Tibetan sovereignty debate
The Tibetan sovereignty debate refers to two political debates. The first political debate is about whether or not the various territories which are within the People's Republic of China (PRC) that are claimed as political Tibet should separate themselves from China and become a new sovereign state. Many of the points in this political debate rest on the points which are within the second historical debate, about whether Tibet was independent or subordinate to China during certain periods of its recent history.
The nature of Tibet's relationship with China in the intervening period is a matter of debate:
- The PRC asserts that Tibet has been a part of China since the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty.
- The Republic of China (ROC) asserted that "Tibet was placed under the sovereignty of China" when the Qing dynasty (1636–1912) ended the brief Nepalese invasion (1788–1792) of parts of Tibet in c. 1793.
- The Tibetan Government in Exile asserts that Tibet was an independent state until the PRC invaded Tibet in 1949/1950.
- Some Western scholars maintain that Tibet and China were ruled by the Mongols during the Yuan dynasty, treating Tibet and China as separate realms under a common rule; that Tibet was independent during the Han-led Ming dynasty (1368–1644); and that Tibet was ruled by China, or at the very least subordinate to the Manchu-led Qing dynasty during much of the Qing dynasty.
- Some Western scholars also maintain that Tibet was independent from c. 1912 to 1950, although it had extremely limited international recognition.
Current international context
Between 1911 and 1951 Tibet was free of the paramountcy of the Republic of China and functioned as a de facto independent entity. However it did not receive the de jure international recognition of a legal status separate from China. Today's Tibet is internationally recognized as part of China. It is not listed in the list of countries and territories to be decolonized published in 2008 by the UN, and China is not mentioned among the administering powers. No country has recognized the Tibetan government in exile as the legitimate government of Tibet.
Views of Chinese governments
In 1912 the Imperial Edict of the Abdication of the Qing Emperor was issued in the name of the Xuantong Emperor, providing the legal right for the Republic of China (which previously ruled mainland China from 1912 until 1949 and now controls Taiwan) to inherit all territories of the Qing dynasty, including Tibet. The cabinet-level Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission had existed and was in charge of the administration of Tibet and Outer Mongolia regions from 1912. The commission retained its cabinet-level status after 1949, but no longer executes that function. On 10 May 1943, Chiang Kai-shek asserted that "Tibet is part of Chinese territory... No foreign nation is allowed to interfere in our domestic affairs". He again declared in 1946 that the Tibetans were Chinese nationals. The Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission was disbanded in 2017.
In the late 19th century, China adopted the Western model of nation-state diplomacy. As the government of Tibet, China concluded several treaties (1876, 1886, 1890, 1893) with the British Indian government touching on the status, boundaries and access to Tibet. Chinese government sources consider this a sign of sovereignty rather than suzerainty. However, by the 20th century British India found the treaties to be ineffective due to China's weakened control over the Tibetan local government. A British expeditionary force invaded Tibet in 1904 and mandated the signing of a separate treaty directly with the Tibetan government in Lhasa. In 1906, an Anglo-Chinese Convention was signed at Peking between Great Britain and China. It incorporated the 1904 Lhasa Convention (with modification), which was attached as Annex. A treaty between Britain and Russia followed in 1907. Article II of this treaty stated that "In conformity with the admitted principle of the suzerainty of China over Tibet, Great Britain and Russia engage not to enter into negotiations with Tibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese Government." China sent troops into Tibet in 1908. The result of the policy of both Great Britain and Russia has been the virtual annexation of Tibet by China. China controlled Tibet up to 1912. Thereafter, Tibet entered the period described commonly as de facto independence, though it was recognized only by independent Mongolia as enjoying de jure independence.
In the 2000s the position of the Republic of China with regard to Tibet appeared to become more nuanced, as expressed in the opening speech to the International Symposium on Human Rights in Tibet on 8 September 2007 by the then ROC President Chen Shui-bian (an advocate of Taiwan independence), who stated that his offices no longer treated exiled Tibetans as Chinese mainlanders.
Legal arguments based on Tibet's historic status
The position of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which has ruled mainland China since 1949, as well as the official position of the Republic of China (ROC), which ruled mainland China before 1949 and currently controls Taiwan, is that Tibet has been an indivisible part of China de jure since the Yuan dynasty of Mongol-ruled China in the 13th century, comparable to other states such as the Kingdom of Dali and the Tangut Empire that were also incorporated into China at the time.
The PRC contends that, according to international law and the Succession of states theory, all subsequent Chinese governments have succeeded the Yuan Dynasty in exercising de jure sovereignty over Tibet, with the PRC having succeeded the ROC as the legitimate government of all China.
The ROC government exercised no effective control over Tibet from 1912 to 1951; however, in the opinion of the Chinese government, this condition does not represent Tibet's independence as many other parts of China also enjoyed de facto independence when the Chinese nation was torn by warlordism, Japanese invasion, and civil war. Goldstein explains what is meant by de facto independence in the following statement:
...[Britain] instead adopted a policy based on the idea of autonomy for Tibet within the context of Chinese suzerainty, that is to say, de facto independence for Tibet in the context of token subordination to China. Britain articulated this policy in the Simla Accord of 1914.
While at times the Tibetans were fiercely independent-minded, at other times, Tibet indicated its willingness to accept subordinate status as part of China provided that Tibetan internal systems were left untouched and China relinquished control over a number of important ethnic Tibetan groups in Kham and Amdo. The PRC insists that during this period the ROC government continued to maintain sovereignty over Tibet. The Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China (1912) stipulated that Tibet was a province of the Republic of China. Provisions concerning Tibet in the Constitution of the Republic of China promulgated later all stress the inseparability of Tibet from Chinese territory, and the Central Government of China's exercise of sovereignty in Tibet. In 1927, the Commission in Charge of Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs of the Chinese Government contained members of great influence in the Mongolian and Tibetan areas, such as the 13th Dalai Lama, the 9th Panchen Lama and other Tibetan government representatives. In 1934, on his condolence mission following the demise of the Dalai Lama, the Chinese General Huang Musong posted notices in Chinese and Tibetan throughout Lhasa that alluded to Tibet as an integral part of China while expressing the utmost reverence for the Dalai Lama and the Buddhist religion.
The 9th Panchen Lama traditionally ruled over one-third of Tibet. On 1 February 1925, the Panchen Lama attended the preparatory session of the "National Reconstruction Meeting" (Shanhou huiyi) intended to identify ways and means of unifying the Chinese nation, and gave a speech about achieving the unification of five nationalities, including Tibetans, Mongolians and Han Chinese. In 1933, he called upon the Mongols to embrace national unity and to obey the Chinese Government to resist Japanese invasion. In February 1935, the Chinese government appointed the Panchen Lama as "Special Cultural Commissioner for the Western Regions" and assigned him 500 Chinese troops. He spent much of his time teaching and preaching Buddhist doctrines - including the principles of unity and pacification for the border regions - extensively in inland China, outside of Tibet, from 1924 until 1 December 1937, when he died on his way back to Tibet under the protection of Chinese troops.
The Kuomintang government in China sought to portray itself as necessary to validate the choice of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama. When the current (14th) Dalai Lama was installed in Lhasa in 1939, it was with an armed escort of Chinese troops and an attending Chinese minister. The Muslim Kuomintang General Bai Chongxi called upon the Republic of China to expel the British from Tibet. According to Yu Shiyu, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Chiang Kai-shek ordered the Chinese Muslim General Ma Bufang, Governor of Qinghai (1937–1949), to repair the Yushu airport in Qinghai Province to deter Tibetan independence. In May 1943, Chiang warned that Tibet must accept and follow the instructions and orders of the Central Government, that they must agree and help to build the Chinese-India [war-supply] road, and that they must maintain direct communications with the Office of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC) in Lhasa and not through the newly established "Foreign Office" of Tibet. He sternly warned that he would "send an air force to bomb Tibet immediately" should Tibet be found to be collaborating with Japan. Official Communications between Lhasa and Chiang Kai-shek's government was through MTAC, not the "Foreign Office", until July 1949, just before the Communists' victory in the civil war. The presence of MTAC in Lhasa was viewed by both Nationalist and Communist governments as an assertion of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Throughout the Kuomintang years, no country gave Tibet diplomatic recognition.
