Hong Kong time is:

China Occupation of Tibet

Tibet’s demise began shortly after the Communist Party in China gained control and formed the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. China began reporting its belief that "the People’s Liberation Army must liberate all Chinese territories, including Tibet." The following year China launched an armed invasion of Tibet. When China’s People's Liberation Army invaded Tibet, Tibet was acknowledged as an independent nation. The peaceful country had its own tax system and postal code, and the Fourteenth Dalai Lama served as both leader of the government and the national religion, Buddhism.

Partially in reaction to the PRC’s threats, but also to solve a long-time border controversy with its newly communist neighbor, the Government wrote to China’s leader, Mao Zedong, just two months after the PRC was formed, suggesting talks to resolve all boundary feuds. The PRC’s ambassador insisted that Tibet agree to a two-point proposal, which said that henceforth, China would control Tibet’s national defense and that Tibet would be acknowledged as an official part of China. The Tibet Government refused to comply to this and the discussions were terminated.

On October 7, 1950, the China attacked the Tibetan frontier in six places simultaneously.

With China’s seizure of Tibet’s eastern and northern regions, the devastation of Tibet’s inadequate army, the invasion of many more Chinese soldiers into central Tibet, and with no major foreign aid or intervention, the long-time peaceful country of Tibet had no other choice but to negotiate with their malicious Communist neighbor


In April of 1951, a five-man team of Tibetan representatives traveled to China’s capital to re-open negotiations. These officials were instructed to explain Tibet’s beliefs and to hear out China’s opinions. However, this negotiation team was specifically "not given the plenipotentiary authority to conclude an agreement," and was told to submit any significant subjects to the Tibetan Government.

The negotiations began in late April. They began with a series of rejected proposals put forth by China, which caused the communist nation great frustration. It could easily defeat its weaker neighbor, and would not stand for this refusal. China firmly explained that the then present proposal was final.

All negotiations were ended, and the Tibetan officials were restricted from referring with their government on the situation. The delegation was bestowed with the impossible task of deciding whether to agree to the present arrangement on its own, or face the burden of sentencing its capital, Lhasa, to Chinese invasion.

The five-member team of Tibetan officials finally cracked under the tremendous strain, and signed the "Agreement of the Central People’s Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet." However, because the representatives were specifically withheld the power to make any major decisions alone, their authorization of the agreement was unofficial and did not bind either His Holiness or Tibet’s government. The Tibetan officials cautioned the Chinese of this fact, but it had no effect. The knowledge that the signing was unofficial was no problem to China. The PRC continued on with the ceremonial signing and revealed to the world that the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" was successful with the conclusion of a treaty between both parties. The main terms of the seventeen-section contract allowed the Chinese military forces to occupy Tibet and enabled the PRC to control Tibet’s foreign dealings. However, the agreement also assured that the present Tibetan Government would remain and Tibet would have independence both religiously and politically.

On May 27, 1951, what is now called the "Seventeen-Point Agreement" was announced in full on Radio Beijing. Amazingly enough, this was the first point in time that both the Tibetan Government and its leader, the Dalai Lama, learned of this revolutionary agreement. Under Mao Zedong’s authority the establishment of the Seventeen-Point System totally eliminated Tibet’s past independence.

The historic day of September 9, 1951, will forever be remembered to many as the beginning of the end for Tibet. On this day, approximately three thousand soldiers from China’s Red Army entered Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, with an additional twenty thousand troops trailing. At that point, the People’s Liberation Army had conquered every major city in Tibet and had much more of its forces throughout Western and Eastern Tibet, making Tibet almost completely under the power of China’s strong military. With this large increase in power by China, the communist nation decided to reject any further attempt at negotiation, thus no change in the current treaty could be made and Tibet could do nothing.

Under the 1951 Seventeen Point Agreement between the People's Republic of China and representatives of the Tibetan Government, which incorporated Tibet into China, China guaranteed no alteration of Tibetan political, cultural, and religious systems and institutions. The failure of the People's Republic of China to adhere to or uphold the Seventeen Point Agreement, and the imposition of so-called democratic reform, led to the March 1959 uprising in Lhasa. On March 10, 1959, the people of Lhasa assembled together and called for the Chinese to leave Tibet, thus marking the beginning of the uprising. The Chinese crackdown was harsh. An estimated 87,000 Tibetans were killed, arrested, or deported to labor camps.

Since the revolt against Chinese rule in Tibet that began in 1956 and through the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, an estimated 1,200,000 Tibetan’s were killed and more than 6,000 religious sites were destroyed. On March 17, 1959 the Tibetan’s rebelled but the Chinese crushed the uprising forcing the Dalai Lama to leave Tibet and flee to India where he resides today. To this day China considers the Dalai Lama an enemy of the state.

Tibet, now officially the Tibet Autonomous Region, makes up nearly one fifth of China’s total area, yet the people of Tibet constitute "only a fraction of China’s six percent minority population." Even in their own country, the people of Tibet are being made a minority. Because of support by the Chinese Government for Chinese Han, (China’s largest race), to move to the region of Tibet, there is now only one Tibetan to every ten Han.

For greater power over Tibet, China kidnapped the current Panchen Lama. Panchen Lama is a title like Vice-President or Prime Minister that Tibetans give to the second greatest leader of Tibet. Panchen means "Great Scholar" and Lama is a word Tibetans use for a religious teacher. They believe that the Panchen Lama is the protector of all the world's living beings. This all means that the current Panchen Lama will grow up to be a very powerful leader of Tibet and perhaps the world. Determined to control Tibet, the Chinese authorities kidnapped a young boy and his family just days after he was recognized as the Panchen Lama. He was six years old at the time and is the world’s youngest political prisoner. He has been missing for over 11 years. China appointed their own Panchen Lama to Tibet after the kidnapping. It is his picture that is in the Tashilungpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama.
Contact Us | Feedback | ©2004 TSPAdventures.com | Updated: May 26, 2006 | Goto top of page