Tibet Inside China (Viewed as Single Page)

In 2008, I wrote a post about Tibet on another forum. Someone with a Tibetan sounding name left a comment in crude English calling me a “Communist rabbit”.

Name-calling seems to be popular these days. In America, people like Glenn Beck (FOX network), Rush Limbaugh (600 radio stations), Ann Coulter and the Tea Baggers have developed name-calling into an art form—not much substance but disguised racism, colorful and angry.

The Tibetan government in exile’s Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche was quoted in “Good” magazine’s May/June 2008 Issue that six-million Tibetan Buddhists still lived in Tibet. He also said that Tibet has never historically been part of China. That isn’t true. Tibet was ruled by three of China’s Imperial Dynasties.

Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty 1277 – 1367

Tibet was first ruled by China during the Yuan Dynasty (1277-1367). Then, when the Ming Dynasty (1368-1643) reclaimed China, a Ming Imperial army was sent to Tibet to drive out the last of the Mongols–holdovers from the Yuan Dynasty. The Ming emperor ordered his army to stay.

When the Ch’ing (Manchu) Dynasty (1644-1911) came to power, the Chinese empire expanded further and Tibet remained in China. Later, I’ll provide evidence from a 1912 National Geographic magazine as proof.

I previously quoted the Tibetan government in exile’s Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche claiming that six million Tibetan Buddhists still lived in Tibet.

China, on the other hand, reports that Tibet’s population was 2.84 million at the end of last year, 31,500 more than at the end of 2006. Among its permanent residents, more than 2.5 million, or 95.3 percent, were Tibetans. (Tibet’s population was 1.14 million in 1951.)

1910 Map of Qing (Manchu) Dynasty – China

More evidence that is interesting comes from the CIA World Factbook. It seems that there are about 80,000 Tibetan refugees living outside Tibet/China. Wikipedia estimates about 5,000 to 9,000 live in the United States. The rest live closer to the Tibetan government in exile.

There were no Tibetans in America prior to the 1950s. Chinese first immigrated to America in the 18th century, and Chinese Americans make up the largest Asian population in America today—more than three million.

The most damaging evidence against Rinpoche’s claims come from the October 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine (I have a copy—it cost me $20 on e-bay). Since the earliest evidence of Communists in China was about 1920, and it wasn’t until 1949 that the Communists came to power under Mao, there is no way the Chinese doctor who wrote that 1912 piece could have lied for the Communists.

Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1643 AD)

In the 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine on page 979, Dr. Shaoching H. Chuan wrote, “Tibet is governed by the Dalai Lama as politco-religous head and two “Ambans” as the political dictators. The Ambans are appointed by the Chinese Emperor every four years. All governmental affairs have to undergo examination by the two Ambans, and all government policy must be sanctioned by them before it can be put into operation. Literally, the Dalai Lama is under the authority of the two Ambans…” (Page 979)

From recent news, it appears that rough times may be ahead for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In China sees US as hedge for Taiwan, Tibet (Asia Times) by Peter Lee, the author says, “After the Dalai Lama is gone, there is a strong possibility that motivated and organized pro-independence activists (militants) will be able to win power in the Tibetan government in exile.”

Chinese Protesting Against Tibetan Separatists

Militant Tibetan separatist groups have not been happy with the Dalai Lama’s call for autonomy talks with China instead of calling for a fight to gain independence. Tibetan militant groups want Tibet to break from China even if it means taking a violent path—one the Dalai Lama does not advocate.

What would Tibet be like if the separatists had their way and broke free from China?

Would they return to the system of landowners and serfs (slaves)?

Would the Tibetan Buddhists require that every family send at least one son to become a Buddhist monk as before?

Would mandatory schooling (as we have in the United States) be shut down so the literacy rate would plummet from the high 90% back to a single digit like it was prior to 1950?

Would the wealth and the land be returned to the one percent that had it all before Mao’s troops occupied Tibet?

Regardless of the evidence that proves the Tibetan government in exile is not telling the truth about Tibet being part of China for centuries before declaring independence in 1913 (when the Ch’ing Dynasty was collapsing and the British Empire urged Tibet to break free for political reasons), the Dalai Lama and his Prime Minister represents less than 100,000 Tibetans outside China.