In 1950, after the People's Liberation Army invaded Tibet, Indian president Jawaharlal Nehru stated that his country would continue the British policy with regards to Tibet in considering it to be outwardly part of China but internally autonomous.
The PRC considers all pro-independence movements aimed at ending Chinese sovereignty in Tibet, including the British expedition to Tibet, the CIA's backing of Tibetan insurgents during the 1950s and 1960s, and the establishment of the Government of Tibet in Exile at the end of the 20th century, as one extended campaign aimed at eroding Chinese territorial integrity and sovereignty, or destabilizing China itself.
View of the Tibetan government and the subsequent Tibetan government in exile
Government of Tibet (1912–1951)
A proclamation issued by 13th Dalai Lama in 1913 states, "During the time of Genghis Khan and Altan Khan of the Mongols, the Ming dynasty of the Chinese, and the Qing Dynasty of the Manchus, Tibet and China cooperated on the basis of benefactor and priest relationship. [...] the existing relationship between Tibet and China had been that of patron and priest and had not been based on the subordination of one to the other." He condemned that the "Chinese authorities in Szechuan and Yunnan endeavored to colonize our territory Chinese" in 1910–12 and stated that "We are a small, religious, and independent nation".
The Tibetan government issued passports to the first-ever Mount Everest expedition in 1921. The Tibetan government also issued passports to subsequent British Everest expedition in 1924 and 1936. The 1938–39 German expedition to Tibet also received Tibetan passports.
In 2003, the passport belonging to Tsepon W.D Shakabpa was rediscovered in Nepal by Friends of Tibet Foundation. Issued by the Kashag to Tibet's finance minister Tsepon Shakabpa for foreign travel, the passport was a single piece of pink paper, complete with photograph. It has a message in hand-written Tibetan and typed English, similar to the message by the nominal issuing officers of today's passports, stating that ""the bearer of this letter – Tsepon Shakabpa, Chief of the Finance Department of the Government of Tibet, is hereby sent to China, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and other countries to explore and review trade possibilities between these countries and Tibet. We shall, therefore, be grateful if all the Governments concerned on his route would kindly give due recognition as such, grant necessary passport, visa, etc. without any hindrance and render assistance in all possible ways to him." The text and the photograph is sealed by a square stamp belonging to the Kashag, and is dated "26th day of the 8th month of Fire-Pig year (Tibetan)" (14 October 1947 in the gregorian calendar).
The passport has received visas and entry stamps from several countries and territories, including India, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Pakistan, Iraq and Hong Kong, but not China. Some visa do reflect an official status, with mentions such as "Diplomatic courtesy, Service visa, Official gratis, Diplomatic visa, For government official".
Tibetan Government in exile (post 1959)
In 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet and established a government in exile at Dharamsala in northern India. This group claims sovereignty over various ethnically or historically Tibetan areas now governed by China. Aside from the Tibet Autonomous Region, an area that was administered directly by the Dalai Lama's government until 1951, the group also claims Amdo (Qinghai) and eastern Kham (western Sichuan). About 45 percent of ethnic Tibetans under Chinese rule live in the Tibet Autonomous Region, according to the 2000 census. Prior to 1949, much of Amdo and eastern Kham were governed by local rulers and even warlords.
The view of the current Dalai Lama in 1989 was as follows:
During the 5th Dalai Lama's time [1617–1682], I think it was quite evident that we were a separate sovereign nation with no problems. The 6th Dalai Lama [1683–1706] was spiritually pre-eminent, but politically, he was weak and uninterested. He could not follow the 5th Dalai Lama's path. This was a great failure. So, then the Chinese influence increased. During this time, the Tibetans showed quite a deal of respect to the Chinese. But even during these times, the Tibetans never regarded Tibet as a part of China. All the documents were very clear that China, Mongolia and Tibet were all separate countries. Because the Chinese emperor was powerful and influential, the small nations accepted the Chinese power or influence. You cannot use the previous invasion as evidence that Tibet belongs to China. In the Tibetan mind, regardless of who was in power, whether it was the Manchus [the Qing dynasty], the Mongols [the Yuan dynasty] or the Chinese, the east of Tibet was simply referred to as China. In the Tibetan mind, India and China were treated the same; two separate countries.
The International Commission of Jurists concluded that from 1913 to 1950 Tibet demonstrated the conditions of statehood as generally accepted under international law. In the opinion of the commission, the government of Tibet conducted its own domestic and foreign affairs free from any outside authority, and countries with whom Tibet had foreign relations are shown by official documents to have treated Tibet in practice as an independent State.
The United Nations General Assembly passed resolutions urging respect for the rights of Tibetans in 1959, 1961, and 1965. The 1961 resolution calls for that "principle of self-determination of peoples and nations" applies to the Tibetan people.
The Tibetan Government in Exile views current PRC rule in Tibet, including neighboring provinces outside Tibet Autonomous Region, as colonial and illegitimate, motivated solely by the natural resources and strategic value of Tibet, and in gross violation of both Tibet's historical status as an independent country and the right of Tibetan people to self-determination. It also points to PRC's autocratic policies, divide-and-rule policies, and what it contends are assimilationist policies, and regard those as an example of ongoing imperialism aimed at destroying Tibet's distinct ethnic makeup, culture, and identity, thereby cementing it as an indivisible part of China. That said, in 2005, the Dalai Lama said that "Tibet is a part of the People's Republic of China. It is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. Tibetan culture and Buddhism are part of Chinese culture. Many young Chinese like Tibetan culture as a tradition of China".. The Dalai Lama also stated in 2008 that he wishes only for Tibetan autonomy, and not separation from China, under certain conditions, like freedom of speech and expression, genuine self-rule, and control over ethnic makeup and migration in all areas claimed as historical Tibet.
The Middle-Way policy was adopted unanimously by the 4th session of the 12th Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies on September 18, 1997. It was proposed by the 14th Dalai Lama "to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet and to bring about stability and co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples based on equality and mutual co-operation. It is also a policy adopted democratically by the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people through a series of discussions held over a long time." In short, the Middle Way Approach policy states that
"The Tibetan people do not accept the present status of Tibet under the People's Republic of China. At the same time, they do not seek independence for Tibet, which is a historical fact. Treading a middle path in between these two lies the policy and means to achieve a genuine autonomy for all Tibetans living in the three traditional provinces of Tibet within the framework of the People's Republic of China. This is called the Middle-Way Approach, a non-partisan and moderate position that safeguards the vital interests of all concerned parties-for Tibetans: the protection and preservation of their culture, religion and national identity; for the Chinese: the security and territorial integrity of the motherland; and for neighbours and other third parties: peaceful borders and international relations."
During the Tang dynasty (618–907), the Tibetan Empire and the Tang dynasty were frequently at war, with parts of Tibet temporarily captured by the Tang to become part of their territory. Around 650, the Tang captured Lhasa. In 763, the Tibetan Empire very briefly took the Tang capital of Chang'an during the Tang civil war.[better source needed]
Most scholars outside of China say that during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Tibet was independent without even nominal Ming suzerainty. In contrast, since the mid-18th century it is agreed that China had control over Tibet reaching its maximum in the end of the 18th century. Luciano Petech, a scholar of Himalayan history, indicated that Tibet was a Qing protectorate.
