In 1951, Chinese People's Liberation Army occupied the capital of Tibet, Lhasa when China declared the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet." Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, the head of state and spiritual leader of Tibet escaped to India with some monks where he heads the government-in-exile in Dharamsala. It has been already 46 years after the incident and now it is still questioned how to justify the "Liberation of Tibet." China defines the 14th Dalai Lama as the "leader of elements of the counterrevolution." To comprehend this issue of Tibet, it is indispensable to know the meaning of the Dalai Lama for the Tibetan people. As an introduction, we are going to summarize the history of Tibet.
The Tibetan used to be called Ch'iang (羌; Pinyin: Qiang) in ancient time that was a huge empire in Central Asia across the southwest of China (Tibet Autonomous Region (西藏自治區), Qinghai (靑海省), the south part of Guizhou (貴州省), the west part of Sichan (四川省) and the northwest part of Yunnan (雲南省) ), Bhutan, Sikkim, the north part of Nepal, the northwest part of India and the northeast part of Pakistan.
The Tibetan was closely connected with the Chinese since ancient time. In the period of Sixteen Kingdoms (五胡十六國; 304-439) of China, the Tibetans successively established four kingdoms of Ch'eng Han (成漢; 303-420), Former Ch'in (前秦; Pinyin: Qin; 351-394), Later Ch'in (後秦; 384-417) and Later Liang (後涼; 386-403) in the current China's territory. In 629,the King Srongtsan Gampo (or Songtsen Gampo; 604-649, r. 620-649) established Tubo (吐蕃; Yarlung Dynasty; Chinese: T'ufan) as the united Tibet that was fragmented into small kingdoms. Then Tubo conquered strategic points in East Turkestan and attacked Tang China's (唐; 618-907) capital Ch'iang-an (長安; curt. Xi'an 西安) in 755 in the confusion of the Anshih Rebellion (安史之亂; 756-763) . Behind the history, in fact, the Tibetans affected the decline of the Tang Dynasty, the great power of Asia. Tubo was later broken up again after the assassination of the Emperor Langdharma (r. 838-843) in 843.
The current Tibetan culture has been formed since the time the Lama (Tibetan Buddhism) was spread in Tibet and became the state religion. Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism was called upon to assume full political power and the Potala Palace in Lhasa practically became the government. Tibet changed the way from "armed rule" to "religious influences" since the pre-modern period and the religious authority of Dalai Lama reached across Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Mongolia. But the "peaceful influence" was a double-edged sword that allowed other powers to intervene into Tibet. The Mongolians and the Ch'inhai Chinese often sent troops to Tibet to control the Lama area by using the authority of Dalai Lama. The Manchu Ch'ing Dynasty of China (淸; Pinyin: Qing; 1609-1912) was the extreme case.
Ch'ing Dynasty concurred Tibet in 1720 that was under control of Dzungars, the great power of central Asia at that time. The Ch'ing army installed an administration headed by the 7th Dalai Lama in the capital Lhasa and appointed Khangchenay and Pholhanay to the ambassadors to indirectly rule Tibet. In 1728, the minister Pholhanay was investitured by the Ch'ing Emperor as the "Prime Minister of Finance and the Sovereign of the State of Tibet" after he suppressed an internal disturbance and he practically became the King of Tibet. Tibetan anti-Manchruan factions rebelled in 1750 and killed Pholhanay's son, the King Gyurmey Namgyal. Then, a Ch'ing army entered Tibet to more directly rule.
Since the 19th century, the Western powers gained control in Asia and Tibet was also involved into the stream of western invasions. In 1893, the Ch'ing court signed the "Tibet-India Treaty" (Sikkim-Tibet Treaty) with Britain that was already controlling India. In 1903, the British military led by Colonel Francis Younghusband entered Tibet and the British Army seized Lhasa in 1904, forcing Tibetan officials to endorse the Lhasa Treaty. The 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso (1876-1933) fled to Mongolia. When the Ch'ing government established direct rule over Tibet for the first time in 1910, Dalai Lama fled to British India.
In 1912, Tibet became an independent country when the Ch'ing Dynasty ended by the Hsinhai Revolution (辛亥革命). The Dalai Lama returned to Tibet from British India and proclaimed the independence of the Empire of Tibet. However, the Communist China's People's Liberation Army occupied Tibet in 1951 and set up the Tibet military division in the following year. China abandoned the "Empire of Tibet" and established the Tibet Autonomous Region (西藏自治區).
Tibet was occupied by the Manchu Ch'ing Dynasty but was never occupied by the Chinese. This is the same case as Manchuria already mentioned in the previous essay. Both of Tibet and China were occupied by the Manchurians during the Ch'ing period and both became independent from the Ch'ing Empire after the Hsinhai Revolution. The statuses of the Empire of Tibet and the Republic of China established by Sun Wen (孫文; Sun Yat-sen 孫逸仙; or Sun Chung-shan 孫中山). must be the equal. It is therefore undeniable that the Communist China have been unlawfully occupying Tibet. The People's Liberation Army invaded Tibet must be called the "People's Oppression Army." Regardless China defines the 14th Dalai Lama as the "leader of the counterrevolution elements," he is the legitimate "head of state" of the "Empire of Tibet" and the government in exile in India is the legitimate government of Tibet. The German Parliament Resolution on Tibet further evidences that the government is internationally legitimate.
Related information (Links)
- Tibet. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Ch'iang (羌). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Sixteen Kingdoms (五胡十六國). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Ch'eng Han (成漢). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Former Ch'in (前秦). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Later Ch'in (後秦). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Later Liang (後涼). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Srongtsan Gampo. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- East Turkestan. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- An Shih Rebellion (安史之亂). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Tang Dynasty (唐). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Lama (Tibetan Buddhism). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Potala Palace. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Ch'ing Dynasty (淸). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Dzungars. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Hsinhai Revolution (辛亥革命). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Tibet Autonomous Region (西藏自治區). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
- Sun Wen (孫文). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.