Robert Hart’s (1835 – 1911) letters supports one side of this argument.

If Rinpoche’s figure of six million is correct, that means the Tibetan government in exile represents about 1% of the Tibetan population. If China’s 2.5 million is correct, the percentage goes up to 3.2%. Not much of a base to wage a violent rebellion. There are more troops in the PRC’s army than the entire Tibetan population inside and outside of China.

I also wonder if that 1% in exile were the Tibetan landowners. Did they leave most of the serfs/slaves behind when they fled?

Maybe the Tibetan separatists/rebels (whatever term you like), with help from the CIA, should join the American Tea Bagger movement and gain the support from the likes of Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

They could sit around the campfire during protests and sing hymns about marching into battle to take back the wealth and return to the good-old-days, which would be the opposite of Robin Hood. In this case, the landowners that fled old Tibet (1% of Tibet’s population) would take back what they owned when they left and restore Tibet to the way it was.

In fact, The steady improvement of health care and living standards has raised the average life expectancy of Tibetans from 36 years in the old Tibet to the present 65 years.… It is recorded that during the 150 years before Tibet was (returned to China) there were four pandemic outbreaks of smallpox, one of which, in 1925, killed 7,000 people in the Lhasa area alone. Outbreaks of typhoid fever in 1934 and 1937 carried off some 5,000 people in Lhasa. Source: China-un.ch, which is supported by the facts in the 1912 piece published in the National Geographic Magazine.

Here is a suggested slogan for the Tibetan separatists (former landowners) living in India. “Freedom for landowners, illiteracy for serfs and life expectancy of 36 again!”

Originally posted as a five-part series starting on April 11, 2010 at Tibet Inside China – Part 1

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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36 Responses to Tibet Inside China (Viewed as Single Page)

  1. Roundys says:

    This article from an old magazine in the US describes how the imperial power carves up China:

    “…In the meantime China, rent by revolution, was powerless to protect her outlying territories. She made only a feint of protest, which was, of course, completely ignored by Russia and England. To know something of the portentous possibilities of the British and Russian policies in China, one need only think of the vastness of the territories which they have staked out for themselves. Russia claims as her sphere of influence Outer Mongolia (1,000,000 square miles), Sinkiang (548,000 square miles), and North Manchuria (273,000 square miles) totaling 1,821,000 square miles. Great Britain claims Tibet (533,000 square miles), Sze-chuan (218,000 square miles), Kwang-tung (86,800 square miles), and the provinces along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River (about 362,000 square miles) as her sphere of influence. Before the war Germany claimed Shangtung (55,900 square miles) from whence she was scheming to expand in various directions…”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=6KscAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA2-PA10&dq=secretary+hay+china+Tibet&hl=en&sa=X&ei=26IbT53EDYrj0QGItoiYCw&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=secretary%20hay%20china%20Tibet&f=false

    In fact US Secretary of State John Hay during the time openly called for Britain to respect the territorial integrity of China and to lay its hand off Tibet. One should remember that American hostilities toward Britain did not subside until World War I so the sentiment of John Hay is not at all surprising. The irony is that nowadays the US committed the same sin that it accused Britain of committing not that long ago.

    In other words the whole Tibet issue arises out of imperialism. To support Dalai is to perpetuate imperialism on China.

  2. Terry K Chen says:

    Another thing that this “politically correct” mob want to believe is that the Dalai Lama only wants “autonomy”.

    The Dalai lama himself announced that the Chinese side asked him for some guarantee that Tibetans would not seek further independence (as a precondition for additional negotiations over more autonomy), and the dalai lama said he replied that his signature and guarantees would mean nothing at all, I.e. he wants China to put down guarantees, but he himself basically says he won’t give any guarantees in return. His only guarantee is that he would use his “moral authority” to try to deter any tibetans from trying to split tibet from China. Honestly, a 3 year old can lie better than that.

    Apart from that, the dalai lama also says he is supposedly representing all the tibetans in China. By his logic, dharaslama should have autonomy as well? Since there are Chinese people living in every country, then the world should be an autonomous Chinese region? That makes no sense at all.