The patron and priest relationship held between the Qing court and the Tibetan lamas has been subjected to varying interpretation. The 13th Dalai Lama, for example, knelt, but did not kowtow, before the Empress Dowager Cixi and the young Emperor while he delivered his petition in Beijing. Chinese sources emphasize the submission of kneeling; Tibetan sources emphasize the lack of the kowtow. Titles and commands given to Tibetans by the Chinese, likewise, are variously interpreted. The Qing authorities gave the 13th Dalai Lama the title of "Loyally Submissive Vice-Regent", and ordered to follow Qing's commands and communicate with the Emperor only through the Manchu Amban in Lhasa; but opinions vary as to whether these titles and commands reflected actual political power, or symbolic gestures ignored by Tibetans. Some authors claim that kneeling before the Emperor followed the 17th-century precedent in the case of the 5th Dalai Lama. Other historians indicate that the emperor treated the Dalai Lama as an equal. Kneeling was a compromise allowed by the Qing court for foreign representatives, Western and Tibetan alike, as both parties refused to perform the kowtow.
Tibetologist Melvyn Goldstein writes that Britain and Russia formally acknowledged Chinese authority over Tibet in treaties of 1906 and 1907; and that the 1904 British expedition to Tibet stirred China into becoming more directly involved in Tibetan affairs and working to integrate Tibet with "the rest of China."
The status of Tibet after the 1911 Xinhai Revolution ended the Qing dynasty is also a matter of debate. After the revolution, the Chinese Republic of five races, including Tibetans, was proclaimed. Western powers recognized the Chinese Republic, however the 13th Dalai Lama proclaimed Tibet's independence. Some authors indicate that personal allegiance of the Dalai Lama to the Manchu Emperor came to an end and no new type of allegiance of Tibet to China was established, or that Tibet had relationships with the empire and not with the new nation-state of China. Barnett observes that there is no document before 1950 in which Tibet explicitly recognizes Chinese sovereignty, and considers Tibet's subordination to China during the periods when China had most authority comparable to that of a colony. Tibetologist Elliot Sperling noted that the Tibetan term for China, Rgya-nag, did not mean anything more than a country bordering Tibet from the east, and did not include Tibet. Other Tibetologists write that no country publicly accepts Tibet as an independent state, although there are several instances of government officials appealing to their superiors to do so. Treaties signed by Britain and Russia in the early years of the 20th century, and others signed by Nepal and India in the 1950s, recognized Tibet's political subordination to China. The United States presented a similar viewpoint in 1943. Goldstein also says that a 1943 British official letter "reconfirmed that Britain considered Tibet as part of China." Nevertheless, Goldstein views Tibet as occupied. Stating that The Seventeen-Point Agreement was intended to facilitate the military occupation of Tibet.
The United States government maintains that no country recognizes Tibet as a sovereign state, and German scholar Thomas Heberer wrote: "No country in the world has ever recognized the independence of Tibet or declared that Tibet is an 'occupied country'. For all countries in the world, Tibet is Chinese territory." The only historical exception - apart from the micronation Ladonia recognizing Tibet in 2008 - was the similarly unrecognized Bogd Khanate of Mongolia, which declared independence from China together with Tibet just after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Bogd and Tibet signed a treaty of mutual recognition, although the 13th Dalai Lama denied ever giving authorization and the Tibetan government never ratified it. During the early 1990s governmental bodies, including the European Union and United States Congress, and other international organisations declared that Tibetans lacked the enjoyment of self-determination to which they are entitled  and that it is an occupied territory.
Under the terms of the Simla Accord, the British government's position was that China held suzerainty over Tibet but not full sovereignty. By 2008, it was the only state still to hold this view. David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, described the previous position as an anachronism originating in the geopolitics of the early 20th century. Britain revised this view on 29 October 2008, when it recognised Chinese sovereignty over Tibet by issuing a statement on its website. The Economist reported at that time that although the British Foreign Office's website did not use the word sovereignty, officials at the Foreign Office said "it means that, as far as Britain is concerned, 'Tibet is part of China. Full stop.'"
In 2008, European Union leader José Manuel Barroso stated that the EU recognized Tibet as integral part of China: On 1 April 2009, the French Government reaffirmed its position on the Tibet issue.
This lack of legal recognition makes it difficult for international legal experts sympathetic to the Tibetan Government in Exile to argue that Tibet formally established its independence. On the other hand, in 1959 and 1960, the International Commission of Jurists concluded that Tibet had been independent between 1913 and 1950.
While Canadian foreign policy and Canada's policy toward Tibet is strictly limited to supporting human rights, Canada has nonetheless recognized that the Tibetan people's human rights expressly include their right to self-determination.
Groups such as the Madrid-based Committee to Support Tibet claim the death toll in Tibet since the 1950 People's Liberation Army invasion of Tibet to be 1,200,000 and have filed official charges of genocide against prominent Chinese leaders and officials. This figure has been disputed by Patrick French, a supporter of the Tibetan cause who was able to view the data and calculations, but rather, concludes a no less devastating death toll of half a million people as a direct result of Chinese policies.
According to an ICJ (International Commission of Jurists) report released in 1960, there was no "sufficient proof of the destruction of Tibetans as a race, nation or ethnic group as such by methods that can be regarded as genocide in international law" found in Tibet.
The PRC argues that the Tibetan authority under successive Dalai Lamas was also itself a human rights violator. The old society of Tibet was a serfdom and, according to reports of an early English explorer, had remnants of "a very mild form of slavery" prior to the 13th Dalai Lama's reforms of 1913.
Tibetologist Robert Barnett wrote about clerical resistance to the introduction of anything Anti-Buddhist that might disturb the prevailing power structure. Clergy obstructed modernization attempts by the 13th Dalai Lama.
Old Tibet had a long history of persecuting non-Buddhist Christians. In the years 1630 and 1742, Tibetan Christian communities were suppressed by the lamas of the Gelugpa Sect, whose chief lama was the Dalai Lama. Jesuit priests were made prisoners in 1630 or attacked before they reached Tsaparang. Between 1850 and 1880, eleven fathers of the Paris Foreign Mission Society were murdered in Tibet, or killed or injured during their journeys to other missionary outposts in the Sino-Tibetan borderlands. In 1881 Father Brieux was reported to have been murdered on his way to Lhasa. Qing officials later discovered that the murder cases were in fact covertly supported and even orchestrated by local lamaseries and their patrons—the native chieftains. In 1904, Qing official Feng Quan sought to curtail the influence of the Gelugpa Sect and ordered the protection of Western missionaries and their churches. Indignation over Feng Quan and the Christian presence escalated to a climax in March 1905, when thousands of the Batang lamas revolted, killing Feng, his entourage, local Manchu and Han Chinese officials, and the local French Catholic priests. The revolt soon spread to other cities in eastern Tibet, such as Chamdo, Litang and Nyarong, and at one point almost spilled over into neighboring Sichuan Province. The missionary stations and churches in these areas were burned and destroyed by the angry Gelugpa monks and local chieftains. Dozens of local Westerners, including at least four priests, were killed or fatally wounded. The scale of the rebellion was so tremendous that only when panicked Qing authorities hurriedly sent 2,000 troops from Sichuan to pacify the mobs did the revolt gradually come to an end. The lamasery authorities and local native chieftains' hostility towards the Western missionaries in Tibet lingered through the last throes of the Qing dynasty and into the Republican period.
Three UN resolutions of 1959, 1961, and 1965 condemned human rights violation in Tibet. These resolutions were passed at a time when the PRC was not permitted to become a member and of course was not allowed to present its singular version of events in the region (however, the Republic of China on Taiwan, which the PRC also claims sovereignty over, was a member of the UN at the time, and it equally claimed sovereignty over Tibet and opposed Tibetan self-determination). Professor and sinologist A. Tom Grunfeld called the resolutions impractical and justified the PRC in ignoring them.
Grunfeld questioned Human Rights Watch reports on human rights abuses in Tibet, saying they distorted the big picture.
According to Barnett, since Western powers and especially the United States used the Tibet issue in the 1950s and 1960s for cold war political purposes, the PRC is now able to get support from developing countries in defeating the last nine attempts at the United Nations to criticize China. Barnett writes that the position of the Chinese in Tibet would be more accurately characterized as a colonial occupation, and that such an approach might cause developing nations to be more supportive of the Tibetan cause.
