Home Meetings & Statements Events & Activities China & UN Documents About China 中文
  Home > Highlights > Learn More about Tibet
IV. The Tibetan Local Authorities Attended a Series of Political Conferences Convened by the Central Government of China


Now let us have a look at what were the relations between Tibet and the Central Governments during the period of the Republic of China from sending delegates by the Tibet region to attend the political conferences convened by successive Central Governments, and see whether or not Tibet was "an independent country".

In 1913 the parliament was established in Beijing. It worked out the Executive Law for the Election of Parliament Members for the First Session of Tibet. Its Article One stipulated that the election of the senators and the members of the House of Representatives for the First Session must be carried out at the seat of the Government; Article Two stipulated that the supervision over the election of Tibetan members shall be performed by the Chairman of the Bureau for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs; Article Three stipulated that detailed rules and regulations shall be drawn up by the election supervisors. In accordance with this Law, the list of the following persons who were elected through election was made public on May 15, 1913. Senators from Anterior Tibet: Dondup Norbu, Tashi Drokar, Wang Geng, Kalon Shatra, Sun Yuyun; alternate members: Padma Rinchen, Yu Baoxuan, Sun Jiangdong, Liu Wentong and Li Anlu; Senators from Ulterior Tibet: Gyaltsen Sampo, Fu Xie, Ngawang Yeshe, Gong Huanchen, Chen Ke; alternate members: Wang Tse, Ngawang Chosdrak, Wang Youling, Hu Jun, Gao Luding. The parliament then was stipulated by the first constitution of the Republic of China, namely, the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China, as the organ of legislation, public opinion and of constitution enactment. It enjoyed the legislative power, right of constitution enactment, right of impeachment and the right to vote. The Tibetan representatives were elected into the supreme power organ ---the Parliament--- to participate in the state affairs. This fact rightly demonstrated that Tibet is part of Chinese territory and the Tibetan people are one of the members of the big family of the Chinese nation.

For the purposes of strengthening military and financial affairs, studying the construction plans and organizing the national representative conference, the interim Power-Holder Duan Qirui of the Republic of China convened a Rehabilitation Conference on February 1, 1925. The Dalai Lama, the Panchen Erdeni and the Central Resident Offcial in Tibet Lu Xingqi were appointed as members of the Rehabilitation Conference. During the session, they all sent their representatives, that is, Dondup Wanggyal, Lozang Gyaltsen and Zhu Qinghua, to attend the Conference. The Great Master Panchen placed great hope on this Conference. He sent a message to the participants of the Conference on January 27, 1925, hoping that the various circles to the Conference "in compliance with public-mindedness will endeavour to overall planning, benefitting the people and making the country rich... Because the Conference aimed at the public affairs of the nation, not the private affairs of one person, one family, one party faction or one region." During the Conference the Great Master Panchen also submitted a proposal to the Conference in view of the domestic situation of tangled warfare among the warlords, suggesting to put an end to the disaster of war and implement the Republicanization of the five nationalities.

On August 3, 1925, the constitution-drafting commission was set up. At the invitation of Duan Qirui, Kunchok Jungnas from the Tibetan local government and Wang Lejie from the Panchen's Council of Khenpos took part in the important organ as representatives for studying and formulating the fundamental law of the country.

The above-mentioned facts are only a few examples of the participation in the state affairs by the Tibet region together with the various provinces and regions. There were some other examples, such as the National Political Conference convened by Yuan Shikai in December 1913; the Provisional Constitution Conference in March 1914 and the First Session of the Parliament restored after Li Yuanhong succeeding to the Presidency of the Republic in 1916. AIl these conferences were participated in by the Tibetan local representatives.

The foregoing historical facts demonstrate that though at the initial stage of the Republic, the domestic situation was unstable because of the tangled warfare among the Northern warlords, when the national conferences with a political nature were convened by no matter whatsoever central government, Tibet sent its representatives to participate in all these conferences. This fully demonstrated that the Tibet region recognized it as one of the members of China.