    If we were to look at the ‘greater tibet region’ as he says, tibetans would undoubtedly be a minority and that has nothing to do with the CCP. The population demographics in that region has remained relatively unchanged for centuries and the lamas have had no control outside of the TAR ever since the yuan dynasty.

    More than that, the TGIE’s claim of “genocide” by “population transfer” is self-contradictory.

    (1) TGIE’s own “constitution” states that ANY ONE born in “Greater Historical Tibet” are considered Tibetan citizens.

    (2) This “Greater historical Tibet” would encompasses much of Sichuan and Qinghai and Gansu, which contain the traditional home of the “Hui” Chinese people and many “Han” Chinese as well, who account for significant portion of the people who migrated to TAR, (and also includes Han Chinese born in parts of Sichuan and Qinghai and Gansu).

    (3) so by logic, the “Hui” and “Han” Chinese migrants who moved into TAR, set up shops, are ALSO “Tibetans” by TGIE’s own “constitution”.

    (4) Then, how can there be any “population transfer”, if they are just “Tibetans” moving around in “Greater historical Tibet”??!!

    Ever since the Shugden sect Ban by DL and the TGIE, the Western Shugden followers have made a point to archive as much embarassing details about the TGIE and DL as they can. Simply Googling “Western Shugden” will provide many links to their websites. In light of their efforts, for now, there doesn’t seem to be a need to duplicate their activities.

    • Terry wrote, “This “Greater historical Tibet” would encompasses much of Sichuan and Qinghai and Gansu…”

      I have read about this and imagine if this were to come about, China would be split in two, which is probably exactly what the West wants because China would probably never achieve the largest global economy surpassing the United States as has been predicted by many economists in the West.

      • Terry K Chen says:

        Mr.Lofthouse

        The Dalai claims what he calls “meaningful autonomy” over territories covering over 1/4 of China’s total national territory and 100 million inhabitants, of which ethnic Tibetans form about 5 million. He also wants to concentrate all civil and police powers in the hands of that five percent. If realized, the move would also cut off a direct border with Xinjiang, or another 15%+ of Chinese territory.

        And then there would be the political impact on Taiwan.

        Do you see any government, however democratic, jeopardizing its hold on about half its national territory?

        When the Dalai runs around saying “Tibetans are a minority in their own country”, he invariably fails to specify which map he’s using as a baseline.

        A few months ago, the Dalai Lama’s nephew, Jigme K. Norbu was reported in the U.S. media having been killed in a car accident while walking on a 300-mile trek to promote “Tibet’s independence.” “Independence” was the word used by The Associated Press and other media.

        On one hand, you have a monk preaching “middle way” and getting his spotlight here and there. On the other hand, you have these Western NGO’s. And then you have people like Jigme Norbu and other exiles doing their thing.

        If the Dalai lama doesn’t even bother lecturing his nephew on the middle way, what reason does China have to trust him?

      • Terry,

        I have read the details behind the Dalai Lama’s “meaningful autonomy”, which when you read between the lines is a return to the old feudal ways as described in that October 1912 National Geographic magazine where even Tibetan children are exempt from the mandatory schooling that is standard for all 56 minorities in China.

        No one in these articles seems to mention that Tibetans are but one of the fifty-six minorities and China’s laws are the same for everyone in China except recognized minorities that live in autonomous zones with some control over holding onto their unique language and cultural traditions except in the case of children going to school.

        For example, when I read complains about the Buddhist temples that were destroyed in Tibet during Mao’s time and the persecutions, those same posts never mention that everyone in China suffered the same fate during those years of the Cultural Revolution. It was not exclusive to Tibet or Tibetans.

        In addition, these same Tibetan lovers and China critics never mention that after Mao died, China under Deng Xiaoping’s guidance rebuilt many of the Buddhist Temples (including in Tibet) that had been torn down during the Cultural Revolution and the monks were allowed to return and worship as they had before but without the mandatory requirement that every Tibetan family had to send a boy to become a monk. Today, Tibetans have more free will as individuals than they did before 1950. They just do not have total political independence but does anyone in the world.

