Monument to the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet

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The monument to the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet in the Potala square (2007)
The memorial in its setting, the Potala square
The monument lit-up at night, with waterworks in front of it (2006)

The Monument to the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet (Chinese: 西藏和平解放纪念碑) stands in the southern part of the Potala square in Lhasa, just outside the protective zone and buffer zone of the world heritage site.[1] It celebrates what the People's Republic of China calls the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" by the People's Liberation Army,.[2]

The US$1.7 million, 37-meter-high spire-like concrete structure was designed by Professor Qikang of the South-East University of China.[3] It is shaped as an abstract Mount Quomolangma (aka Mount Everest).[4] The monument bears its own name engraved in the calligraphy of former general secretary and president Jiang Zemin, while an inscription refers to the expelling of "imperialist" forces from Tibet in 1951 (a reference to long-running Russo-Anglo-American Great-Game designs on the region) and reports on the socio-economic development achieved since then.[5][6]

The foundation stone was laid on July 18, 2001 by Hu Jintao, the country's vice-president at the time[7] The monument was unveiled on May 22, 2002[8]

When apprized of the plans to build the memorial, the Tibetan government in exile claimed that "the monument would serve as a daily reminder of the humiliation of the Tibetan people." For Kate Saunders, spokeswoman for International Campaign for Tibet, the construction in this sensitive spot is a political message to Tibetans about Chinese rule over the region.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ (French) Décision-25COM X.B-Ensemble historique du Palais du Potala, Lhasa (Extension pour inclure la zone de Norbulingka (Chine), 2001 :

    Concernant la tour de 35 m de haut commémorant « la libération paisible du Tibet », la mission UNESCO a vérifié que cette nouvelle construction était bien située à l'extérieur des zones de protection du site du patrimoine mondial, du côté sud de la Nouvelle Place du Potala.

  2. ^ To Zhu Weiqun, Executive Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, "The peaceful liberation of Tibet completed the liberation and unification of China's mainland and was a victory over imperialist forces and a few upper-class Tibetans who wished to split Tibet from China" » (Peaceful Liberation Ushers in a New Era, BEIJING, July 25, 2011.)
  3. ^ Introduction to the Tibet's Peaceful Liberation Monument, Fifty Years in Tibet.
  4. ^ Monument to Tibet Peaceful Liberation Unveiled, China Tibet Tourism Bureau, 21-12-2007.
  5. ^ Monument to Tibet Peaceful Liberation Unveiled, op. cit.
  6. ^ Monument Erected to Commemorate Tibet Liberation,, Thursday, May 23, 2002: "The inscription on the monument says the People's Liberation Army expelled the imperialist forces from Tibet in 1951, which led Tibet to advancement, prosperity, democracy and opened a new era."
  7. ^ Photo: "Chinese Vice-President Hu Jintao and other leading members of the central delegation bury the foundation stone of the 'Monument to the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet' at the foundation laying ceremony held on the Potala Palace Square in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Wednesday July 18, 2001."
  8. ^ Monument Erected to Commemorate Tibet Liberation, op. cit.: "A grand ceremony was held Wednesday in the Potala Palace in Lhasa to unveil the Tibet Peaceful Liberation Monument."
  9. ^ Anger over Tibet monument, BBC News, February 5th, 2002.

Coordinates: 29°39′11″N 91°07′02″E / 29.65306°N 91.11722°E / 29.65306; 91.11722