The ongoing conflict between China and Tibet

29 Apr

Tibet is an area in the Republic of China, north-east of the Himalayas that has been the point of conflict for many years in China. The Chinese believe that the region of Tibet has been under Chinese rule for many centuries; however Tibetans claim that this has not been a constant rule, with times where Tibet has had independence, such as in 1912. Later, in 1950 the Chinese army invaded Tibet and a treaty was signed giving China authority over the area, which has caused ongoing tensions between the Chinese government and Tibetan people. Tibet, who once had independence, wants this back and as a result there have been many demonstrations and uprisings by both monks and Tibetans; the last one being in 2008. More recently, however there have been cases of monks setting themselves on fire in protest against Beijing, which has further alleviated tensions with the Chinese authorities.

There are many reasons for the strained relationship between China and Tibet, which has been present for many years. Firstly, there have been claims that Beijing has forced monks away from the monastery and detained up to 300 illegally. What’s more Tibetans believe that China has suppressed Tibetan culture, freedom of expression and worship and the Chinese attempts to replace their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama with someone approved by the Chinese government has simply added fuel to the fire. Lastly, the increasing numbers of Han Chinese migrants arriving in the region is causing anger among the Tibetan people and further resentment for China. However China disagrees with these claims against them, stating that due to Chinese rule Tibet is a much more wealthy area that has seen a huge growth of industry and infrastructure which has benefitted the people hugely. The Chinese authorities also claim that Tibet does in fact have a large amount of autonomy due to a system of devolved government.



2 Responses to “The ongoing conflict between China and Tibet”

  1. btdb1g10 May 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    March 10, 2008, we witness the 49th anniversary of the 1959 uprising(Tibetan revolt erupted in Lhasa, against the Chinese Communist rule). It was meant to be a peaceful protest until it was said that the Chinese police broke up the protest with tear gas and gun fire. It lasted for few days and eventually turned into a violent riot. Monks and nuns were killed. In anger, shops own by the Chinese were burnt and ransacked.

    Chinese authorities seemed to put all the blame on the Dalai Lama. In the Economist, reporter James Miles, when asked in an interview if the Dalai Lama was responsible for the riots, responded that he “didn’t see any evidence of any organized activity” and that “it’s more likely that what we saw was yes inspired by a general desire of Tibetans both inside Tibet and among the Dalai Lama’s followers, to take advantage of this Olympic year. But also inspired simply by all these festering grievances on the ground in Lhasa,”

    In addition to that, the Chinese administration denied any foreign and even Hong Kong media from entering Tibet. What about human rights?

    After so many years, the Chinese are still unable to ‘tame’ the Tibetans. The Tibetans still seemed to be loyal to the Dalai Lama and yearn for his return to Tibet, eventually. It seems quite a difficult task for the Communist Chinese to control the Land of Snow, its faith, religion and the loyalty to the spiritual leader in exile.


    “Transcript: James Miles interview on Tibet”. CNN. March 20, 2008.

  2. jk10g11 May 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    The people’s republic of China (PRC) was founded in 1949, and soon after announced that it would aim to liberate all Chinese territories. Upon this announcement, Tibet officially declared that it always had been an independent country, and would defend this right as well as demanding territories back from China that previous governments had taken. A letter was to China, USA, Britain and India, asking for direct negotiations. All foreign powers, responded that Tibet should maintain negations with China, that they whoever, would not interfere due to the danger of military retaliation.

    The ‘People’s Liberation Army of China’ occupied eastern Tibet and demanded cooperation from the Tibetan government to co-operate in liberating Tibet from foreign interference. Peaceful negotiations were unsuccessful and China continued with harsh military attacks against Tibet. China’s main line of argument was to rid Tibet of foreign intervention, which was dismissed by the Tibetan government who stated that there were no more than 20 foreigners in the country and the Tiebt would not bow to China’s imperialism.

    The contract which is referred to by the article is the 17 point ‘Agreement on measures for the peaceful liberation of Tibet’ document signed in 1951 by the Tibetan Government, giving China the authority over Tibet to escape military enforcement. Historians see this document as arguably the first case of the 1 country 2 systems policy, which was later implemented in the cases of Hong Kong and Taiwan. In this document China officially accepts the difference of the Tibet’s unique history and culture.
    The Tibetan people never accepted this agreement and saw it as an interference with their history of independence and the fact that their government was forced into agreeing with it. The Dalai Lama aimed to honour the document, in order to appease the Chinese rulers and save his people.

    The Chinese government on the other hand, did not stick to the agreement, which in 1959 caused the Dalai Lama to take flight and in India, his exile, to denunciate this agreement.
    Additionally, more than 60 years have passed and China has used its power contrary to the agreement, as the article state. Nonetheless, China still calls upon its right based in this document, thus making the situation in Tibet a deadlock.

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