Tibet has the magnificent and
wonderful scenery of the “third pole of the world”. The Tibetan
Buddhism was popular among the Tibetans. There are a lot of peaks
open to foreigners. The Yalong Valley Zone is the state listed scenic
area. Lhasa and Shigatse are the noted national cultural and historic
cities. There are 13 national key relics protection units. With
Lhsa as the centre, Shannan and Xigaze are east and west lines,
radiating Nyingtri and Ngari. The Potala Palace in Lhasa is the
world heritage. Jokhang Lamasery, Ramoche
Lamasery, Sera Lamasery, Gandian Lamasery, Norbu Lingka Park are
well known by people. Shannan is the birth place of the
Tibetan Ethnic Group where there are magnificent ice peaks, countryside,
the civil residence of the Middle Ages, theearliest Tibetan palaces,
temples, and Tibetan King’s Tombs. Xigaze was Tibet’s capital in
the Gema Dynasty. There is the Tashilhumpo Monastery in the city.
Tibet is the ideal place for scientific research, hiking, and ecology
tour. Tibet is a very mysterious tourist attraction in China.
Potala Palace is located on the Red Hill of Lhasa.
It was first built by King Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century.
It was rebuilt by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1645. Since then, Potala
Palace has become the seat of Dalai Lamas and also the political
center of Tibet. The thirteenth Dalai Lama extended it to the present
size, 117 meters in height and 360 meters in width, covering an
area of more than 130, 000 sq meters. Mainly comprised by the White
Palace (office building) and the Red Palace (religious building),
Potala Palace is famous for its grand buildings, complicated constructions,
mysterious religious atmosphere and splendid artworks.
Upon entering the East Portal, visitors will come into the Deyang
Shar courtyard where Dalai Lamas watched Tibetan opera. West of
the courtyard is the White Palace. As the winter palace of Dalai
Lamas, the White Palace is a seven-floor building originally built
in 1645. The wall of the palace was painted to white to convey peace
and quiet. The Great East Hall on the fourth floor is the largest
hall in White Palace, occupying a space of 717 sq meters. This hall
was also the site for holding momentous religious and political
events. The living quarters and offices of regents are on the fifth
and sixth floors and while the top floor consists of the East Chamber
of Sunshine and the West Chamber of Sunshine. Because of the sunshine
in the chambers all year round, the East and West Chamber were the
places where Dalai Lamas lived, worked and studied. The furnishings
are sumptuousness and comfortable, revealing the dignity of Dalai
Lamas. Standing on the spacious balcony, visitors can look down
on beautiful Lhasa.
In the middle of the Potala Palace the Red Palace exists. Built
in 1690 after the death of the Fifth Dailai Lama, the wall of the
palace was painted to red, representing stateliness and power. The
Red Palace is renowned for its religious status, gorgeous stupas
and precious culture relics. The Great West Hall in the middle is
the largest hall of Potala Palace with an area of 725 sq meters.
Beautiful murals painted on inner walls described the glory and
power of the Fifth Dalai Lama, and the corridor upstairs is also
painted by many religious murals such as the figures of Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas and Dalai Lamas; the stories of Buddhism; the historical
events such as marrying Princess Wencheng and building the Jokhang
Temple. One of the most famous murals described the Fifth Dalai
Lama's visit to Emperor Shunzhi in Beijing in1652. There are another
three chapels around the Great West Hall. The North Chapel is dedicated
to Sakyamuni, Dalai Lamas, Buddhas of Three Generations and Medicine
Buddha. The stupa-tombs of the Eighth, Ninth and Eleventh Dalai
Lama are also situated here. Besides, Visitors can also find a volume
of Kanjur (Beijing Edition) donated by Emperor Yongzheng on the
bookshelf. The East Chapel is consecrate to Tsong Khapa, founder
of the Yellow Hat Sect. His two-meter-high figure is surrounded
by other 70 statues of famous lamas. The South Chapel is dedicated
to Padmasambhava, a famous Indian monk who introduced Esoteric Buddhism
to Tibet in eighth century. To the west of the Great West Hall is
the Stupa Chapel where the stupa-tombs of the Fifth, the Tenth and
the Twelfth Dalai Lamas are situated in. With a height of 14.85
meters, covered by more than 3,000 kilograms gold foil and decorated
with thousands of pearls, gems, corals, ambers and agates, the Fifth
Dalai Lama's stupa-tomb is regarded to be the highest and the most
luxury one. The Three-world Hall, which is located on the highest
point of Potala Palace, is the holy shrine of Chinese Emperors.
It was built in 1690 and Dalai Lamas used to come here to show their
respect to the central government every year.
Dharma Cave and the Saint's Chapel in the middle of the Red Palace
are the only two constructions preserved since the seventh century.
Dharma Cave was the place where King Songtsen Gampo studied Buddhism.
The statues of King Songtsen Gampo, Princess Wencheng, and Princess
Bhrikuti were built in the seventh century. The Saint's Chapel on
the third floor worships Chenrezi, the bodhisattva of compassion.
The statue of Chenrezi is surrounded by statues of Tsong Khapa,
Padmasambhava, the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Dalai Lamas.
The thirteenth Dalai Lama died in 1933, and people believed that
he was as great as the Fifth Dalai Lama. So his stupa chapel to
the west of the Great West Hall is only 0.86 meters lower than the
Fifth Dalai Lama's. It was built in 1934, so it's the latest building
in Potala Palace. Murals inside also illustrated the life of the
Thirteenth Dalai Lama. The precious complete volumes of Kanjur have
also been preserved in the chapel.
