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. Terry K Chen says:

    I will be reading the book if it gets translated to English. I am well aware of the fact that those who want to believe the false truths will always believe so whatever evidence you provide them. Recently a tibetan separatist of american origin tried to brainwash me on facebook. Her facebook name is Marisa Tibet burns and she currently resides in Dharamsala and will only believe what the separatists say. When I provided statistics and facts, she said that she believed the CCP was lying. When I commented on how the native americans were treated, she said the reason she was “campaigning” for tibets “autonomy” was because she wanted to prevent the same thing from happening. Although she has never been to tibet, she says: “I’m not too interested in seeing a Tibet invaded by chinese. Lhasa has become more Chinese than Tibetan.” It’s amazing how brainwashed some people can be.

    While searching for book reviews for not so zen, I encountered upon another website.
    Apparently, he’s written tens of books about himself. I mean, come on, any unbiased person knows that autobiographies of famous people are usually just to earn money. If he just wrote one book about himself, it wouldn’t be so bad. But ten books? Even for a hollywood superstar, thats plain repulsive. It’s amazing that nobody criticizes him even though it should be common sense that a man who is supposed to be purely focused on religion shouldn’t be writing tens of autobiographies.

    Just look at deng xiaoping. Despite the fact that he could have earned millions if he had written an autobiography, he never did so. Instead, he decided to let others decide for themselves what he was like instead of trying to brainwash them using an “autobiography”.

    • Marisa Burns says:

      Dear Terry,
      Amazing that I found you here, but it figures! It also figures that you would suggest that HH the Dalai Lama “has written tens of books about himself”. You put up the link, but I guess you didn’t consult it because if you take out a few minutes you’ll see that the books are ALL about Tibetan buddhism. He IS the leader of Tibetan Buddhism so it can only make sense that he writes books, writes commentaries, has books written about him, etc. Out of the “tens” of autobiographies you mention, really only one is about him. Now who is the “brain washer” here???

      • Marisa,

        Primary evidence strongly suggests that Tibet was part of China for centuries and ruled by the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dyansties. Using such primary evidence (from Western sources) from men that are long dead and had no stake in this debate is not brainwashing. It’s proving a point.

        Instead, bainwashing is when individuals such as the Dalai Lama make claims that cannot be supported by similar evidence.

  2. Terry K Chen says:

    Interesting new book by a french author named Maxime vivas. Even some westerners are starting to realize who the real dalai lama is.


    • Will you be reading Maxime Vivas book?

      You do realize that those who want to believe the “false” truths they have been hearing for decades will refuse to accept anything anyone says or writes about Tibet that does not match that “false” belief no matter what the evidence, which includes the October 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine (NGM) I have often quoted. It’s called denial, and there are millions of Americans and Europeans that live in this perpetual state of existence.

      Quotes from that issue of NGM may be found here: http://www.mysplendidconcubine.com/October1912NG.htm

      Another fact that proves life has improved in Tibet is the average life span. In 1950, the average lifespan was about 35 for more than 90% of Tibetans and most Tibetans were illiterate since the only schools were in the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Now primary education is mandatory.

      In addition, today, the average life expectancy for Tibetans has almost doubled. “The infant mortality rate had fallen from 430 per 1,000 in 1951, 91.8 per 1,000 in 1990 to 35.3 per 1,000 by the year 2000. In 1990, life expectancy in Tibet has reached 59.64 years, 57.64 for male and 61.57 for female.

      Source: http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/population/database/chinadata/tibet.htm

      In fact, I wrote about an article that appeared in NGM, which provides more proof of the improved lifestyles in Tibet — Chinese Gold from Dead Tibetan Caterpillars


      Then in another piece, I cite in another post, NGM reveals more in Water – Two Countries Tell a Tale


      Probably without meaning to, NGM has helped open windows to the modern Tibet and facts that reveal the “real” truth.

  3. terry chen says:

    The reason why I dislike christianity is because of its concept that if you don’t believe in god, you go to hell. I mean, what type of god is that? Westerners always seem to talk about freedom, yet their main religion doesn’t seem to even give them freedom of thought.

    I’m an atheist, but I’m fine with buddha’s teachings. The underlying principle in buddhism is a bit like karma, your fate depends on whether you do good things or not rather than whether you believe in buddha or not.

  4. Terry K Chen says:

    Ok I won’t specifically say any religion as evil, but in my opinion religion is getting more and more pointless nowadays. While religion has always been intertwined with politics, nowadays it seems to be all about tourism and money. Just look at the vatican, earning billions of dollars every year. And for anyone who thinks buddhism is in a good state, you’re wrong. Most of the monks I see in China lead similar lives to everyone else. One of my friends went to han shan si(a famous monastery in China) and he told me that many of the monks had laptops, ipads, nike shoes, and the sort. He tells me the monks only seem to care about earning money and that the famous monasteries in China are nothing more than tourist centers now. While I’ve never been to tibet, I suspect that the monks there are just as materialistic. They have MUCH to gain if the Dalai Lama does return and thats why they’re so violent and brutal despite the fact that the government provides them with state taxes.

