Analysis Of Historical Context Of Tibet China History Essay

“ The state between the Karakoram and Kuen Lun scope is, I understand, of no value, really unaccessible, and non likely to be coveted by Russia. We might, I should believe, promote the Chinese to take it, if they showed any disposition to make so. This would be better than go forthing a no adult male ‘s land between our frontier and that of China. Furthermore, the stronger we can do China at this point, and the more we can bring on her to keep over the whole Kashgar-Yarkand part, the more utile will she be to us as an obstruction to Russian progress along this line. ”

-Lord Lansdowne, British Viceroy in India,1889

Tibet ‘s Status

1. Historians have expressed changing positions on China ‘s historical claim over Tibet. However, there is congruity, even amongst Chinese writers1, that Tibet was an independent entity till the coming of Mongols in the thirteenth century AD. Interestingly, Tibet besides has a soldierly history, whereby in the eighth century AD, it had conquered big parts of Asia2. Its influence extended up to Samarkand and Ferghana in Central Asia in the West, up to Xian in China in the East, and up to Xinjiang and Mongolia in the North3. Tibet began to come under Buddhist influence in the 9th century and so, in about four hundred old ages, about the full population had adopted Buddhism. The Mongols conquered the now pacifist Tibet in the thirteenth century AD. The Tibetan Lamas went into an agreement with the Mongol swayers known as Cho Yon, intending Patron-Priest relationship4. This resulted in the Lama go oning to stay caput of Tibet with the Mongols supplying them protection. This agreement saw the Tibetans acquiring used to neglect facets associating to national security. Even so, it was merely in 1907, when for a brief period of four old ages, Tibet came under direct Chinese control under the Zhao brothers of the Manchu dynasty. The Sun Yat Sen revolution of 1911 proverb Tibet revert to its position as an independent


state. Finally, in 1950, Tibet was annexed by the Communist Republic of China, and continues to be a portion of China boulder clay today.

2. The Chinese nevertheless have perceived the issue otherwise, wherein they claim Tibet to hold been under direct legal power of the Chinese governments continuously since the 13th century5. It is nevertheless by and large accepted that the root cause of the Tibet difference was the British desire to hold Tibet as a buffer province between Russia and British India. The assorted dialogues, most on unequal footings, with Tibet and China, led to Britain officially accepting a step of Chinese suzerainty over Tibet in the Anglo Russian pact of 1907. Chinese sovereignty over Tibet was ne’er recognized prior to 1950. The machinations of power between China, Britain and Russia reduced Tibet to the position of a pawn. The issue of British from the sub continent cleared the manner for China to impart acceptance to its claim over Tibet by a military conquering.

3. Whereas the demand of a military conquering to claim its ain district is a moot point, China did hold some good grounds to integrate Tibet into its territory6. First is historical. The bing agreement, station 15 August 1947, guaranteed an Indian presence in Tibet. Despite Nehru ‘s friendly overtures, India was still presumed to be in the imperialistic cantonment. Tibet non merely provided a buffer, but besides controlled China ‘s entree to Xinjiang. Second, the addition in China ‘s population had brought about a demand for living space, so pressing that business of a defenceless Tibet became a necessity7. Tibet was besides of import because of the abundant mineral resources in the part, necessary for a quickly turning China.

India ‘s Role

4. India was among the first states to acknowledge China on 31 December 1949. Nehru ‘s avidity to acknowledge China, without taking any elucidations from the Mao authorities, in peculiar on the position of Tibet, despite a specific pending petition for weaponries and ammo from Tibet, had strategic deductions for India8. With the cardinal bargaining bit given off, India ‘s mild protests at the appropriation of Tibet carried small weight. Nehru ‘s ‘betrayal of Tibet ‘ did non pay dividends in footings of friendly relationship with China. Despite India ‘s perennial gestures of friendly relationship including recommending China ‘s instance for inclusion in the United Nations Organisation, China


remained disbelieving of India. India ‘s policy of calming of the Chinese led to China deriving assorted grants at Kashgar, Minsar and other topographic points. However, India ne’er benefited from her ‘generosity ‘ . On the reverse, she lost a peaceable and friendly neighbor, Tibet. The much publicized ‘Panchsheel Agreement ‘ was ne’er followed by China who began irrupting into Indian district barely three months after the pact was signed in June 19549.

