China claims Tibet as part of its territory
China claims that Tibet became part of its territory under the Yuan dynasty over 800 years ago. China argues that Tibet has not been a country since that time and that no country has ever recognized Tibet as an independent state.
It is true that while Tibet has retained a culture, a written and spoken language, a religion and a political system for centuries, it has never been a nation-state in the modern sense.
At times in its long history, Tibet has been influenced and influenced by various foreign powers, including Britain and the Mongols, as well as China.
However, the Chinese government’s claim that Tibet has been part of China for about 800 years is not supported by the facts.
Tibet was not governed by the Chinese government until the 1950 invasion. In 1912, the 13th Dalai Lama – the spiritual and political leader of Tibet at the time – issued a proclamation reaffirming Tibet’s independence. The country retained its own national flag, currency, stamps, passports and army. It signed international treaties and maintained diplomatic relations with neighboring countries.
From a legal point of view, Tibet remains an independent state under illegal occupation, a fact that China would like to erase from history.
Discover now 9 facts to understand the history of Tibet and its situation!
- Tibet is a country located in the Himalayan mountains. Its surface area would make it the 10th largest country in the world!
- In 1950, China invaded its neighbor and took control by force. Since then, Tibetans have been subjected to Chinese domination and military repression.
- On March 10, 1959, Tibetans attempted to take back their country in a major uprising. The protests were crushed with brutal force by the Chinese authorities.
- For his survival and safety, the Dalai Lama, then only 23 years old, was forced to flee across the Himalayan mountains to India, where he still lives today in Dharamsala.
- Tibet was divided and integrated into the Chinese provinces. The largest of them is called the “Tibet Autonomous Region“.
- Despite its name, the “autonomous region of Tibet” is anything but autonomous. China reigns there with an iron fist. Tibet is ranked among the “worst” in terms of human rights violations.
- China claims that Tibetans are happy and lead the most prosperous lives, but does not allow journalists, tourists or diplomats to see this for themselves (or under Chinese military surveillance).
- A hundred countries in the world have obtained their independence since the beginning of the occupation of Tibet.
- Tibetans have never stopped resisting the destruction of their culture and way of life. Their protests continue to be guided by their Buddhist faith and its principles of non-violence.