Communist China and Tibet: The First Dozen Years by George Ginsburgs, Michael Mathos

By George Ginsburgs, Michael Mathos

The signing in Peking on may well 27, 1951, of the 17-point contract on Measures for the peaceable Liberation of Tibet marked the tip of Tibet's most recent forty-year interlude of de facto independence and formalized an association which, even if in a few respects differing from the sooner dating among China and Tibet, in precept yet reimposed the former's conventional suzerainty over the latter. when you consider that then, the direction and trend of relatives among the valuable executive and the so-called neighborhood executive of Tibet have gone through a sequence of drastic reappraisals and readjustments, culmiĀ­ nating within the uprising of 1959 and the flight of the Dalai Lama to India. those occasions, including the new degeneration of the Sino-Indian border dispute right into a full-fledged army disagreement, have served to dramatize the significance of Tibet from the perspective of world method and international international relations. lengthy sooner than that, besides the fact that, certainly ever considering Tibet's profession by means of the chinese language purple armies and the region's powerful submission to Peking's authority, the Tibetan query had already assumed the prestige of a tremendous political challenge and that for various solid purposes, inner in addition to overseas. From the vantage-point of household politics, the Tibetan factor was once from the very begin, and nonetheless is now, of leading importance on at the very least 3 counts.

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Nevertheless, a core of secular nobility did engage at court in chronic agitation, demanding a greater share of State power and wealth for their class and insisting on a more equitable apportionment of influence and public office between their group and the Church leadership. By the same token, they generated considerable pressure in the capital in favor of the secularization of certain spheres of governmental activity, heretical suggestions which always met with BACKGROUND DEVELOPMENTS AND POLITICAL SETTING 35 adamant resistance from the Church and thus made little headway.

Soon after it was reliably reported that the Chinese had also established an Administrative Council there which maintained direct contact with Peking and decided upon local Tibetan affairs without reference to Lhasa. Thus, as one observer accurately noted, "by transferring more and more of the administrative offices and activities to Chamdo, the Chinese are withdrawing them from the influence of the Dalai Lama. " 1 Of course, the top official posts in the local State apparatus, notwithstanding its thorough reorganization in accordance with Peking's directives, were still occupied by leading Tibetan figures, but by then as creatures of the Chinese.

From the start, then, Shigatse became the focal point to which gravitated most dissident Tibetan elements opposed to the Lhasa court, among them the followers of the late Reting Rimpoche, other enemies of the Regent, sundry dissatisfied tribal groups, disgruntled feudals frustrated in their political ambitions, renegade Tibetans from China proper, etc. Hence, while Chamdo amounted to a recognizably Chinese venture, Shigatse functioned throughout as an ostensibly native center of anti-Lhasa sentiment and activity.

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