Tibet as a Province of China – the unresolved issue

While Korea is the unresolved war, Tibet is the unresolved issue. Both events are more complex than the propaganda that the media often presents.

China maintains that Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans say the region was functionally independent for much of its history.

Since Tibetan separatists have claimed that China “never” ruled over Tibet prior to Mao’s reoccupation in 1950, every time the Dali Lama wins another award for humanitarianism or meets a world leader, it is a slap in the face for most Chinese — not just their government.

Have you ever been treated as if you were a liar when it wasn’t true?

The Chinese are proud of their history, and they don’t like foreigners believing lies about their country.

The facts presented in this video are supported by the October 1912 issue of National Geographic Magazine and Robert Hart’s 19th century journals.

Tibet was first occupied by China during the Yuan Dynasty (1277-1367), and it was a Mongol emperor or king that made a Dalai Lama the spiritual leader for Tibet in the 13th century.

Before that, the Tibetans were a warlike race and were a plague on a peaceful China. Warlike Tibetans, not exactly the image the Western media paints, raided China for centuries from their mountain fortresses.

When the Ming Dynasty drove the Mongols from China in 1368, the Ming emperor sent an army to Tibet.

For the next six hundred years, the Tibetans were never easy to rule.

Sir Robert Hart, considered the godfather of China’s modernization, said the same thing. He wrote in 1888, “China will regard England as an ally and helper in reducing trouble-some tributaries (meaning Tibet) to a proper sense of position!”

Discover Invisible White Elephants


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Note: This post first appeared on iLook China February 8, 2010 as post # 34. This revised version reappears as post # 1098.

3 Responses to Tibet as a Province of China – the unresolved issue

  1. Roundys says:

    Here is another evidence that Tibet is and was part of China.

    • He was wrong about Peking (Beijing) being China’s capital for most of its Dynastic history. In fact, Xian was China’s capital much longer than Beijing has been.

      I read about the street barbers in Robert Hart’s journals. I enjoyed seeing them at work as Hart described them.

      My wife’s grandmother had bound feet and my wife still has a pair of her grandmother’s tiny shoes.

      When you refer to Tibet, do you mean the map he shows at the beginning?

      The October 1912 National Geographic Magazine also provides proof that supports the map used in this film clip. I found an original copy on e-bay and had to spend $20 to outbid everyone else. The doctor that wrote the article on Tibet that was published in that issue of the magazine was sent to Tibet in 1907 by the last Qing Emperor and he lived in Tibet for two years working as a doctor and taking many photos, which may be seen in the magazine. He even explains how the emperor appointed the two political governors that ruled over Tibet.

      In addition, I have the two volumes of the “I. G. in Peking” published by Belknap Harvard University Press. These books have reproduced more than a thousand of Robert Hart’s personal letters covering from 1868 to 1907 — there are more than fifty where he mentions Tibet, and it is obvious that Tibet was ruled over by China. He even mentions that the Tibetans were trouble for China back then too so the more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Thanks for sharing this video. The conclusion says it all. The narrator said, “The history of this ancient country reveals that it has never been conquered through force of arms (what about Kublai Khan?). Although it has been subjected to invasion and civil strife since the beginning of recorded history, like quicksand, in the end, China seems to absorb all who would change the pattern of her existence…” (which is true of Kublai Khan and the Manchu).

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