The Chinese government ignores the issue of its alleged violations of Tibetan human rights, and prefers to argue that the invasion was about territorial integrity and unity of the State. Furthermore, Tibetan activists inside Tibet have until recently focused on independence, not human rights.
Leaders of the Tibetan Youth Congress which claims a strength of over 30,000 members are alleged by China to advocate violence. In 1998, Barnett wrote that India's military includes 10,000 Tibetans, a fact that has been causing China some unease. He further wrote that "at least seven bombs exploded in Tibet between 1995 and 1997, one of them laid by a monk, and a significant number of individual Tibetans are known to be actively seeking the taking up of arms; hundreds of Chinese soldiers and police have been beaten during demonstrations in Tibet, and at least one killed in cold blood, probably several more."
On 23 March 2008, there was a bombing incident in the Qambo prefecture.
Even though the oldest ROC constitutional documents claim that Tibet is a part of China, Chinese political leaders acknowledged the principle of self-determination. For example, at a party conference in 1924, Kuomintang leader Sun Yat-sen issued a statement which advocated the right of self-determination for all Chinese ethnic groups: "The Kuomintang can state with solemnity that it recognizes the right of self-determination of all national minorities in China and it will organize a free and united Chinese republic." Complete secession of Tibet was then rejected and the policy was enforced in the unaltered ROC constitution passed by the nationalist government that stated in Article 3 that all Tibetans “possessing the nationality of the Republic of China” shall be citizens of the ROC while Articles 4 and 5 reaffirmed that any territories “shall not be altered” unless the resolution is approved by the National Assembly and all racial groups are equal.
In 1931, the CCP issued a constitution for the short-lived Chinese Soviet Republic which states that Tibetans and other ethnic minorities, "may either join the Union of Chinese Soviets or secede from it." It is notable that China was in a state of civil war at the time and that the "Chinese Soviets" only represents a faction. Saying that Tibet may secede from the "Chinese Soviets" does not mean that it can secede from China. The quote above is merely a statement of Tibetans' freedom to choose their political orientation. The possibility of complete secession was denied by Communist leader Mao Zedong in 1938: "They must have the right to self-determination and at the same time they should continue to unite with the Chinese people to form one nation". This policy was codified in PRC's first constitution which, in Article 3, reaffirmed China as a "single multi-national state," while the "national autonomous areas are inalienable parts". The Chinese government insists that the United Nations documents, which codifies the principle of self-determination, provides that the principle shall not be abused in disrupting territorial integrity: "Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations...."
The PRC also points to what it claims are the autocratic, oppressive and theocratic policies of the government of Tibet before 1959, its toleration of existence of serfdom and slaves, its so-called "renunciation" of (Arunachal Pradesh) and its association with India and other foreign countries, and as such claims the Government of Tibet in Exile has no legitimacy to govern Tibet and no credibility or justification in criticizing PRC's policies.
...It is often forgotten that many Tibetans, especially educated people in the larger towns, were so keen to modernize their society in the mid-20th century that they saw the Chinese communists as allies against rule by monks and serf-owning landlords. The Dalai Lama himself, in the early 1950s, was impressed by Chinese reforms and wrote poems praising Chairman Mao.
Instances have been documented when the PRC government gained support from a significant portion of the Tibetan population, including monastic leaders, monks, nobility and ordinary Tibetans prior to the crackdown in the 1959 uprising. The PRC government and many Tibetan leaders characterize PLA's operation as a peaceful liberation of Tibetans from a "feudal serfdom system." (和平解放西藏).
When Tibet complained to the United Nations through El Salvador about Chinese invasion in November 1950—after Chinese forces entered Chamdo (or Qamdo) when Tibet failed to respond by the deadline to China's demand for negotiation-- members debated about it but refused to admit the "Tibet Question" into the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly. Key stakeholder India told the General Assembly that "the Peking Government had declared that it had not abandoned its intention to settle the difficulties by peaceful means", and that "the Indian Government was certain that the Tibet Question could still be settled by peaceful means". The Russian delegate said that "China's sovereignty over Tibet had been recognized for a long time by the United Kingdom, the United States, and the U.S.S.R." The United Nations postponed this matter on the grounds that Tibet was officially an "autonomous nationality region belonging to territorial China", and because the outlook of peaceful settlement seemed good.
Subsequently, The Agreement Between the Central Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Method for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, also known as Seventeen-Point Agreement, was signed between delegates of China and Tibet on 23 May 1951. The Dalai Lama, despite the massive Chinese military presence, had ample time and opportunity to repudiate and denounce the Seventeen-Point Agreement. He was encouraged and instigated to do so with promise of public but not military support by the US, which by now had become hostile to Communist-ruled China.
On May 29, the 10th Panchen Erdeni (i.e. 10th Panchen Lama) and the Panchen Kampus Assembly made a formal statement, expressing their heartfelt support for the agreement. The statement indicated their resolution to guarantee the correct implementation of the agreement and to realize solidarity between the different ethnic groups of China and ethnic solidarity among the Tibetans; and on May 30, the 10th Panchen Erdeni telegrammed the 14th Dalai Lama, expressing his hope for unity and his vow to support the 14th Dalai Lama and the government of Tibet with the implementation of the agreement under the guidance of the Central Government and Chairman Mao.
The Agreement was finally accepted by Tibet's National Assembly, which then advised the Dalai Lama to accept it. Finally, on 24 October 1951, the Dalai Lama dispatched a telegram to Mao Zedong:
The Tibet Local Government as well as the ecclesiastic and secular People unanimously support this agreement, and under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Central People's Government, will actively support the People's Liberation Army in Tibet to consolidate defence, drive out imperialist influences from Tibet and safeguard the unification of the territory and sovereignty of the Motherland.
On 28 October 1951, the Panchen Rinpoche [i.e. Panchen Lama] made a similar public statement accepting the agreement. He urged the "people of Shigatse to give active support" to carrying out the agreement.
Tsering Shakya writes about the general acceptance of the Tibetans toward the Seventeen-Point Agreement, and its legal significance:
The most vocal supporters of the agreement came from the monastic community...As a result many Tibetans were willing to accept the agreement....Finally there were strong factions in Tibet who felt that the agreement was acceptable...this section was led by the religious community...In the Tibetans' view their independence was not a question of international legal status, but as Dawa Norbu writes, "Our sense of independence was based on the independence of our way of life and culture, which was more real to the unlettered masses than law or history, canons by which the non-Tibetans decide the fate of Tibet...This was the first formal agreement between Tibet and Communist China and it established the legal basis for Chinese rule in Tibet."
On March 28, 1959, premier Zhou Enlai signed the order of the PRC State Council on the uprising in Tibet, accusing the Tibetan government of disrupting the Agreement. (see, for review). The creation of the TAR finally buried the Agreement that was discarded back in 1959.
On April 18, 1959, the Dalai Lama published a statement in Tezpur, India, that gave his reasons for escaping to India. He pointed out that the 17 Point Agreement was signed under compulsion, and that later "the Chinese side permanently violated it". According to Michael Van Walt Van Praag, "treaties and similar agreements concluded under the use or threat of force are invalid under international law ab initio". According to this interpretation, this Agreement would not be considered legal by those who consider Tibet to have been an independent state before its signing, but would be considered legal by those who acknowledge China's sovereignty over Tibet prior to the treaty. Other accounts, such as those of Tibetologist Melvyn Goldstein, argue that under international law the threat of military action does not invalidate a treaty. According to Goldstein, the legitimacy of the treaty hinges on the signatories having full authority to finalise such an agreement; whether they did is up for debate.
- Tibetan independence movement
- Patron and priest relationship
- South Tibet
- Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme
- Protests and uprisings in Tibet since 1950
- Tibet flag case
- Seventeen Point Agreement
- "China was only a part of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, it was neither the authority nor the inheritor of the dynasty". Central Tibetan Administration. November 8, 2019. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
- Wang and Nyima (1997) p.20. Sperling (2004) p.21
- Sperling (2004) p.17. Shakya (1999) p.90. Latourette (1964) p.419. Spence (1999) p.500.