        In fact, in the US, there are about 310 North American Indian reservations (these native minorities were living in North America as far back as 15,000 years ago) and if you want to see an example of how the US treats its minorities compared to China, ABC ran a special recently on the Lakota North American Indian tribe. Here is a link to one scene from the documentary.

        Very powerful images. (Where are all the American bleeding hearts for the Lakota Indians in America that take the side of the Dalai Lama and swallow the lies of the Tibetan Separatists that Tibet was never a part of China?)

        http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/lakota-tribe-kid-strives-oval-office-14717803

        After seeing this segment from that ABC News documentary of one-American native minority group, then read what China has done for Tibetans, which I wrote about in

        http://ilookchina.net/2010/04/19/water-%e2%80%93-two-countries-tell-a-tale/

  3. Terry K Chen says:

    Hello Mr.Lofthouse,

    This is the LATEST version of TGIE Constitution I can find.

    http://www.servat.unibe.ch/icl/t100000_.html

    Article 36 Legislative Power

    All legislative power and authority shall rest in the Tibetan Assembly, and such legislation shall “REQUIRE” the assent of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to become law.

    Article 37 Composition of the Tibetan Assembly

    The Tibetan Assembly shall consist of:

    (1) a) 10 members elected from each of the three regions of Tibet without discrimination of sex;
    b) 2 members elected from each religious denomination: Nyingma, Kagyud, Sakya, Geluk and Yungdrung Bon;
    c) 1 to 3 members directly nominated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama;
    d) 1 member elected by Tibetans residing in Canada and the United States of America;
    e) 2 members elected by Tibetans residing in European countries.
    According to clause (a) of this Article, there shall be at least 2 elected women members from each region to represent that region’s constituency.

    44-46 total members of National Assembly, DL’s sect have 2 seats, and he can appoint directly 1-3 seats.
    But all laws REQUIRES the DL’s approval. (I guess the National Assembly has no real powers after all).
    So, what is this “democracy”?

    At least in PRC, the Parliament doesn’t REQUIRE Hu’s “assent” to pass laws. In the end, the new prime minister is NOTHING but a figurehead. The TGIE is very much still a theocracy.

    The DL is a bad student of politics, who tried to make himself into another Mao.

    It used to be that some Western Journalists characterized the Mao era China as a “Utopian Theme Park”, where the people paraded around as happy lively workers, while political purges went around.

    DL’s “Free Tibet” in Dharamsala is a Western version of that. Western journalists and celebrities tour the place, capturing images of “free Tibetans” so free that they are moved to tears.

    But ignored are the poverty, the corruption of the TGIE, the mindless obedience to the Cult of DL, the persecution of Shugden sect followers.

    Yes, “Free Tibet” is a theme Park, and an English filled Theme Park, where one can actually see giant words in English painted on walls (the few that actually exist), “Long Live the Dalai Lama!” (My friend can testify, he has seen these words on walls).

    Not accompanied by any words in Tibetan, just in English, because it is a theme park for Western tourists.

    And when the DL dies, the theme park will lose its main attraction.

    A secular “free Tibet” government? What’s the fun in that?

    (Maybe as a setting for a new Reality TV series, “Housewives of Free Tibet”? “Weakest Link in Reincarnation”? “Who’s the Next DL”? I think even Hollywood will find these rather cheesy.)

    • Dharamsala as a “Theme Park” — True! After you mentioned the slogans in English, it all makes sense. Everything is staged for the “Polticially Correct” Western audience that supports the Dalai Lama.

      You do realize that those people that belong to this Western Politically Correct “mob” will never accept anything you say. They will continue to believe any fiction they want to believe as fact. They will also refuse to accept the evidence from the October, 1912 National Geographic Magazine that reveals the fraud of the “Free Tibet” people.

  4. Terry K Chen says:

    Why is the dalai lama silent about indian annexation of tibetan territory? ie southern tibet “arunachal pradesh”? hypocritical much?

    Because he knows if he made too much noise about it, the Indian Government would kick him out in a heart beat. On the other hand, the Indian government knows that if DL does get his “Greater Tibet” back, he would start to make demands about the Southern Tibet areas.

