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Did Tibet Become an Independent Country after the Revolution of 1911?


The rich historical documents of China are more than enough to show one fact: the Tibetan nationality living on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau has long become one of the members of the Chinese nation and Tibet has been an inalienable part of China since ancient times. About this fact, all the people with an objective and just stand in the international community have already reached or been close to reach common consensus. However, it is still necessary to deepen this common consensus. The reason lies in the fact that the deposits of the history treasure house of China are so rich and generous that people will simply never know clearly of its each part without going on explorations on them in a thoroughgoing way. After the Chinese revolution of 1911, the history of relationship between the Tibet region and the central government of China is a key historical link which is worth to be studied of the real situation about the Tibetan contemporary and modern history by the world through examining this historical link. This article is to help the readers understand briefly the history of relationship between the Tibet region and the successive central governments of China after the Revolution of 1911. The writer is convinced that the readers would have their own independent and logical judgements after reading the following historical facts to the reliability of the story of 'Tibet separated itself from China and became an independent country after 1911."

As is known to all that as early as the seventh century in the Tang Dynasty, the Tibetan and Han peoples established close ties in the political, economic, cultural and other gelds through the royal inter-marriages, meetings of sovereigns or their deputies in ancient China to form alliances, thereby laying down the historical foundation for finally establishing the unified country.

In the middle of the thirteenth century,Tibet was formally incorporated into the Chinese territory of the Yuan Dynasty, Yuan Emperor Kublai entrusted to the Sakya Sect the power of administering the Tibet region, setting up the General Council (renamed Political Council in 1288) which was a central government organ exercising administrative power over the country's Buddhist affairs and the Tibetan affairs. The Yuan government instituted the system of imperial preceptor, conferred titles on political and religious leaders, delimited administrative divisions, appointed local officials, took census, collated and stipulated revenue and taxes, dividing the Tibet region into thirteen Wan Hu (ten thousand households). The heads of Wan Hu were conferred upon and appointed directly by the Yuan Court. There were three Chief Military Commands of the Pacification Commissioners' Offices which took charge of garrison troops and the administrative affairs of the various Wan Hu Offices in Tibet proper and other Tibetan areas.

In the later period of the fourteenth century, the central government of the Ming Dynasty inherited and followed the systems of adminstering Tibet by the Yuan Dynasty, pursued a policy of "managing Tibet according to conventions and customs, granting more titles and setting up more organs." Hence, the relations between Tibet and the central regime were further consolidated and strengthened.

From the seventeenth century onwards, the Qing government further strengthened its administration over Tibet. In 1721 the system of Kalon (Council Minister) in charge of administrative affairs was set up. In 1727 the Office of Amban (Resident Official) was instituted in Tibet. In 1792 the twenty-nine-article Imperial Ordinance was issued. It stipuIated in explicit terms for the reincarnation of the Living Buddhas in Tibet as well as the administrative, military and foreign affairs. The Imperial Ordinance marked that the administration of the Tibet region by the Qing central government was upgraded to the level of systematization and legalization.

In late Qing period, Britain twice launched armed invasions against Tibet. The Chinese government was forced to sign unequal treaties relating Tibet, After the Revolution of 1911 , the political situation of China was turbulent. In order to realize its aim of splitting Tibet from China and reducing it into a dependency of the British Indian government, Britain adopted various acts of aggression against Tibet. Owing to the instigation of Britain, the relations between the Tibet region and the central government of China were for a time abnormal during the period of the Republic of China. Although the British impelalists attempted to split China and to grab Tibet, its schemes never succeeded. On the contrary, they were opposed and boycotted by the broad masses of the Chinese people, including the majority of the Tibetan upperstrata figures. Tibet was not officially recognized as "an independent country" by any country through diplomatic channels in the world at that time, including even the schemers themselves. The Tibet region also never detached itself from the sovereign jurisdiction of the central government and became "independent".

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