    • Someone I once knew said religion is an “anthropological light in the dark” for those who fear the unknown and have a “need” for an all-powerful God to forgive them for being human while watching over them. It is also BIG business and the more minds that believe in what a religion preaches, the more money that religion takes in, which gives the individuals behind the religion more political power and influence.

      Many Christians and Muslims will say, “Trust in God”.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are individuals that join religions that are not greedy, preachy people, not into power and do believe with all their heart and mind what that particular religion preaches, but most people attend out of fear and give lip service to God believing that will save them just in case there is eternal life after mortal death.


      According to this site, there are twenty-two major religions in the world and those 22 splinter into thousands of sects, which sometimes war with each other over who is right.

      Even in Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism there are different choices that fit different needs and personality types so each individual based on his or her individuality has many choices to explore to find the one that fits him or her. My mother, as an example, went through several until she was in her late 40s and finally was found by the Jehovah Witnesses and that religion was the clothing that fit her until her death at age 89.

      I have an old friend who grew up with a fire breathing Christian preacher of a father that had about 12 children and this father sexually molested his boys but never stopped preaching fire and brimstone to the day he died. Then in his 60s, this old friend suddenly started to sound like his father and he preaches and believes that everyone in the world is doomed if they do not believe as he does and live as he says. Since he was born-again, I don’t much want to have anything to do with him because he will not stop the preaching. He tries in an attempt to hold onto the friendship that goes back to our childhood but he cannot help himself. Eventually, he has to spout off about his righteousness and then he sounds as if he were my mother after she became a Jehovah Witness. I’m fortunate that he now lives several hundred miles from where I live and I often do not open many of his e-mails. When I visit other friends in the area where he lives, I now avoid him as if he is the plague, which in my mind, he is.

      I don’t want people telling me how to live my life and what to believe and judging me as if I’m wrong in everyting I believe and do. In my mind, the worst tyranny in the world is to allow any organization to dictate every element of hour waking, what you believe, and how you behave while you fork over money to support them–not that this old friend would ask me to give him money since he is too busy giving his money to the church he belongs too but I’m sure he’d like to see me join an evangelical Christian church so I could give them a good chunk of what I earn too.

  5. Ting Xie says:

    Tibetan’s religion is far from peaceful but nature-born evil. At Tang dynasty when Tibet was powerful enough to beat Chinese force, they did not have that religion. It is said that a wife of Tibet king was against the religion introduced by Indians. She said it was not religion but evil and it would bring endless darkness into Tibetans. Since Tibetan accepted that religion, Tibet became weaker and weaker. Before 1950s, 26% of Tibetan males were monks. Females toiled a lot and could not get married.

    Tibetan’s religion is not Buddhism at all because it
    requires the strict hierarchy of secular society. But Buddhism claims all created are equal.

    Tibetan’s religion is a nature-born theocracy because there are many living gods. Imaging there were an alive Jesus, who do you think will be the king of the U.S.

    Furthermore, the core of that religion is sex. Sex is the orginal power. The training of that religion needs female as tools of sex. It is the secret of that religion. Some western female belivers became victims and wrote things down about that.

    • Ting Xie says:

      Mao Zhedong probably was the only one who had the iron wrist to extint that religion. Tibetans worshiped him like Dalai Lama whom had been forgotten and replaced at that time. Communism ideology seemed to win over that religion.

      However, CCP made a huge mistake when they rebuit the Tibet in 1980s and helped that religion prosper again. When the tradition is back, it naturally brings Dala Lama back to Tibetans. As aforesaid, it is a nature-born theocracy. Since then, riots by monks happened often.

      The whole Free Tibet movement is based on lies. But Tibetans would buy them because Dalai Lama says so. Many of them know it is far from the truth, but they will keep silence even for a crap like said by Dalai “the genocide of 1.2 million Tibetans.”
      Tibetan won’t think for a second that what Dalai Lama has done is good for their welfare. For them, to worship Dalai Lama is the happiness itself.

      Today the ratio of monks in Tibet is four times over that in Tailand, which is a Buddhism country. Furthermore, Tibetan monks are supported by government, getting salary from Chinese taxpayers.Then they repeatedly cry Chinese coloniztion story to get more money from westerners.

      Sorry for every innocent Chinese who has to burden a name of invader or killer in the western world.