    So, that’s why India is in no hurry to help him that much. They just give him a back junkyard where his followers can wallow in misery.

    (It’s common knowledge among the Exiles that the Indians treat the Tibetan Exiles like dirt, and the Exiles can’t complain much. Pre-2008 Olympics, the Indian Police cracked down pretty heavy handedly on the Exile protesters, made a show of force, and the Exiles made hardly a whimper).

    Yeah, it’s pretty obvious DL is acting like a junkyard dog. He’ll take the abuses, because he has no where else to go.

    A friend of mine periodically browses through Tibetan Exiles’ internet forums and read through the comments (with a grain of salt).

    He hears all kinds of stuff that TGIE doesn’t like to advertise: Ie. the well known corruption among the TGIE officials (DL’s relatives), TGIE’s aborted attempt to set up a marriage for DL and an American woman, how the new Prime Minister of the Exiles can’t write or read Tibetans well, how ONLY the well connected Tibetan Exiles get visas quick to leave the Exile camps in India (others have to wait in the long wait list), etc.

    And of course, the TRUE “plan” and purpose of the DL’s “Middle Road” approach: It was well acknowledged among the Exiles that the “Middle Road” approach (and all negotiations with China) was merely a facade to allow the Exiles to return to Tibet in China, so that they can “continue the struggle for independence” from within.

    (The last paragraph is no joke. And the biggest reason why I don’t believe anything DL says. Even his followers acknowledge this lie as a lie. Which is also another reason why he won’t put up any guarantees.)

    Not all Tibetan Buddhist schools are as “united” as they appear. The Black Hat sect and the Jonang and the Shugden have realized that they can benefit more from CCP-DL antagonism.

    Indeed, during the 1980 on reform period in China, CCP has largely channeled more funds to rebuild the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism and their temples, to counter balance DL’s influence in Tibet.
    The Black Hat sect was probably the recipient of highest stipend and construction aid from CCP (until the Karmapa affair).

    I think some in the Black Hat sect have maintained opposition to DL, even after Karmapa’s “escape” into TGIE. They don’t really consider Karmapa’s position to be all that important, in their resistence against DL’s authority.

    *Under the surface, even in China Tibet, there are still inter-sect struggles and fighting every now and then. We tend to underestimate the violence, because it is largely unreported.

    But even during the 2008 “Uprising” by Tibetans, there were rumors that members of the Yellow Robe Sect followers riding horses into Black Hat Sect territories, causing some brief street scuffles with Black Hat monks. (And subsequently, PLA locked down the town for security, which was explained by Western media as CCP’s clamp down on protests in those towns).

    (There were Youtube videos of Yellow Robe sect members riding horses into those towns, but NO protests, just an almost surreal Western movie with a bunch of hooting cowboys)!

    Inside Tibet, the Yellow Robe Sect sees CCP’s opening up the Tibetan Buddhist temples for worship as encroachment on the Gelug power base:

    (1) they are deprived of their traditional religious tax (tithe and Corvee).

    (2) they can no longer dictate to the other sects on “territories”. All are free to choose which temples to go to, and CCP fund temples without any regard for DL’s position.

    If the internal purge happens, it may very well turn many Exiles (or potential Exiles) against the myth of DL. Kind of like how Chinese people turn away from the Cult of Personalities after the Cultural Revolution.

    This may be beneficial for the renegotiation of Exiles for returning back to China. (But this may cause a further split in TGIE). As already, some Shugden followers, being banned by DL, are quietly turning back to China. (Afterall, if their beloved DL is beating them over the head, why keep worshipping him? Why keep worshipping someone who doesn’t want your worship, thinks you are misguided degenerates who are dangerous for your community, and would rather look the other way while his followers stone you and chase your family out of your home?)

    Eventually, I think the Exiles will become sick of their own religious political fanaticism. It took the Chinese people a destructive Cultural Revolution to get sick of “revolutions”, and it might do the same for the Exiles.