On June 17, 1929, the Kuomintang (KMT) convened the Second Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Third Party Congress in Nanjing. It adopted a resolution on Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs. There were altogether six articles, namely, 1) A meeting on Mongolian and Tibetan affairs would be held, ... Tibet would send certain number of delegates chosen by the Dalai and the Panchen Lama as well as the Tibetan people to attend the meeting to be held in the capital;2) Sending official to go to Mongolia and Tibet respectively, publicizing the policy of fostering the Mongolian and Tibetan nationalities formulated by the Central Government and its determination as well as expressing sympathy and solicitude for the suffering and hardships of the Mongolian and Tibetan people and conducting investigations; 3) A school for Mongolians and Tibetans would be set up in the capital, Fine youngsters would be selected and enrolled into the school after passing the examination by Mongolian and Tibetan areas; 4) Concerning the rejuvenation of Mongolian and Tibetan economy and culture, it should be started with by taking measures of developing education; 5) The Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs should actively plan and carry out the above-mentioned projects in accordance with the administrative programme and its implementation procedures; 6) Speeding up the publicity toward Mongolia and Tibet, expounding that the Mongolian and Tibetan nationalities were part of the whole Chinese nation; explaining the danger of the situation in which the Mongolian and Tibetan nationalities were located; the sinister schemes designed by the imperialists; and that the educational institutions, economic facilities, the construction of communications and industries in the Mongolian and Tibetan areas should be implemented by the local government assisted by the Central Government; only the military and foreign affairs as well as the state administration had to be centralized into the hand of the Central Government ... etc. In line with this resolution the Nationalist Government convened the meeting on Mongolian and Tibetan affairs in 1930. The Resident Official in Tibet Mr. Lu Xingqi then was instructed to send letters to the Dalai Lama and the Kashag for sending officials to attend the meeting. The Kashag promptly replied: "The Han nationality and the minority nationalities have always been of one family, ... Tibetan nationality being one of the five nationalities, the Tibetans have a relation just like the lips and the teeth with the Han nationality, sharing weal and woe, There should not have any reason of separation from each other." The Dalai Lama also expressed clearly in his reply: "In compliance with your invitation l instantly sent Dzasa of the Yonghegong Monastery and the Tibetan Affairs Office Khenpo Dronyer Lozangwa to attend the meeting. In addition, I would send Dronyer from Shangshan Ngawang Gyaltsen and Tsedrung Chophel Tubten to attend the meeting from Tibet together with them. They would set out within the next few days..."

The Nationalist Government convoked the National Conference in 1931. There were six delegates from the Anterior Tibet (u), including Kunchok Jungnas, Chophel Tubten and others; four delegates from the Ulterior Tibet (Tsang), including Lozang Tsultrim, Lozang Gyaltsen and others, In addition, there were eight persons, including Tsultrim Nyima, attended the conference as the nonvoting delegates. The ninth Panchen not only personally attended the conference, but also delivered a complimentary speech to the conference, saying that "Acting on the behest of the late Premier, the National Conference was convoked, in which the outstanding delegates could be consulted carefully, the provisional constitution could be formulated to consolidate the foundation of the nation. The Provisional Constitution during the Period of Political Tutelage of the Republic of China worked out by the Conference was a fundamental law which was similar to the constitution. The Provisional Constitution stipulated: The territory of China is the various provinces, Mongolia and Tibet. The conference also decided that in view of the difference of languages between the Mongolian and the Tibet regions and the interior of China, the Nationalist Government should consider the local conditions and properly work out measures according to the educational policy enacted in line with the Provisional Constitution to ensure the speedy development to the culture of Mongolia and Tibet.

Before the convocation of the conference, a dispute arose between the delegates of U-Tsang because of the number of quorum. The delegates from the Udemanded that the Tibetan delegates should all be chosen by the Dalai Lama; while the delegates from the Tsang demanded that the Tibetan delegates should equally be distributed according to the usual practice of the successive conferences. It is thus clear that both the Dalai and the Panchen all wanted to support the Central Government.