      I started to study Tibet history after I arrived the U.S. I was forced to do so since an American teacher asked me to talk about “the invasion of Tibet.”

      I was shocked by the ignorance of western people and disappointed by western journalism. Actually they only need to read a single academic book and all lies would be

      I appreciate what you have done here. I don’t expect your website would defeat those repeated lies, but at least it means a lot to me. I got consoled by any tiny effort of pursuing the truth.

    • Ting Xie,

      You may find the October 1912 National Magazine Interesting. The entire issue is about China and there is one article written by Shaoching H. Chuan, M.D., who was sent to Tibet by the Qing Emperor in 1907 with a medical expedition because of a cholera epidemic. Dr. Chuan stayed for for two years and took photographs, which appear in the magazine, and he writes of the history of Tibet and that Tibet was ruled by China.

      I’ve read that it was a Mongol King that brought Buddhism to Tibet possibly about the time of the Yung Dynasty–that kind was the one who appointed the first Dalai Lama sometime in the 13th century. When the Ming Dynasty drove the Yuan Dynasty Mongols out of China, the Ming Dynasty sent an army into Tibet to drive the last of the Mongols out and then the first Ming Emperor had the army stay in Tibet.

      As you can see, Americans do not even have to read textbooks because National Geographic Magazine wrote about China and Tibet long before Communism won China’s Civil War in 1949. In fact, Dr. Chuan was in Tibet before the Qing Dynasty collapsed.

      • Ting Xie says:

        Thanks a lot.
        I did read Dr. Chuan’s. Actually what he said is a common sense for any Chinese who read a bit history.

        Don’t need to go back to Qing Dynasty.

        In Simla Accord (1914) signed by 13th Dalai Lama and the Great Britain, it says “Tibet forms the part of China” and China has the right to send the army in. At the time, China was weak but clever to refuse signing any treaty with other nation.

        In 1946, when the Republic of China made a new constitution, Tibet sent their team of representatives to take part in.Now Tibetans argue that Chinese tricked them to do so. But the government of Taiwan won’t accept it.

      • There was also the Burma-Tibet Convention, where the British Empire agreed Tibet was part of China. Robert Hart writes that in 1884, Maucaulay, with instructions from the British Foreign Office, was on his way to Peiking to seek permission to enter Tibet. Britsh India wanted to trade with Tibetans but had to go through China to get permission.

        Macaullay did get permission from Peking to see if he could open trade with Tibet, but on July 24, 1886, the Burma-Tibet Convention was signed at Peking between China and Britian, and the UK agreed with China not to press for the opening of Tibet for trade and Macaulay’s mission to Tibet was cancelled.

  6. Terry Chen says:

    Just asking, do you have any idea why the difference between the reported tibetan populations are so high? And shouldn’t it make more sense if the government in exile report a smaller number than the CCP. After all, if the tibetan population is really 6 million as they say, then it will mean that the tibetan population has grown by about 5 times since 1959, further disproving their claims that about a million tibet were killed between now and then.

    • I’m not sure but I believe the CCP is reporting all Tibetans in and outside of the Tibetan plateau. Tibetan nomads travel into other provinces that border with Tibet. It’s possible the Dalai Lama’s people only count the Tibetans that live on the plateau.

      Here’s what Wiki has to say:

      As of 2008, there are 5.4 million Tibetans in China.[1] The SIL Ethnologue in 2009 documents an additional 189,000 Tibetan language speakers living in India, 5,280 in Nepal, and 4,800 in Bhutan.[2]The Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) own refugee register counts 145,150 Tibetans outside Tibet: a little over 100,000 in India; in Nepal there are over 16,000; over 1,800 in Bhutan and more than 25,000 in other parts of the world. Tibetan communities are present in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, France, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico and Costa Rica.[citation needed]
      How the current numbers compare to Tibetans historically is a difficult claim. The CTA claims that the 5.4 million number is a decrease from 6.3 million in 1959[3] while the Chinese government claims that it is an increase from 2.7 million in 1954.[4] However, the question depends on the definition and extent of “Tibet”; the region claimed by the CTA is more expansive and China more diminutive. Also, the Tibetan administration did not take a formal census of its territory in the 1950s; the numbers provided by the administration at the time were “based on informed guesswork“.[5]

      The Tibetan population growth is attributed by PRC officials to the improved quality of health and lifestyle of the average Tibetan since the beginning of reforms under the Chinese governance. According to Chinese sources, the infant mortality rate in Tibet was 35.3 per 1,000 in the year 2000, as compared to the 430 infant deaths per 1,000 in 1951. The average life expectancy for Tibetans rose from 35 years in 1950s to over 65 years in the 2000s.[6] Infant mortality in China as a whole was officially rated as 3.1 percent in 2003. UNICEF in 2004 acknowledged the improvements but said that the infant mortality rate still lags behind the national rate eightfold, although Melvyn Goldstein and his colleagues in 2002 reported a 12.9% rate (fourfold), and official sources in 2004 rated it 3.1% (about equal).