    • Terry,

      This is the first I’ve heard of the rivalry between the different Buddhist sects–well, that’s not true because this rivalry is mentioned in an offhanded way by Shaoching H. Chuan, M.D. in his October 1912 National Geographic (NGM) piece, “The Most Extraordinary City in the World”, so there is a history of rivalry between the Tibetan Buddhist sects that goes back centuries.

      In addition, I have read that the Tibetans have a violent, warlike history. All one has to do is study the history of the Tang Dynasty (before Buddhism arrived in China along with Mongols in the 13th century) when a Tangy Emperor married his most beloved daughter to the Tibetan King as a means to create a bond between Tibet and China and stop the Tibetan raids and looting into Western China.

      In fact, Dr. Chuan mentioned this history in his NGM piece too. I find it interesting that no Tibetans have challenged what Dr Chuan wrote in NGM. It is somewhat hard to call a non-Communist (before Communism existed) that worked for the last Qing emperor of China (when China still ruled over Tibet) a liar. After all, Mao was about 14 at the time and had no idea what socialism or Communism was. When he was in his early twenties, Mao belonged to the Nationalist Party (KMT) before he became a Communist shortly before Sun Yat-sen died.

      Even Tibetan Buddhists were warlike and sent an army into a province of the British Raj near the end of the 19th century to occupy the capital of that area and the British demanded that China force those violent Tibetan Buddhists out of the Raj or the British would do it. When China didn’t act fast enough, The British sent an army into Tibet all the way to Lhasa after they drove the Tibetan Buddhist army out of the province they claimed.

      • Terry K Chen says:

        The current dalai lama playing with power just like any other politician is nothing new. The 5th DL was the first one to have political power, hence from that moment onwards tibet was governed by a theocratic regime, where religion and politics were basically the same thing. The 5th DL was able to consolidate his power by taking out his enemies one by one but that led to a vicious power struggle. Henceforth, the 6th to 12th DL’s all fell prey to the internal battles between the different sects of tibetan buddhism. While the 13th DL did a decent job in consolidating his power, he could barely control the TAR region(as we can see from his bitter feud with the 9th PL), let alone taking over the whole greater tibet region, where most of the people were and are of hui or han ethnicity.

        The 5th DL was called the “Great Fifth”, described by a Jesuit Missionary as the “Devilish God the Father, who would put to death anyone who did not obey him.”
        He was known to be completely ruthless. He was responsible for ordering the sacking of the Entire 5th School of Jonang of Tibetan Buddhism, to consolidate his power.
        Hence, it is fitting irony that his death brought about another long period of decline for the DL authority.

        If it hadn’t had been the fact that the different tibetan buddhist school’s were united against the CCP, there probably would have been another decline for the DL authority after the death of the 13th DL. Hopefully, history will repeat itself after that self-serving hypocrite a.k.a the 14th DL passes away.
        If history does repeat itself, the TGIE will crumble, even if the CCP doesn’t intervene.

        The Dalai lama became the most powerful lama because his sect was supported by the qing dynasty emperors. Ever since the yuan dynasty, China’s central government has had a big say in which sect was the most powerful. It’s ironic that the Dalai lama is accusing the Chinese government of cultural genocide when HE is the one promoting just that.

  5. Terry Chen says:

    Marisa,

    the DL is NOT the leader of tibetan buddhism. He’s only the leader of the gelupa sect. The DL is trying the represent tibetan buddhism as a monolithic entity where he is the leader. Meanwhile, he has been trying to eliminate all potential rivals.

    1. Why did he announce his choice of the 11th panchen lama when he was still in tibet? He could have easily smuggled his choice out of tibet and then announced his choice of PL.

    2. When the karmapa lama fled into exile, the DL reluctantly accepted him. Before long, there are rumours that the karmapa is a Chinese spy. While the Dl publicly supports karmapa, the rumours were stirred by those under the DL in the first place!

    3. The infamous banning of the dorje shugden.

    Effectively, the DL has removed, put down, or slandered all possible rivals to consolidate his own power.

    Harking back to recent history, why could the 13th DL only barely control the TAR while having barely no influence in any other areas where tibetans are a majority? Simply because those tibetans did not consider the DL as the highest authority in tibet.

    Its amazing that you’re putting so much effort into something that you obviously have so little understanding of.

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