In November 1931, the Chinese Kuomintang held its Fourth National Congress in Nanjing. The participants to the Congress from the Tibet region were: Lozang Gyaltsen, Kunchok Jungnas, Liu Manqing, Ngawang Gyaltsen, Kelzang Tsering and others. Kunchok Jungian and Lozang Gyaltsen were elected at the Congress as members of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the KMT. Afterwards, when the Fifth National Congress of Kuomintang was convened, the Tibet region also sent its delegates to attend that Congress.

On April 7, 1932, the Executive Yuan convened the National Calamity Conference, The Tibetan local delegates attending the conference were Kunchok Jungnas, Lozang Gyaltsen, Liu Jiaju and Liu Manning. During the conference the Tibetan delegates put forward a proposal concerning improving the military, political, religious and educational affairs of Mongolia and Tibet to resist foreign aggression, We can see the sense of responsibility and crisis of the delegates as the masters of the nation towards the national destiny. On January 21, 1932, the Tibet Office representatives in Nanjing Kunchok Jungnas, Ngawang Gyaltsen and others jointly submitted a report to the Nationalist Government, the Executive Yuan and the Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs, transmitting the Dalai Lama's opinion concerning the method of producing Tibetan delegates. The report said that in the period of national calamity, the Central Government should concentrate the opinions of the people of the whole country to make them into a whole. The production Of the Tibetan delegates should be elected freely by the local people so as to express to the fullest the patriotic opining of the Tibetan people. That was the power of the Tibet region and also the obligation towards the nation.

In March 1938, the Kuomintang Provisional National Congress adopted a resolution on the organizing of the People's Political Council. Article 3, Item B of the organizational regulation of the Council stipulated that "The number of the Tibetan local delegates was two persons; the recommendation of its candidates must be in accordance with the stipulations of the regulation's Articles 2, 3 and 4, They should be produced doubly according to the number of delegates: man or woman, reached the age of 30 with the nationality of China, served in Tibetan local organs, public or private, or other groups, famous and familiar with the political and social conditions at the localities, trustworthy and prestigious for a long time." Article 12 of the regulation stipulated that "The officials at their posts should not become the senators." Through election the Nationalist Government made public the name list of the First People's Political Council on June 16, 1938, Sherab Gyatso and Tenzin Gyalpo from the Tibet region were elected. On July 5, the First Session of the People's Political Council was formally held, at which the proposal on supporting the Nationalist Government to carry out the Programme of National Reconstruction was adopted. Sherab Gyatso and others handed in a proposal to the Second Congress of the First Session concerning uniting with the will of the border inhabitants to enhance the strength of resistance against Japan. After the ending of the meeting, the Anti-Japanese raging tide of the people of all nationalities of the country was further on the rise. The Tibetan people also rose to contribute money, donate goods and organize various Anti-Japanese groups going to the front to comfort the Anti-Japanese commanders and soldiers. The Tibetan regent Rating Hutuktu also sent a telegram to Chiang Kai-shek on July 1 , 1939, expressing his support to the Anti-Japanese far, saying that "we would hold sutra-chanting service to the victory of our army and curse to the prompt defeat of the Japanese robbers, continuing to the final triumph of our country." The three great monasteries of Lhasa held a meeting at the Drepung Monastery. The meeting passed a public report to the Nationalist Government, expressing that "Now we must drive the enemy out of the Chinese territory and the five nationalities must be of one heart. For the country, those who have money give money; those who have no money defend the land with their own bodies. It is urgent for all circles to cope with the tyrannical Japanese, hoping to exterminate the Japanese militarism. It was over one year that the three great monasteries of Lhasa had been praying days and nights without interruption for the victory of the country since the Lugouqiao Bridge Incident." The Panchen's Council of Khenpos sent a telegram to the Chairman of the Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs, saying that "Due to the tyranny of the Japanese aggressors, the whole country shared a bitter hatred to the enemy. Under the influence of justice, we would certainly win the victory. We would support the Central Government in line with the unfulfilled wish of the late Great Master, unite the border people, stabilize the rear, relieve the cares to the western border, and try our best to benefit the War of Resistance against Japan." The foregoing historical facts demonstrate that in the period of Anti-Japanese War, confronting the national calamity, the Tibetan people acted and manifested just like the other nationalities of the country, warmly loved their own country and hated the common enemy. They were by no means considering themselves as the people of another country.