- Wang and Nyima (1997) p.20. Grunfeld (1996) p.256. Sperling (2004) p.10.
- Sperling (2004) pp.6,7. Goldstein (1989) p.72. Both cite the ROC's position paper at the 1914 Simla Conference.
- Sperling (2004) p.21
- "Five Point Peace Plan". The Dalai Lama. 21 September 1987. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Feigon (1996) p.58. Gernet (1972) pp.369, 384. Goldstein (1997) pp.3, 4.
- Goldstein (1997) pp.4,5. Feigon (1996) pp.63-64,
- Latourette (1964) p.253 "an appendage of". Gernet (1972) p.481 "part of". Goldstein (1989) p.44 "subordination of Tibet to China".
- Sperling (2004) pp.27-29
- Feigon (1996) pp.86,88,90, in contrast, claims that the Qing had little control over Tibet and compares Tibet with the Vatican.
- Shakya (1999) p.4 "independent state", 90 "international legal status" was "independent state". Feigon (1996) p.119 "border between the two countries" of China and Tibet in 1917. Goldstein (1997) pp.30-37 Chapter titled "Interlude: De Facto Independence". Latourette (1964) pp.333 "practically independent" from 1912, 419 "accepted the suzerainty of the Communists" in 1951.
- Bajoria, Jayshree. "The Question of Tibet". www.cfr.org. Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 31 January 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
- Melvyn C. Goldstein (with Cynthia M. Beall), Nomads of Western Tibet — The Survival of a Way of Life, University of California Press, 1990 ISBN 0520072111, 9780520072114, p. 50 (Historical background): "while Tibet was loosely subordinate to China for several hundred years prior to 1911, between then and 1951, it functioned as a de facto independent poltitical entity, although it never received de jure international recognition of an independent legal status separate from China."
- Barry Sautman, "Cultural genocide" and Tibet Archived 2010-01-26 at the Wayback Machine, in Texas International Law Journal, ` April 2003, reproduced at allbusiness.com: "every state in the world recognizes that Tibet is part of China, and no state deems Tibet a colony."
- Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff, Digital Diasporas: Identity and Transnational Engagement, Cambridge University Press, 2009, p. 23 (Introduction): "[...] the United States continues to recognize the Tibetan Autonomous Region as part of the People's Republic of China."
- Martine Bulard, "Chine-Tibet, des identités communes" [China–Tibet, common identities], reproduced on Planète Asie from Monde Diplomatique, 30 April 2008: "Rappelons que les Nations unies n’ont jamais inclus le Tibet dans les pays à décoloniser (avant comme après 1971 – date du remplacement de Taïwan par la Chine populaire) et qu’aucun pays n’a reconnu le « gouvernement » tibétain en exil et donc la possibilité d’une indépendance." ["Remember that the United Nations has never included Tibet in the countries to be decolonized (before and after 1971 - when Taiwan was replaced by the People's Republic of China) and that no country has recognized the Tibetan "government" in exile and therefore the possibility of independence."]
- The United Nations and Decolonization
- Dalaï-lama, Sofia Stril-Rever, Appel au monde, Éditions du Seuil, 2011, p. 1942 (eBook) : "À ce jour, le gouvernement tibétain en exil n'est reconnu par aucune chancellerie." ["To date, the Tibetan government in exile is not recognized by any chancellery."]
- Image from a display at the UN building. See also:http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/english/htmain.htm Archived 2010-04-30 at the Wayback Machine United Nations Cartographic Section - The World in 1945, no. 4135 Rev.2 September 2009
- The World in 1945, no. 4135 Archived 2017-06-23 at the Wayback Machine "The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or any area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers boundaries."
- "History of Tibet -- china.org.cn". www.china.org.cn. Archived from the original on 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- Esherick, Joseph; Kayali, Hasan; Van Young, Eric (2006). Empire to Nation: Historical Perspectives on the Making of the Modern World. p. 245. ISBN 9780742578159. Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- Zhai, Zhiyong (2017). 憲法何以中國. p. 190. ISBN 9789629373214. Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
- Gao, Quanxi (2016). 政治憲法與未來憲制. p. 273. ISBN 9789629372910. Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
- "The Issue of Tibet in China-US Relations During The Second World War".
- The last of the Tibetans Archived 2009-12-10 at the Wayback Machine By Ian Buruma
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Tibet". www.newadvent.org. Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- "Tibet Justice Center - Legal Materials on Tibet - Treaties and Conventions Relating to Tibet - Convention Between Great Britain and China Respecting Tibet (1906) ". tibetjustice.org. Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Tibet Justice Center - Legal Materials on Tibet - Treaties and Conventions Relating to Tibet - Convention Between Great Britain and Russia (1907)". tibetjustice.org. Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- Zhu, Yuan Yi (2020). "Suzerainty, Semi-Sovereignty, and International Legal Hierarchies on China's Borderlands". Asian Journal of International Law. Cambridge University Press. 10 (2): 293–320. doi:10.1017/S204425132000020X. S2CID 225302411.
- 'President Chen Shui-bian's Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the 2007 International Symposium on Human Rights in Tibet' Sep 8, 2007[dead link]
- For the PRC's position, see State Council's whitepaper Tibet - Its Ownership and Human Rights Situation Archived 2006-10-10 at the Wayback Machine, 1992 and Beijing Review's 100 Question about Tibet Archived 2006-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, 1989; for the ROC's position, see Government Information Office's online publication Archived 2006-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
- Grunfeld, A. Tom, Reassessing Tibet Policy Archived 2006-09-06 at the Wayback Machine, 2000 (also in PDF file Archived 2006-10-25 at the Wayback Machine)
- For a definition of the "Succession of states theory in international law", see West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2, The Gale Group, Inc., 2008 : "Succession occurs when one state ceases to exist or loses control over part of its territory, and another state comes into existence or assumes control over the territory lost by the first state. A central concern in this instance is whether the international obligations of the former state are taken over by the succeeding state. Changes in the form of government of one state, such as the replacement of a monarchy by a democratic form of government, do not modify or terminate the obligations incurred by the previous government. When the state ceases to exist, however, the treaties it concluded generally are terminated and those of the successor state apply to the territory. These include political treaties like alliances, which depend on the existence of the state that concluded them. But certain obligations, such as agreements concerning boundaries or other matters of local significance, carry over to the successor state. More difficult to determine is the continuing legality of treaties granting concessions or contract rights. Scholarly opinion has diverged on this aspect of succession, and state practice has likewise divided. Consequently each case must be studied on its merits to determine whether the rights and duties under the contract or concession are such that the successor state is bound by the obligations of the previous state."
- Rene Kamm, The Sino-Tibetan Dialogue: Talk Shop or Path to Resolution? Archived 2014-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, Marc Blecher, advisor, Oberlin College, East Asian Studies Honors, 2012 April 26, p. 7: "The PRC contends that, according to international law and the succession of states theory, all subsequent Chinese governments have succeeded the Yuan Dynasty in exercising de jure sovereignty over Tibet."
- Scott David Parker, Department of Political Science, Sierra College Truckee, California, All (Geo-)Politics are Local: the Consequences of the People's Republic of China's Military Doctrine of Local War for the East Asia Region Archived 2014-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, Paper submitted for presentation at the Canadian Political Science Association annual meeting, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, June 12–15, 2012 : "In the view of its leadership, the PRC replaced the ROC as the legitimate government of all China under the succession of states theory of international law. That the majority of the world's states agree reinforces this assertion and serves to isolate the Taipei regime".
- Freeman, Lesley (2013). Running From Tenda Gyamar: A Volunteer's Story of Life with the Refugee Children of Tibet. Winchester, UK: Mantra Books. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-78099-853-4.
With the collapse of the Chinese Empire in 1911, Tibet Declared its independence.