5. India had inherited the British policy of maintaining Tibet as a buffer zone. Therefore the suzerain position of Tibet suited its national involvements. India had hence urged China to allow Tibet stay independent, in the period before its ultimate conquering. It was likely prudent, both morally and strategically, for India to hold pursued international acknowledgment of Tibetan independency, before the Chinese attacked it. Why India did non make so, and passively accepted what followed stemmed perchance from the undermentioned grounds: –

( a ) China did hold a just claim to authorization over Tibet, even if what the British had termed as ‘suzerainty ‘ did non interpret to sovereignty.

( B ) British India ‘s extra-territorial rights in Tibet had been acquired by usage of force, and India did non desire to be seen as inheriting the mantle of British imperialism.

( degree Celsius ) Tibet ‘s behaviour was fickle, which included sweeping territorial claims shortly after India ‘s independency.

( vitamin D ) India ‘s limited military capableness was a hapless lucifer against the might of the People ‘s Liberation Army.10

6. India was besides, in those early yearss, perchance unsure of how it wanted to prosecute its international dealingss in the part. Nehru had assumed for himself the function of a universe leader and wanted to be seen as a advocate of peace. There was resistance to bargaining for a proper boundary line of the Indo-Tibet boundary line lest it be perceived as an imperialistic heritage.11 Post Tibet ‘s conquest, India ne’er brought up the boundary line issue for treatment, concluding that if it did so, it would be forced to negociate on perchance unfavorable footings. Hence it wanted China to convey up the issue if it felt there was a dissension on an issue India considered as settled.12 China on the other manus waited till the clip was ripe for turn toing the issue nem con.


Tibet ‘s importance for India

7. The entry of Chinese military personnels into Tibet had potentially baleful effects for India. Tibet had been a buffer zone, and had been critical to British India ‘s strategic defense mechanism. They had fought two wars in Afghanistan to keep the continuum of a buffer province between British India and the Soviet Russia. It had likewise maintained Tibet as a buffer province against China. The Younghusband expedition of 1904 to Lhasa was yet another action to procure Tibet ‘s neutrality and continuance of its buffer province position between British India and the bogy of an spread outing Soviet Russia.13

8. The disconnected remotion of this buffer would change the geo-political balance and henceforth India would hold a unrecorded northern boundary line to think with. There was now a possibility that Tibet could be used as a springboard for aggression against India whenever this suited the Communist government in China.

9. Having failed to reprobate Chinese aggression in Tibet, India went further and surrendered all the privileges that it had inherited from the British in Tibet. Worse still, it even went so far as to oppose treatment of Tibet ‘s entreaty to the UN. When the Tibetan entreaty came up for treatment in the UN General Assembly on 23 Nov 1950, the Indian delegate opposed the inclusion of the inquiry on the docket stating that “ in the latest note received by my Government, the Peking Government was certain that the Tibet inquiry could still be settled by peaceable agencies, and that such a colony could safeguard the liberty which Tibet has enjoyed for several decennaries while keeping its historical association with China ” . The affair was dropped. If India was satisfied no other state was prepared to lodge its cervix out.14

10. By the terminal of 1950 Tibet was occupied by China. India ‘s action was typical of a weak state faced by a superior power. It could non or did non desire to take a base against China. Bing a non-aligned and peaceable state India could non seek the aid of any Alliess. So India believed in or wanted to believe in China ‘s profession of ageless friendly relationship. Henceforth its National Policy was to cultivate China ‘s friendly relationship in every manner and thereby trusting to purchase her off. India even took up China ‘s cause to the UN and hoped that China ‘s initial radical ardor would mellow and she would act in a civilized manner.15


