Ü-Tsang and western Kham.

The Tibetan sovereignty debate refers to two political debates. The first is whether the various territories within the People's Republic of China (PRC) 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.

Ma Bufang Chinese politician

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.

History of Tibet (1950–present)

The history of Tibet from 1950 to the present started with the Chinese invading Tibet in 1950. Before then, Tibet had declared independence from China in 1913. In 1951, the Tibetans signed a seventeen-point agreement reaffirming China's sovereignty over Tibet and providing an autonomous administration led by Dalai Lama. In 1959 the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet to northern India under cover where he established the Central Tibetan Administration. The Tibet Autonomous Region within China was officially established in 1965.

Batang County County in Sichuan, Peoples Republic of China

Batang County is a county located in western Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China. Government address: Xiaqiong Town, Batang County, Ganzi, Sichuan 627650. Area code: 0836. The main administrative centre is known as Batang Town or Xiaqiong Town.

Simla Accord (1914) treaty

The Simla Accord, or the Convention Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet, [in] Simla, was a treaty concerning the status of Tibet negotiated by representatives of the Republic of China, Tibet and the United Kingdom in Simla in 1913 and 1914.

Sino-Tibetan War

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 Qinghai–Tibet War was a conflict that took place during the Sino-Tibetan War. A rebellion led by the Dalai Lama with British support wanted to expand the original conflict taking place between the Tibetan Army and Liu Wenhui in Xikang, to attack Qinghai, a region northeast of Tibet. Using a dispute over a monastery in Yushu in Qinghai as an excuse in 1932, the Tibetan army attacked. Qinghai Muslim General Ma Bufang overran the Tibetan armies and recaptured several counties in Xikang province. Shiqu, Dege and other counties were seized from the Tibetans. The war against the Tibetan army was led by the Muslim General Ma Biao. The Tibetans were pushed back to the other side of the Jinsha river. The Qinghai army recaptured counties that had been controlled by the Tibetan army since 1919. The victory on the part of the Qinghai army threatened the supply lines to Tibetan forces in Garze and Xinlong. As a result, this part of the Tibetan army was forced to withdraw. Ma and Liu warned Tibetan officials not to dare cross the Jinsha river again. By August the Tibetans lost so much territory to Liu Wenhui and Ma Bufang's forces that the Dalai Lama telegraphed the British government of India for assistance. British pressure led China to declare a cease-fire. Separate truces were signed by Ma and Liu with the Tibetans in 1933, ending the fighting. The British had backed up the Tibetans during the war. After their war the victory over the Tibetans was celebrated by Xikang and Qinghai soldiers.

Battle of Chamdo Batalla entre pacistas y ateos

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 retake the Chamdo Region from a de facto independent Tibetan government after months of failed negotiations on the status of Tibet. At the time, most countries of the world, as well as the United Nations, recognized Tibet as a part of the preceding Republic of China (ROC). The campaign aimed not to invade Tibet per se but to capture the Lhasa army occupying Chamdo, demoralize the Lhasa government, and to exert pressure to get Tibetan representatives to agree to negotiations in Beijing and sign terms recognizing China's sovereignty over Tibet. The campaign resulted in the capture of Chamdo and further negotiations between the PRC and Tibetan representatives that eventually resulted in the incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China.

Tibetan Army Modern military of Tibet during its defacto independency (1912-1950), backed by the british army

The Tibetan Army was the military force of Tibet after its de facto independence in 1912 until the 1950s. As a ground army modernised with the assistance of British training and equipment, it served as the de facto armed forces of the Tibetan government.

The 1910 Chinese expedition to Tibet or the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1910 was a military campaign of the Qing dynasty to establish direct rule in Tibet in early 1910. The expedition occupied Lhasa on February 12 and officially deposed the 13th Dalai Lama on the 25th.

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