Q&A: China and the Tibetans - BBC News
At the heart of the conflict over Tibet's status within China is their historical relationship. Tibet is declared an independent republic after decades of rebuffing attempts by Britain and China to establish control. Since the Chinese army marched into majority Tibetan territory in , relations between the communist authorities and Tibetans have been.
Their argument begins in the 17th century when the Dalai Lama spiritual leader of Buddhist Tibet and symbol of the country first organized the Tibetan people into an identifiable nation. It should be noted that the Chinese claim about the Yuan Dynasty never appeared until the midth century. Before that, Chinese records tend to recognize Tibet as a vassal. The Early 20th Century The current relationship between Tibet and China really entered into question in the early 20th century.
Inthe British Empire invaded Tibet, which made China very worried about its security and increased the desire to delineate its borders strictly.
Factbox: Historical relationship between China and Tibet
InChina formally declared Tibet to be a Chinese province, despite Tibetan insistence that it was still only a vassal. Between andthe Dalai Lama organized the Tibetan people and managed to kick the Chinese out of Tibet.
He reasserted Tibet as an independent nation, and the country issued its out currency, passports, and flag. China, during this time, was fighting a civil war that replaced the ancient empire with an unstable republic. China claims that they never recognized Tibet's claim to independence, and couldn't negotiate due to their own war.
The Flag of Tibet The s Now we get to the real heart of the issue. Inthe newly formed PRC sought to reestablish the security of the nation by formally delineating its borders.
Tibet, a region with abundant natural resources bordering the large and powerful nation of India, became a target. To this day, the PRC maintains that the military invasion of Tibet was designed to reform the region, bringing it up to modern political and economic standards, and specifically to abolish the Tibetan practice of serfdom.
- Tibetan sovereignty debate
- Make informed decisions with the FT.
- FACTBOX: Historical ties between China and Tibet
Tibetans claim that Chinese occupation was a true invasion, characterized by extraordinary violence, murder, and near-genocidal assaults, a claim the PRC has never admitted to be true. Inthe Tibetan government was forced to sign a point agreement formally recognizing Tibet as part of China.
It was the first time Tibet had ever officially agreed to that relationship. The Chinese army marches into the Tibetan capital in Tibetans, encouraged by the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, rebelled. The Qing dynasty emperors were especially weak towards the end of their reign, when British and other foreign forces began making inroads.
He declared independence inand Tibet largely ruled itself untilwhen China struggled with foreign invasion and civil wars. But China's republican government maintained its claim to Tibet. In support of Tibet's claim to independence during this period, scholars note it had its own foreign affairs bureau, remained neutral during World War II and issued passports.
Q&A: China and the Tibetans
But neither China nor any major Western power recognised it as independent and China's government refused to accept the border between British India and Tibet drawn up at the Simla Conference.
The current Dalai Lama, the 14th, was discovered in as a two-year-old in a village in Amdo, now a part of China's western province of Qinghai. The Communist Era China says it sent People's Liberation Army troops to Tibet in to liberate Tibetan "serfs" and after local leaders refused to negotiate the region's "peaceful liberation". Under the point Agreement ofChina pledged to keep Tibet's traditional government and religion in place.
Subscribe to read | Financial Times
But Communist land reform and collectivisation left the region in turmoil, and in the Dalai Lama led an uprising against Chinese rule, despite his initial support for the accord. Inthe Dalai Lama, who had by then established a government-in-exile in India, abandoned claims of independence in favour of a "middle way" approach that advocates political autonomy for Tibet under Beijing's rule.
Beijing dismisses the "middle way" as a sham and says the Dalai Lama has not truly abandoned independence.