The Dalai Lama issue

11. China seems to be highly sensitive over the Dalai Lama issue. India supplying shelter to Dalai Lama in 1959 was seen by China as a hostile act. It is China ‘s perceptual experience that the Tibet issue is a confederacy to tether its turning art. They quote the function of CIA in developing Tibetan reserves, foremost in Taiwan, so in Spain, and in conclusion in Colorado, in the United States of America.16 The flight of Dalai Lama, with the aid of CIA agent, Tony Poe, and air beads of nutrient and supplies along the manner, are other illustrations of assistance provided by United States of America to the Tibetan cause.17 Declassified United States paperss reveal that for much of the sixtiess, the CIA controlled a Tibet fund of US $ 1.17 million yearly. The fund was cut to US $ 1.2 million after the preparation cantonment in Colorado was shut down in 1968 and was discontinued after diplomatic ties were established between the People ‘s Republic of China and the United States in 1979. 18A The Dalai Lama subsequently made an issue of the legality of the McMahon Line, proposing that if India denied the crowned head position to Tibet, it was besides denying the cogency of the Simla Convention and the cogency of the McMahon Line.19 There was general understanding for Tibetans, particularly the Dalai Lama in the Indian political category. The latent intuition of China was revived and the self-doubt over China ‘s coup d’etat of Tibet in 1950 sharpened. Peking complained that Kalimpong ( the end point of the trade path to India through the Chumbi Valley ) , which China declared as the commanding centre for the armed rebelling, was a nest of undercover agents and was used as a base to incite opposition against China. There was some grounds that the Indians played a more active function for Tibetan independence.20 The Chinese National People ‘s Congress made angry mentions to the “ Indian ultraconservatives ” for giving assistance and comfort to the rebellious feudal forces, working “ in the footfalls of the British imperialists, and harboring expansionist aspirations towards Tibet. ” The old intuitions were therefore revived on both sides.21

12. There is an component of truth when Dalai Lama plaints of Tibetans as ‘Cold war orphans ‘ . No state including India recognizes Dalai Lama ‘ authorities in expatriate. When the Chinese talk of ‘splittist activities ‘ of the Dalai Lama, they have in head his clasp on the Tibetans in Tibet and Tibetan dominated countries, non so much his clasp on the Tibetans outside China.22 The ordinary Tibetan still draws his religious nutriment from the Dalai Lama. The Chinese would much instead prefer he remains in India because were he to return, he would most certainly pull an overpowering Tibetan response as a spiritual leader.23 Since the 1980s, the ‘Dalai clique’24 has stepped up its rub-a-dub for Tibetan independency around the universe and has on a regular basis infiltrated into Tibet to stir up trouble.25 This has evidently non been viewed


gracefully by China. Much of modern China ‘s battle with India has been over the cause of Tibet and perchance more apprehensivenesss have been caused by the Dalai Lama factor than any other difference. The awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to Dalai Lama and his increasing influence even in the Western universe were besides factors that China would hold taken note of. India is the lone state besides China whose finding of fact on Tibet would count in the international sphere. Hence the apprehensivenesss of Western powers utilizing India on the stalking-horse of Tibet, to command China, have often been expressed in Chinese writings.26, 27

China ‘s Tibet Policy station 1959

13. Post the 1959 originating taking to the flight of Dalai Lama, China went in for some major alterations in its Thibet policy. As a consequence by the clip of the 1964 nose count, 300,000 Tibetans had gone “ losing ” in the old five old ages, either in secret imprisoned, killed, or in expatriate. In the yearss after the 1959 Uprising, the Chinese authorities revoked most facets of Tibet ‘s liberty, and initiated relocation and land distribution across the state. China ‘s cardinal authorities, in a command to thin the Tibetan population and supply occupations for Han Chinese, initiated a “ Western China Development Program ” in 1978.28

14. Two incidents foregrounding China ‘s policy towards Tibet in the undermentioned old ages are given below: –

( a ) Beijing allowed the Panchen Lama, Tibetan Buddhism ‘s second-in-command, to return to Tibet in 1989. He instantly gave a address before a crowd of 30,000 of the faithful, condemning the injury being done to Tibet under the People ‘s Republic of China. He died five yearss subsequently at the age of 50, allegedly of a monolithic bosom attack.29

( B ) On May 1, 1998, the Chinese functionaries at Drapchi Prison in Tibet ordered 100s of captives, both felons and political detainees, to take part in a Chinese flag-raising ceremonial. Some of the captives began to shout anti-Chinese and pro-Dalai Lama mottos, and prison guards fired shootings into the air before returning all the captives to their cells. The captives were so badly beaten with belt buckles, rifle butts, and plastic wands, and some were put into lone parturiency for months at a clip, harmonizing


to one immature nun who was released from the prison a twelvemonth subsequently. Three yearss subsequently, the prison disposal decided to keep the flag-raising ceremonial once more. Once more, some of the captives began to shout mottos. Prison functionary reacted with even more ferociousness, and five nuns, three monastics, and one male felon were killed by the guards. One adult male was shot ; the remainder were beaten to death.30

