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

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 top of Tibet's most modern forty-year interlude of de facto independence and formalized an association which, even though in a few respects differing from the sooner courting among China and Tibet, in precept yet reimposed the former's conventional suzerainty over the latter. because then, the path and development of relatives among the critical executive and the so-called neighborhood govt of Tibet have gone through a sequence of drastic reappraisals and readjustments, culmi­ 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 approach and global international relations. lengthy prior to that, despite the fact that, certainly ever considering Tibet's career through the chinese language purple armies and the region's potent submission to Peking's authority, the Tibetan query had already assumed the prestige of a massive political challenge and that for numerous strong purposes, inner in addition to foreign. From the vantage-point of family politics, the Tibetan factor was once from the very begin, and nonetheless is now, of major value on no less than 3 counts.

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Hence, it now urged utmost armed resistance to the Chinese advance, hoping thereby to enhance its own influence in the affairs of State. The ecclesiastical authorities, on the other hand, preached a more conciliatory approach and a peaceful settlement of the Sino-Tibetan dispute less, one suspects, because of genuine belief in Chinese good faith than of mistrust of its local opponents who would likely benefit on the domestic front from a deepening crisis in Sino-Tibetan relations. " Quite the contrary, the behavior of both parties stemmed to no appreciable extent from conscious endorsement by them of some semi-articulate political program such as either of the above, but from a traditional, near automatic, mutual antipathy coupled with the instant readiness of either side to exploit any propitious conjuncture of events to further its own particular interests, if possible at the expense of the other.

This is not to say, however, that the Tibetan polity was organically and irrevocably transformed by the changes wrought in its complexion in the course of this one isolated reign. The inherent flaws of that society were definitely toned down under the impact of the Dalai Lama's undisputed primacy, but not in any way cured, and they came back to the fore with a vengeance after the monarch's demise in 1933. Between then and 1950, when Dalai Lama XIV was finally enthroned, the Tibetan political scene reverted to its former state.

True, one could find elements which conveyed the impression that this constituted a special case, but these were quantitative rather than qUalitative. Given the unusual size of Tashilunpo's land endowment, for example, and of the population of serfs attached to it, and the affluence of its treasury, the administrative organization responsible to the Panchen Lama for the management of his properties was much more elaborate than that found elsewhere on private and semi-private domains. Again, because of the spiritual eminence of the Panchen Lama's position, a formal retinue and an official court (including a Council of Advisors vaguely reminiscent of the Lhasa Cabinet) accompanied him wherever he went and publicly attended on his person in a miniature replica of the ritual surrounding the Dalai Lama.

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