      One of the sticking points between China and the Dalai Lama is that the Dalai Lama claims that Tibet covers more territory than the current recognized Tibet Autonomous Region. The Dalai Lama says he is willing to recognize China as Tibet’s overlord but he has demanded that the Tibet Autonomous Region be expanded to cover most of Qinghai Province, half of Sichuan Province, and a small portion of Yunnan Province, since Tibetan nomads have traveled this region for centuries. The Dalai Lama says if Tibetans roam that area, then it belongs to them and should be part of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

      The Dalai Lama also wants more autonomy than any other ethnic minority in China has in their autonomous regions, which probably means a complete return to the way things were before 1950 and if anyone is curious what that means, all one has to do is read that article in the 1912 National Geographic Magazine to see how horrid life was in Tibet at the time.

  7. Terry K Chen says:

    I found this four part video pretty interesting:

    It really highlighted how ridiculously biased the western media was during the 2008 riots in tibet. At first, I was very angry at how biased the media was. However, I realized it was a blessing in disguise as it showed the chinese how dark the western world can be sometimes. I have never in my life seen my countrymen so united and now I come to think about it, I am glad that CNN and BBC gave such biased reports.

    Part 2

    Part 3

    Part 4

    • Well done four part series showing the other side of the Tibetan Issue. This series should be seen in all Western schools and debated. The conclusion in Part 4 was powerful and well done. I knew that the Dalai Lama was in the pay of the CIA but didn’t know about the training camp in Colorado or the other money to fund Tibetan terrorist groups.

  8. Terry Chen says:

    From what I know, the dalailama brought along a whole bunch of nobility and land owners when he left. When the dalai lama dies, there will also be the interesting scenario in which 2 dalai lama’s are picked, one inside and one outside tibet. Luckily, the tibetan government in exile will have to break most known traditions to pick one.

    • Considering what happened to the landowners and upper socio-economic educated class in all of China during the Cultural Revolution, if those Tibetans that fled wanted to survive, they had to leave. What they really want now is to get it back to the way it was before 1950 (a feudal society again) where the 1% of the people control 99% of the wealth and land and the other 99% of the people serve them as serfs and slaves again.

      Even if China were to leave Tibet, I do not believe that Tibet would ever be a multi party democracy as the US is. At best, it might be a parliamentary monarchy where the Dalai Lama rules as the head of state for life but there are elections for one or more houses of representatives possibly like in England where you have the appointed House of Lords (the Tibetan land owners) and the House of Commons (elected by the Tibetan people).

  9. Terry Chen says:

    Even if the dalai lama wants to use violence to resolve the issue, he would not do so as he needs the backing of the western governments to get anything done. He is nothing but a tool that western countries use to weaken China and its image. Just look at how much international recognition he gets, its even comparable to that of the pope, and thats considering that the pope is the leader of a religion with more than 1 billion followers.

    • From what I’ve read, once the Dalai Lama dies, there will be a power struggle between the four Tibetan separatist factions between those that want to continue the less violent path and those that want to be more violent.

      However, I find it interesting that about 1% of Tibetans live outside China and before 1950 only 1% of Tibetans were wealthy land owners or powerful Tibetan Lamas while the other 99% of Tibetans that remained in Tibet were their serfs/slaves. After 1950, even under Chinese rule, that 99% of Tibetans that used to be serfs/slaves have experienced more personal freedom and better health and a longer lifesplan than any time in Tibet’s history.

  10. Terry K Chen says:

    The dalai lama constantly preaches about peace, yet he lead a military uprising against the CCP and organizes separatist activities in tibet. He laments how the tibetans are “mistreated”, even though he hasn’t gone back to tibet for more than 5 decades and despite the fact that most tibetans were treated like animals under his rule. He claims to be a religious leader purely focused on religion, yet he conspires with the CIA. It’s amazing how Americans are happy with the fact that some of the money they pay in taxes is given to this self-serving hypocrite. Celebrities like Richard Gears should stop interfering in a matter they barely know anything about, there are many other ways to gain the publicity they want.

    • There are four Tibetan separatist movements. The one the Dalai Lama heads is the nonviolent one, which presents a peaceful, pretty picture to the West, but the others are willing to use violence and they area all interconnected like a huge conglomerate with many different businesses linked under one corporate umbrella.

      The Dalai Lama’s family is involved with one or more of the more militant Tibetan separatist movements.

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