15. On March 10, 2008, Tibetans marked the 49th day of remembrance of the 1959 rebellion by peacefully protesting for the release of captive monastics and nuns. Chinese constabulary so broke up the protest with tear gas and gunshot. The protest resumed for several more yearss, eventually turning into a public violence. Tibetan choler was fueled by studies that imprisoned monastics and nuns were being mistreated or killed in prison as a reaction to the street presentations. Ferocious Tibetans ransacked and burned the stores of cultural Chinese immigrants in Lhasa and other metropoliss. The official Chinese media provinces that 18 people were killed by the rioters. China instantly cut off entree to Tibet for foreign media and tourers. The unrest spread to neighbouring Qinghai ( Inner Tibet ) , Gansu, and Sichuan Provinces. The Chinese authorities cracked down hard, mobilising every bit many as 5,000 military personnels. Reports indicate that the military killed between 80 and 140 people, and arrested more than 2,300 Tibetans. The unrest came at a sensitive clip for China, which was pitching up for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The state of affairs in Tibet caused increased international examination of Beijing ‘s full human rights record, taking some foreign leaders to boycott the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Olympic torch-bearers around the universe were met by 1000s of human rights protestors.31

Cardinal Issuues: Historical Perspective

16. China has traditionally been really sensitive to the Tibet issue. It has ever defended its historical claim over the country and even fought a war with India to support it. At the same clip China has by and large adopted a hardline base towards the cultural Tibetans while at the same time traveling in for a demographic inversion programme. Obviously the grounds are non its affinity or historical linkages with Tibet. The grounds likely lie in the importance attributed to the district of Tibet as perceived by China. The strategic location of Tibet is non hard to comprehend and it is this which had led to power political relations between British India, the erstwhile Soviet Union


and China. The modern twenty-four hours increased Indo – US cooperation besides appears to hold elements of the ‘restrict China ‘ mind. Tibet provides a natural and effectual buffer to China mainland. Furthermore it provides cherished district to heighten China ‘s military range into a sensed counter India. Then the abundant mineral wealth in Tibet precludes it being negotiable by China. Therefore it appears that the involvement of China in Tibet is multi faceted. However the military content of this otherwise all encompassing policy needs to be farther investigated.


End Notes

1. “ The Making of the Tibet Issue ” by Chen Qingying, published in June 2008 issue of CHINA TODAY.

2. “ Tibet ; The Real Issue ” by Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal, published in February2009 issue of INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW.

3. “ The importance of Tibet ” by Vikram Sood, 21 July 2007, Observer Research Foundation.

4. “ Tibet ; The Real Issue ” by Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal, published in February2009 issue of INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW.

5. “ The Making of the Tibet Issue ” by Chen Qingying, published in June 2008 issue of CHINA TODAY.

6. “ Tibet ; The Real Issue ” by Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal, published in February2009 issue of INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW.

7. Ibid.

8. “ China: Friend or Foe? ” by Claude Arpi, published in February 2008 issue of INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW.

9. Ibid.

10. “ Tibet ; The Real Issue ” by Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal, published in February2009 issue of INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW.

11. Ibid.

12. War in the High Himalayas by Maj Gen DK Palit.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid.

16. “ The Making of the Tibet Issue ” by Chen Qingying, published in June 2008 issue of CHINA TODAY.

17. Ibid.

18. Ibid.

19. “ India ‘s China War ” by Neville Maxwell.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. “ The importance of Tibet ” by Vikram Sood, 21 July 2007, Observer Research Foundation.

23. Ibid.

24. “ The Making of the Tibet Issue ” by Chen Qingying, published in June 2008 issue of CHINA TODAY.

25. Ibid.

26 Ibid.


27. “ A Way Out of the ‘Tibet Issue ‘ and the Future of Tibet ” by Chen Qingying, published in July 2008 issue of CHINA TODAY.

28. Thibet and China: History of a Complex Relationship ByA Kallie Szczepanski, Guide.

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid.