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I. Tibetological Research Organizations


After the founding of New China, the Chinese Government paid great attention to the research work of Tibetology in order to promote economic development and social progress of Tibet and strengthen the protection of this outstanding national cultural legacy. In the 1950s and 1960s, specialized Tibetological research organizations were organized by scientific research units, institutions of higher learning, and governmental organs in Beijing, Tibet, Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu. After 1978, the state provided more strength to replenish original Tibetological research teams and set up a number of new research organizations. At present, there are more than 50 research institutions of this kind.

The Tibet Academy Of Social Sciences is the largest comprehensive Tibetological research organization in Tibet. Preparations were started in 1978 for construction of this academy; it was formally established on August 5, 1985. At present, the academy is composed of the Institute of Nationality Studies, Institute of Religion, Institute of Linguistics and Institute of Documentary Information, as well as the Publishing House for Tibetan Language Classics and Tibet Studies Press. With more than 100 scientific research personnel, the academy has undertaken the task of approximately 100 research jobs, many of which are key projects of the state or the autonomous region. Established originally as a Tibet Public School in 1965, the Tibet Institute for Nationalities is in Xianyang City, Shanxi Province, is now an institution of higher learning in Tibet Autonomous Region, which specializes mainly in liberal arts, with a staff of about 600. Over past decades, in addition to training tens of thousands of a variety of specialized personnel at all levels for the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Tibet Institute for Nationalities has also performed scientific research work centred on Tibetan studies, achieving a number of research results. Established formally in 1985 in Lhasa, Tibet University, with a staff of more than 300, is the largest comprehensive university in the autonomous region. Besides training all kinds of specialized personnel for economic and cultural construction of Tibet Autonomous Region, it has also done work in many specialized fields in Tibetlogical studies. The Tibet Autonomous Region has also established a number of other specialized research institutions in Tibetological studies. These include the Institute of National Education, under the Tibet Educational, Scientific and Technological Committee; Tibet Arts Research Institute, under the Tibet Culture Department; Tibet Institute of Astronomic Calendar and Mathmatics, under Tibet Hospital; Tibet Institute of Medical Science, under Tibet People's Hospital; and the Tibet Life of King Gesar Rescue Work Office, Lhasa City Chronicle Office, Cultural and Historical Accounts Committee, under Tibet and Lhasa political consultative conferences, Tibet Archives and Tibet Archaeological Team. In addition, some functionary departments under the people's government of the autonomous region, and Tibet Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry also have specialized research institutions.

To gear itself to the needs of Tibet' s economic construction, the autonomous region has also established the Tibet Economic and Social Development Research Centre. The centre has several departments, including the Research Department for Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Economy, Financial and Monetary Research Department, Economic Information Research Department, Economic Development Strategy Research Department and Social Development Consultancy Research Department. The scientific research personnel are proceeding realistically, providing counsel for quickening the pace of construction of Tibet's socialist modernization.

Known for intensive human resources, rich reference materials and available information, China's capital Beijing is the nation's political and cultural centre. It also enjoys many advantageous conditions for developing Tibetology, At the beginning of the founding of New China, specialized institutions in Tibetological studies were established here. After forty years of development and adjustments, there now exist: Tibetan Language Research Section, Tibetan History Research Section, and Tibetan Serf System Research Section of Institute of Nationality Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Tibetan Literature Department and National "Gesar Epic'' Research Leading Group of Institute of Literature of Minority Nationalities under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Also: Research Institute of Tibetan Studies and First Department of minority Nationality Languages (Mongolian, Tibetan and Korean Department ) of Central Institute for Nationalities, and Tibetan Section of Minority Nationalities Department under the National Library Beijing and Tibetan Department of Beijing Nationalities Library. many experts on Tibetan studies work in these institutions, producing many influential scientific research results.

Worth particular mention is the founding of the China Tibetological Research Centre in 1986 with the state's vigorous support. With a staff of more than 130, the centre boasts a number of organizations, including History and Religion Institute, Economy and Culture Institute, Literature Institute ( including library) and China Tibetology Publishing House ( including China Tibetology Magazine Press). Since its founding, the centre has not only undertaken some major research jobs and achieved a number of research results, but also shouldered the work of organizing and coordinating the nation's Tibetological studies and foreign academic exchanges, The establishment of the China Tibetological Research Centre is regarded as an important sign that China's Tibetological studies have entered a new development stage. Since 1986, the state has invested more than thirty million yuan in the construction of the China Tibetological Research Centre. By the end of 1995, the China Tibetological Research Centre building (with a complete range of facilities, advanced functions, and a strong nationality flavour) will stand to the east of the Asian Games Village on the northern outskirts of Beijing.

Since the founding of New China, especially in recent years, Tibetological organizations have also been established in Sichuan, Qinglai, Gansu and Yunnan where a number of Tibetans live. Of these, the more famous include Sichuan Institute of Tibetan Studies, Sichuan Academy of Tibetan Studies, Foreign Institute of Tibetan Studies of Foreign Languages Institute, Section of Tibetan Studies of History Research Institute under Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences Section of Tibetan Studies and Section of Nationalities Studies of History Research Institute, Section of Tibetan Studies of Institute of Nationalities Languages under Southwest China Institute for Nationalities, History Research Institute of Sichuan University; Others include: Institute of Tibetan Studies and Institute of Nationality Studies under Qinghai Academy of Social Sciences, Northwest China Institute of Nationality Studies of Northwest China Institute for Nationalities, ''Gear Epic'' Research Institute under Qinghai Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Gansu Institute of Tibetan Studies, and Diqing Institute of Tibetan Studies under Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences. Scientific research personnel of these organizations have achieved a number of important research results, and played an important role in advancing the development of Tibetological studies in their provinces or autonomous regions.

Besides the above-mentioned organizations, quite a few research sections, research job groups or individuals in scientific research institutes, institutions of higher learning and governments departments engage in Tibetan studies. This is in striking contrast to old China before 1949, when not even one organization in Tibetological studies existed either in Tibetan areas or the hinterland.

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