- Grunfeld, 1996, p256
- A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p. 822.
- Goldstein, Melvyn C., A History of Modern Tibet: 1913-1951, 1989, pp 239-241, 248, 271
- Grunfeld, A. Tom, The Making of Modern Tibet, M.E. Sharpe, 1996, p 245, regarding Kham and Amdo: "The historical reality is that the Dalai Lamas have not ruled these outer areas since the mid-eighteenth century, and during the Simla Conference of 1913, the 13th Dalai Lama was even willing to sign away rights to them"
- "History of Tibet -- china.org.cn". www.china.org.cn. Archived from the original on 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- "I. The Consistent Stand Taken by the Successive Chinese Central Governments towards the Sovereignty over Tibet after the Revolution of 1911". www.china-embassy.org. Archived from the original on 2020-01-29. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
- Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China, issued March, 1912; Constitution of the Republic of China, issued May, 1914; Provisional Constitution in the Political Tutelage Period of the Republic of China, issued June 1931
- "Did Tibet Become an Independent Country after the Revolution of 1911?" Archived 2004-04-26 at the Wayback Machine, China Internet Information Center
- The History of Tibet By Alex McKay (ed), London: RoutledgeCurzon (2003) p.427,571
- "History of Tibet -- china.org.cn". www.china.org.cn. Archived from the original on 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn C. Goldstein, 1989, p227.
- "A Short History of Tibet by T.T. Moh". Archived from the original on 2008-04-05. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn C. Goldstein, 1989, p.263
- McKay (ed), p419-431; Panchen Lama's speech about unification of five nationalities, p422; Panchen Lama preached resistance against Japanese, p425; Panchen Lama preached about principles of unity and peace for the border regions, p.429; under the protection Chinese troops, p.431.
- Richardson, Hugh E. (1984). Tibet and its History. 2nd Edition, pp. 134-136. Shambhala Publications, Boston. ISBN 0-87773-376-7 (pbk).
- The History of Tibet By Alex McKay (ed), London: RoutledgeCurzon (2003) p571; "the coronation of the Dalai Lama"; the British representative Basil Gould there was not afforded the privilege to attend the installation ceremony; Note 2 on p.572
- Wu Chung hsin walking towards a sedan chair Archived 2010-06-02 at the Wayback Machine "Information" of the photo: Richardson discusses Wu's mission to Lhasa in Tibet and Its History(2nd Ed.)Boston & London: Shambala (1984), "Wu also claimed that he personally conducted the enthronement and that, in gratitude, the Dalai Lama prostrated himself in the direction of Peking." (p. 154)
- "[视频]达赖访印受滞 周总理三劝达赖回国化误解_cctv.com提供". news.cctv.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
- Diana Lary (1974). Region and nation: the Kwangsi clique in Chinese politics, 1925-1937. Cambridge University Press. p. 124. ISBN 0-521-20204-3. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- 奥运会、"藏独"和文化自信. zaobao.com (in Simplified Chinese). Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2008.
- The Dragon in the Land of Snows by Tsering Shakya,pp.7,11
- For the British and U.S. positions on Tibet, see Goldstein, 1989, p 399, p386, UK Foreign Office Whitepaper: Tibet and the Question of Chinese Suzerainty (10 April 1943), Foreign Office Records: FO371/35755 and aide-mémoire sent by the US Department of States to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. (dated 15 May 1943), Foreign Office Records: FO371/35756
- A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p673-4
- Jacques Gernet's A History of Chinese Civilization [Cambridge University Press, 1996] saying "From 1751 onwards Chinese control over Tibet became permanent and remained so more or less ever after, in spite of British efforts to seize possession of this Chinese protectorate at the beginning of the twentieth century."
- "World News Briefs; Dalai Lama Group Says It Got Money From C.I.A." The New York Times. Associated Press. October 2, 1998. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
- Reassessing Tibet Policy by A. Tom Grunfeld Archived 2006-09-06 at the Wayback Machine; Tibet, China and the United States: Reflections on the Tibet Question by Melvyn C. Goldstein Archived 2006-11-06 at the Wayback Machine; Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA Archived 2008-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
- Origins of So-Called "Tibetan Independence Archived 2006-09-18 at the Wayback Machine, Information Office of the State Council, 1992.
- "Tibet". www.crwflags.com. Archived from the original on 2019-05-24. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
- Shakabpa, Tsepon W. D. "Tibet: A Political History, Yale University Press, 1967. p246-248
- Sir Charles Alfred Bell (1987). Portrait of a Dalai Lama: The Life and Times of the Great Thirteenth. Wisdom. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-86171-055-3.
- B. J. Gould (1957). The Jewel in the Lotus: Recollections of an Indian Political. London: Chatto & Windus. pp. 210–211.
- Isrun Engelhardt (2007). Tibet in 1938-1939: Photographs from the Ernst Schäfer Expedition to Tibet. Kodansha Europe. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-932476-30-9.
- Jacob van Kokswijk (2007). Digital Ego: Social and Legal Aspects of Virtual Identity. Eburon Uitgeverij B.V. p. 52. ISBN 978-90-5972-203-3. Archived from the original on 2019-02-03. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
- Pawan Sharma (April 2, 2004). "First Tibetan Passport Found after 15 Years". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
- Goldstein, Melvyn C., The Snow Lion and the Dragon, University of California Press, 1997, p71
- Gyatso, Tenzin, 14th Dalai Lama. Tibet, China and the World: A Compilation of Interviews, Dharamsala, 1989, p. 31.
- Legal Inquiry Committee, Tibet and Chinese People's Republic, Geneva: International Commission of Jurists, 1960, pp. 5,6
- Walt Van Praag, Michael C. van, The Status of Tibet: History, Rights and Prospects in International Law Archived 2006-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, (Westview, 1987)
- "United Nations General Assembly - Resolution 1353 (XIV)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- United Nations General Assembly - Resolution 1723 (XVI) Archived 2014-01-02 at the Wayback Machine and alternative:[permanent dead link]
- United Nations General Assembly - Resolution 2079 (XX) Archived 2013-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
- "Tibet part of China, Dalai Lama agrees". Sydney Morning Herald. 15 March 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
- "Tibetans just want autonomy, Dalai Lama says". NBC News. 13 April 2008. Archived from the original on 15 March 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- "The Middle-Way Policy". tibet.net. Central Tibetan Administration. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
- Lama, 14th Dalai. "His Holiness's Middle Way Approach For Resolving the Issue of Tibet". .dalailama.com. Office of His Holiness the Dala Lama. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
- World History: The Human Odyssey, West Educational Publishing. ISBN 0314205616. Author: Jackson J. Spiegvogel
- Charles Bell (1992). Tibet Past and Present. CUP Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 28. ISBN 81-208-1048-1. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
- University of London. Contemporary China Institute, Congress for Cultural Freedom (1960). The China quarterly, Issue 1. p. 88. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
- Roger E. McCarthy (1997). Tears of the lotus: accounts of Tibetan resistance to the Chinese invasion, 1950-1962. McFarland. p. 12. ISBN 0-7864-0331-4. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
- Gernet, J., Foster, J.R. & Hartman C., A History of Chinese Civilization, Cambridge University Press, 1982, p481 reads in part: "From 1751 onwards Chinese control over Tibet became permanent and remained so more or less ever after, in spite of British efforts to seize possession of this Chinese protectorate at the beginning of the twentieth century."
- Petech L.,China and Tibet in the Early XVIIIth Century: History of the Establishment of Chinese Protectorate in Tibet, 1972, p260
- The History of Tibet: Volume III The Modern Period: 1895-1959 edited by Alex McKay, London and New York: Routledge Curzon (2003), p.9
- "A wall painting showing the 13th Dalai Lama kneeling before the Dowager Queen". Archived from the original on 2001-04-25. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
- Grunfeld, A. Tom, The Making of Modern Tibet, p. 42, reads in part "Both (Tibetan and Chinese) accounts agree that the Dalai Lama was exempt from the traditional kowtow symbolizing total subservience; he was, however, required to kneel before the emperor."