On November 15, 1946 the Nationalist Government convened the National Assembly for the preparations of constitutional government. The Tibetan local government and the Panchen's Council of Khenpos sent their delegates to participate in the Assembly. There were altogether 10 delegates from the Tibet region. They were: Tubten Samphel, Sonam Wangdui, Tubten Sampu, Tsewang Dondup, Tubten Trinley, Tubten Tsedan, Tubten Sengye, Jampa Ngawang, Yeshe Dargye, Dorji Ngodup and so on; the delegates from the Panchen's Council of Khenpos were: Tenjin Gyaltsen, Ji Jigme, Lamin Yeshe Trultrim, Tsering Dondup, Ho Badon, Song Zhishu and others. Tubten Samphel, the delegate from the Tibet region was elected the member of the Presidium. Article 6 of the General Rules of the Organization of the Assembly's Credentials Committee stipulated: "The conveners of the various Examination Committees of the Draft Constitution should be composed of 5 to 9 persons, who would be appointed from among the members of the Examination Committees of the Presidium." In line wlh this, the Tibetan delegates took part in the work of various Examination Committees respectively.

Article 120 of the Constitution of the Republic of China formulated by the Assembly stipulated that the Tibetan autonomous system should be guaranteed. Article 168 of the Constitution stipulated that the status of the various nationalities in the border regions should be legally guaranteed by the state. Its regional autonomy should specially be fostered.

During the session Chiang Kai-shek and his wife gave a dinner in honor of the entire Tibetan delegates at the official residence on November 28, 1946; Gyalo Thondup (the Dalai's brother), Qi Jihui (the Dalai's elder sister), Dorji Nyima (Qi's husband), Wu Zhongxin, Chiang Jinkuo and others were also present at the dinner, The above-mentioned Dalai's relatives then were in Nanjing.

On March 29, 1948, the National Assembly for constitutional government was held. There were thirteen delegates sent by the Tibetan local government to attend the Assembly. They were:Tubten Samphel, Tubten Tsedun, Jampa Ngawang, Dampa Phuntsok, Tenzin Tangye, Jampa Tashi, Laixi Gyatso, Sonam Wangdui, Paljor Trimley, Kongpo Tsering, Geten Pempa, Khedrub Tamdan and Sengye Dargyas. There were eleven delegates sent by the Panchen's Council of Khenpos to attend the Assembly, They were: Tenzin Gyaltsen, Lamin Yeshe Tsultrim, Ji Jigme, Song Zhishu, Lozang Sherab, Lo Tubten, Gao Lozang, Lozang, Ming Toeing, Dampa, and Ji Lo Xiuying. Tubten Samphel from the Tibetan local government was elected as the member of the Presidium. There were three legislators from the Tibet region, namely, Tubten Zangpo, Jampa Ngawang and Tenzin Damchok; three controllers: Tubten Tsedun, Jampa Tashi and Dampa Phuntsok; there were five legislators from the Panchen's Council of Khenpos, namely, Ji Jigme, Tsering Dondup, Tubten Nyima, Lozang Gyaltsen and Ngawang Jinpa; three controllers: Lamin Yeshe Tsultrim, Ji Yujie and Ho Badon, Lozang Gyaltsen was also invited as a member to the National Policy Advisory Committee by the Presidential Palace.

Judging from the above-mentioned historical facts, it is absolutely impossible for anyone to reach the conclusion that Tibet was "an independent country". We would like to ask: how could the highest organ of power of a sovereign state admit foreigners as its MPs? How could the highest organs of legislation and control of a sovereign state permit foreigners to exercise such a lofty power ?

Suggest to a friend