- Laird, Thomas. (2006). The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, pp. 170-174. Grove Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-8021-1827-1.
- Tibet, China and the United States: Reflections on the Tibet Question by Melvyn C. Goldstein Archived 2006-11-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Alexandrowicz-Alexander C.H. The Legal Position of Tibet. - The American Journal of International Law, vol. 48, No. 2, 1954, pp. 265-274.
- Dulaney, A.G., Cusack, D.M., and Van Walt van Praag, M., 1998. The Case Concerning Tibet. Tibet's Sovereignty and Tibetan People's Right to Self-Determination. New Delhi, p.1-2, 29-30, 38.
- Robert Barnett in Steve Lehman, The Tibetans: Struggle to Survive, Umbrage Editions, New York, 1998. pdf p.12 Archived 2008-05-28 at the Wayback Machine, 
- Sperling, E. The Tibet-China Conflict: History and Polemics. - Policy Studies 7, 2004, p. 34.
- Contemporary Tibet: Politics, Development, and Society in a Disputed Region by Barry Sautman and June Teufel Dreyer, New York: M.E.Sharpe (2006),p3
- Clark, Gregory, "In fear of China", 1969, saying: ' Tibet, although enjoying independence at certain periods of its history, had never been recognised by any single foreign power as an independent state. The closest it has ever come to such recognition was the British formula of 1943: suzerainty, combined with autonomy and the right to enter into diplomatic relations. '
- Clark, Gregory, "No rest for 'China threat' lobby Archived 2008-06-19 at the Wayback Machine", Japan Times, 7 Jan 2006
- Grunfeld, A. Tom, "The Making of Modern Tibet", p258
- Goldstein, 1989, p717.
- The History of Tibet By Alex McKay (ed), London: RoutledgeCurzon (2003) p657-8.
- Treaties of 1906 Archived 2019-02-05 at the Wayback Machine, 1907 and 1914 Archived 2006-04-24 at the Wayback Machine
- Since then Tibet has been regarded by Nepal Archived 2012-02-14 at the Wayback Machine and the Republic of India Archived 2008-03-06 at the Wayback Machine as a Region of China
- Aide-mémoire sent by the US Department of States to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.(dated 15 May 1943), Foreign Office Records: FO371/35756, quoted from Goldstein, 1989, p386 "For its part, the Government of the United States has borne in mind the fact that...the Chinese constitution lists Tibet among areas constituting the territory of the Republic of China. This Government has at no time raised a question regarding either of these claims."
- Melvyn C. Goldstein, A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State pp.401-402
- Melvyn C. Goldstein (2009). A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 2: The Calm Before the Storm: 1951-1955. University of California Press. p. 99. ISBN 9780520259959.
- Rossabi, Morris (2004). Governing China's Multiethnic Frontiers. University of Washington Press. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-295-98390-5.
- West is 'waging a new Cold War against China' Archived 2011-06-07 at the Wayback Machine Chinadaily.com quotes German newspaper. Retrieved on April 17, 2008
- "SPIEGEL Interview with Tibet's Communist Party Chief". De Spiegel. 16 August 2006. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Ladonia Herald, Ladonia and Tibet, 2008-03-30
- Bell, Charles, Tibet Past and Present, 1924, pp 150f, 228f, 304f.
- "European Parliament Resolution on the Situation in Tibet". Yale. 2008. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- "TIBET: UN TO VOTE ON RIGHTS ABUSES IN TIBET - EUROPEANS TABLE CENSURE MOTION; US POSITION SEEN AS KEY". International Commission of Jurists. 26 February 1992. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- "EUR-Lex - 51995IP0963 - EN - EUR-Lex". eur-lex.europa.eu.
- Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995, Pub. L. No. 103-236, § 536, 108 Stat. 382, 481 (1994), saying "Because Congress has determined that Tibet is an occupied sovereign country under international law". Congress has imposed a reporting requirement on the Secretary of State regarding, inter alia, the state of relations between the United States and "those recognized by Congress as the true representatives of the Tibetan people.", see also Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, Pub. L. No. 102-138, § 355, 105 Stat. 647, 713 (1991) saying "It is the sense of the Congress that...Tibet...is an occupied country under the established principles of international law [and] Tibet's true representatives are the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile as recognized by the Tibetan people..." (See the Bill Archived 2013-11-19 at the Wayback Machine)
- Staff, Britain's suzerain remedy Archived 2008-12-10 at the Wayback Machine, The Economist, 6 November 2008
- Lunn, Jon. Tibet (SN/IA/5018) Archived 2009-06-18 at the Wayback Machine, International Affairs and Defence Section, British Parliamentary Briefing Paper, 20 March 2009. p. 8
- David Miliband, Written Ministerial Statement on Tibet (29/10/2008) Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine, Foreign Office website. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
Our ability to get our points across has sometimes been clouded by the position the UK took at the start of the 20th century on the status of Tibet, a position based on the geo-politics of the time. Our recognition of China's "special position" in Tibet developed from the outdated concept of suzerainty. Some have used this to cast doubt on the aims we are pursuing and to claim that we are denying Chinese sovereignty over a large part of its own territory. We have made clear to the Chinese Government, and publicly, that we do not support Tibetan independence. Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China. Our interest is in long term stability, which can only be achieved through respect for human rights and greater autonomy for the Tibetans.— British Foreign Secretary
- EU boss wants good news soon on Tibet Archived 2008-04-29 at the Wayback Machine, News.com.au, 25 April 2008
- EU's Barroso Encouraged by Tibet Talks with China Archived 2008-06-26 at the Wayback Machine, Deutsche Welle, 25 April 2008
- "Joint communiqué issued by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Remarks by President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Joint Press Conference Archived 2017-01-22 at the Wayback Machine". 23 November 2014.
- Bradsher, Henry S. Tibet Struggles to Survive, Foreign Affairs, July 1969 Vol. 47 Issue 4, p.753 "Even today international legal experts sympathetic to the Dalai Lama's cause find it difficult to argue that Tibet ever technically established its independence of the Chinese Empire, imperial or republican..."
- Tibet and the Chinese People's Republic, International Commission of Jurists, 1960 "Tibet demonstrated from 1913 to 1950 the conditions of statehood as generally accepted under international law."
- "Canada Tibet Committee | Library | WTN". tibet.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- "China rejects Spain's 'genocide' claims". The Independent. June 7, 2006. Archived from the original on April 24, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2008.
- French, Patrick (March 22, 2008). "Opinion | He May Be a God, but He's No Politician". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 22, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- Contemporary Tibet: Politics, Development, and Society in a Disputed Region by Barry Sautman and June Teufel Dreyer, New York: M.E.Sharpe (2006),p12
-  Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine TIBET, TIBET, A PERSONAL HISTORY OF A LOST LAND Nov 17, 2008 Category: Book Reviews
- ICJ Report on Tibet and China (excerpt) (1960), p.346
- For existence of serfdom and slaves, see Grunfeld, 1996, pp12-17 and Bell, Charles, 1927, pp78-79; for other forms of human rights violation, see Bessac, Frank, "This Was the Perilous Trek to Tragedy", Life, 13 Nov 1950, pp130-136, 198, 141; Ford, Robert W., "Wind Between The Worlds", New York, 1957, p37; MacDonald, David, "The Land of the Lamas", London, 1929, pp196-197
- When Christianity and Lamaism Met: The Changing Fortunes of Early Western Missionaries in Tibet by Hsiao-ting Lin Archived June 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- The History of Tibet By Alex McKay (ed), London: RoutledgeCurzon (2003) p640-1,643 Christian missionaries banned
- Grunfeld, 1996, p180
- "Reassessing Tibet Policy by Tom Gunfeld". Archived from the original on 2008-02-24. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
- "Passages extracted by Robert Barnett from Steve Lehman, The Tibetans: Struggle to Survive, Umbrage Editions, New York, 1998. pdf p.9" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-04/12/content_6612118.htm Archived 2008-04-14 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 12 April 2008
- "Passages extracted by Robert Barnett from Steve Lehman, The Tibetans: Struggle to Survive, Umbrage Editions, New York, 1998. pdf p.13" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- "crack bombing at Tibetan township government building". Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- Quoted from National and Minority Policies, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science: Report of China 277, 1951, pp148-149
- Constitution of the Republic of China (1947)
- Brandt, C., Schwartz, B. and Fairbank, John K. (ed.), A Documentary History of Chinese Communism, 1960, pp223-224
- "International Seminar on Nationality Question". www.revolutionarydemocracy.org. Archived from the original on 2019-11-09. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
- United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
- Goldstein, Melvyn C., "A history of modern Tibet", pp683-687
- Ford, R. W., "Wind between the Worlds", p178, saying: ' There was no sacking of monasteries at this time. On the contrary, the Chinese took great care not to cause offense through ignorance. They soon had the monks thanking the gods for their deliverance. '
- Grunfeld, A.T., "The Making of Modern Tibet", p115, saying: ' By most accounts there were some Tibetans who were pleased to see the Han in Tibet. Peter Aufschneiter told British diplomats in Kathmandu that ordinary Tibetans liked the Han because they were honest and they distributed land. Among the younger generation of the nobility it was seen as an opportunity to make some positive changes. '
- Grunfeld, A.T., "The Making of Modern Tibet", M. E. Sharpe, 1996, p127, saying ' When the communists first arrived in Lhasa, only a few of the aristocracy joined them enthusiastically. In Kham, however, the upper classes welcomed them as potential liberators from the strongly disliked Lhasan officials. '
- "The Tibetan ethnic minority". People's Daily English. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- " Archived 2008-07-20 at the Wayback Machine." Full Text of Speech By Chinese President Hu Jintao at Tibet's Peaceful Liberation Anniversary Rally
- Tell you a true Tibet -- Peaceful Liberation of Tibet[dead link]
- A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn C. Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p676-9,699,729-735
- A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State by Melvyn Goldstein, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press(1989), p761-769,784-812
- Signing of the Agreement on Methods for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet[dead link] Retrieved on 25 April 2008.
- The History of Tibet: Volume III The Modern Period: 1895-1959 edited by Alex McKay, London and New York: Routledge Curzon (2003), p.603
- The History of Tibet: Volume III The Modern Period: 1895-1959 edited by Alex McKay, London and New York: Routledge Curzon (2003), p.604
- "C.Л. Кузьмин "Скрытый Тибет" " Сохраним Тибет! | Тибет, Далай-лама, буддизм". www.savetibet.ru. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
- Shakya, Ts. 1999. The Dragon in the Land of Snows. A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947. London: Pimlico, p. 306
- Walt Van Praag, Michael C. van, The Status of Tibet: History, Rights and Prospects in International Law. Westview, 1987, p. 98
- Kapstein, Matthew T. 2006. The Tibetans. London: Blackwell, pp. 280-290
- International Commission of Jurists, The Question of Tibet and the Rule of Law. Feb. 2009
- Goldstein, Melvyn C., A History of Modern Tibet (Vol 2): A Calm before the Storm: 1951–1959, 2007, pp. 106–107
- Ahmad, Zahiruddin. China and Tibet, 1708-1959: A resume of facts (Chatham House memoranda) (1960) Distributed for the Royal Institute of International Affairs by the Oxford University Press.
- Ardley, Jane. Tibetan Independence Movement: Political, Religious and Gandhian Perspectives (2002) RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1572-X
- Bajoria, Jayshree (2008.12.5) The Question of Tibet Archived 2015-03-28 at the Wayback Machine Council of Foreign Relations. Accessed 12 July 2012.
- Barnett, Robert (2013). Language practices and protracted conflict: The Tibet-China dispute. Secessionism and Separatism in Europe and Asia: To have a state of one's own. Routledge. pp. 196–219.
- Brandt, Conrad; Schwartz, Benjamin; Fairbank, John K. Documentary History of Chinese Communism (2008) (first published 1952) Routledge. ISBN 0-415-36146-X
- Bstan-dzin-rgya-mtsho. Tibet, China, and the world: A compilation of interviews (1989) Narthang Publications.
- Chapman, Spencer. Lhasa: The Holy City (1940) Readers Union Ltd., London.
- Clark, Gregory. In Fear of China (1969) Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 0-214-66767-7.
- Feigon, Lee (1996) Demystifying Tibet: Unlocking the Secrets of the Land of Snows Ivan R. Dee Inc. ISBN 1-56663-089-4.
- Ford, Robert. Wind Between The Worlds The extraordinary first-person account of a Westerner's life in Tibet as an official of the Dalai Lama (1957) David Mckay Co., Inc.
- Gernet, Jaques (1972) A History of Chinese Civilization Librarie Armand Colin, Paris. English translation 2nd Edition 1996 Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-0-521-49781-7.
- Goldstein, Melvyn C. A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 1: 1913-1951 The Demise of the Lamaist State (1989) University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-06140-8.
- Goldstein, Melvyn C. A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 2: 1951-1955 The Calm Before the Storm (2007) University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24941-7.
- Goldstein, Melvyn C. The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama (1997) University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21951-1.
- Goldstein, Melvyn C.; Dawei Sherap; Siebenschuh, William R. A Tibetan Revolutionary: The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phüntso Wangye .
- Grunfeld, A. Tom. The Making of Modern Tibet (1996) East Gate Book. ISBN 978-1-56324-713-2.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20121030061528/http://www.ltwa.net/library/index.php?option=com_multicategories&view=article&id=170&catid=30%3Anews&Itemid=12 Kuzmin, Sergius L. (2011) Hidden Tibet: History of Independence and Occupation. Dharamsala, LTWA - ISBN 978-93-80359-47-2.
- Latourette, Kenneth Scott (1964) The Chinese, Their History and Culture 4th Ed. Macmillan Company. New York, USA. Library of Congress catalog card number 64-17372.
- Li, Tieh-Tseng. The Historical Status of Tibet (1956) King's Crown Press.
- McKay, Alex. History of Tibet (2003) RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1508-8.
- Sautman, Barry and Dreyer, June Teufel. Contemporary Tibet: Politics, Development, and Society in a Disputed Region (2005) M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-7656-1357-3.
- Shakabpa, Tsepon W. D. Tibet: A Political History, Yale University Press, 1967.
- Shakya, Tsering (1999) The Dragon In The Land Of Snows Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11814-7.
- Sperling, Elliot (2004) The Tibet-China Conflict: History and Polemics Archived 2008-08-19 at the Wayback Machine. East-West Center. Washington, D.C. USA. ISBN 1-932728-13-9.
- Spence, Jonathan (1999) The Search for Modern China, 2nd Ed. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.] New York, USA. ISBN 0-393-97351-4.
- Van Walt Van Praag, Michael C. (1987) The Status of Tibet: History, Rights and Prospects in International Law Boulder, Colo.: Westview. - ISBN 0-813-30394-X.
- Wang, Jia Wei & Nyima Gyaincain (1997) The Historical Status of China's Tibet China Intercontinental Press. ISBN 978-7-80113-304-5.
- Central Tibetan Administration
- Tibet Society
- Photos of Tibet issued postage stamps from "International Junior Postage Stamp Album" printed in 1939 by Scott Publ, NY(Link is unavailable)
- Sperling, Elliot, Don’t Know Much About Tibetan History, New York Times, 13 April 2008.
- Choesang, Yeshe, From the legal standpoint, Tibet has not lost its Nationhood, Tibet Post International, 14 April 2016.
- Sperling, Elliot (2004). The Tibet-China Conflict: History and Polemics (PDF). Policy Studies. Washington: East-West Center. ISBN 1-932728-13-9. ISSN 1547-1330. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2011-08-30.