There are also many other constructions in Potala Palace which include:
the School of Buddist Logic, the seminary, the printing House, gardens,
courtyards and even the jail. For more than 300 years, Potala Palace
has treasured many culture relics such as murals, stupas, statues,
thangkas, and rare sutras. Potala Palace is indeed a must-see for
both visitors and researchers.
The Jokhang Temple is located
in central Lhasa. With an area of 25,100 square meters, it is the
ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Pilgrims. The Jokhang
Temple was built in the mid-7th century AD. It was extended by successive
rulers, and became a gigantic architectural complex. Located in
the east, facing to the west, it is a four storied temple with splendid
golden roofs. It has architectural feature of Tang Dynasty and also
assimilated very much features from both Nepalese and Indian Buddhist
temples. The murals in the temple mainly depict the life stories
of historic characters. The temple houses many historical relics
and statues of King Songtesn Gampo, Princess Wencheng, and Princess
Bhrikuti. The Tang and Tibet Alliance Tablet can be seen at the
front gate of the temple.
Norbulingka, meaning 'Treasure Park' in Tibetan,
is situated to the west of Potala Palace. The garden covers an area
of 360,000 square meters, with 370 rooms inside. It is the biggest
man-made gardens in Tibet Autonomous Region. It was built by the
Seventh Dalai Lama. Later it was used as the Summer Palace for successive
Lamas, where they solved the political problems and held festive
celebrations. Now it is turned into a park open to the public. Norbulingka
both reflects the ethnical, religious features of the Tibetan people
and embodies the architecture style of inland China. It is of great
cultural value and was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage
Site in 2001 as an extension of Potala Palace.
The Sera Monastery is at the foot of the mountain
in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. It is one of the famous monasteries
in Lhasa. The Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow
Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa.
Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples built the monastery
in 1419. The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the
Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild
roses in bloom when the monastery was built.
The monastery is magnificent and covers an area of 114,946 square
meters. Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall (the hall to worship
Buddha), Zhacang (college to study Buddhist doctrines) and Kamcun
(dormitory where the monks to live). Scriptures written in gold
powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be
found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are
held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa's
other famous monasteries. The Sera Monastery is famous for its debating
of Buddhist Doctrines.
Barkhor Street at the center of Old Lhasa, is the
oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet. It is a place
where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts assemble and a
place to which a visit must be paid. Barkhor is the road which pilgrims
tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries. Buddhist pilgrims
walk or progress by body-lengths along the street clockwise in order
to show their reverence to Buddha. Barkhor, the sacred pilgrim path,
is also a marketplace where shaggy nomads, traders, robed monks
and chanting pilgrims join together. Clustered shops and stalls
sell printed scriptures, cloth prayer flags and other religious
vessels, jewelry, Tibetan knives, ancient coins and other Tibetan
Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the Six Big Monasteries
of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in Tibet. Also called the Heap of
Glory, the monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara's
Mountain), Shigatse. Founded by the First Dailai Lama in 1447, the
monastery's structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive
Panchen Lamas. Tashilhunpo Monastery covers an area of nearly 300,000
square meters. The main structures found in the Tashilhunpo Monastery
are The Maitreya Chapel, The Panchen Lama's Palace and The Kelsang
Temple. Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama since the Fourth
Panchen Lama took charge in the monastery, and there are now nearly
Standing on the entrance of Tashilhunpo, visitors can see the grand
buildings with golden roofs and white walls. The remarkable Thangka
Wall which is nine floors high was built by the First Dalai Lama
in 1468. The wall displays the images of Buddha on the 14th, 15th
and 16th of May every year following the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.
The images are so humongous that one can easily see it in Shigatse
City. Visitors can find The Maitreya Chapel by strolling into the
monastery on the west side of Tashilhunpo. One can find the biggest
statue of a sitting Maitreya Buddha inside the chapel. The statue
stands 26.2 meters high and is decorated with gold, copper, pearl,
amber, coral, diamond and other precious stones. The statue was
handcrafted by 900 craftsmen in 9 years. The chapel has been divided
into five floors. Visitors can tour the upper floors of the chapel
using a wooden staircase to see the statue more clearly and appreciate
the superb skill of the Tibetans.
The Stupa-tomb of the Tenth Panchen Lama lies east of the chapel.
Covered by 614 kg gold, 868 precious stones and 246,794 jewels,
the Stupa-tomb built in 1993 is the most splendid and costly mausoleum
in China since the 1950s. The Panchen Lama's Palace which stands
nearby the Stupa-tomb is a grand white palace mainly built during
the reign of the Six Panchen Lama (1738-1780). I is still closed
to tourists and local visitors alike. To the east of the Panchen
Lama's Palace lies the Stupa-tomb of the Fourth Panchen Lama who
is one of the most famous Lamas in Tibetan history. He is also the
teacher of the Fifth Dalai Lama. His gorgeous stupa-tomb decorated
with gold and silver was built in 1662. The Stupa-tomb of the Fourth
Panchen Lama is the first stupa-tomb in Tashilhunpo.
The Kelsang Temple is one of the oldest and biggest buildings in
Tashilhunpo. It is a colossal compound. The Main Chanting Hall is
a place for lamas to learn the sutras and listen to the Panchen
Lama's sermon. On the back end of the hall lies a 5 meters high
statue of Sakyamuni. It is said that a part of Sakyamuni's relics
was placed in it. Two chapels sit on both sides of the Main Chanting
Hall. The left one is devoted to Tara, the goddess who is believed
to be the avatar of Avalokitesvara. A White Tara is in the middle
and two Green Taras on each side. The right chapel is dedicated
to Maitreya Buddha. With a height of 11 meters, one can find the
statue of Maitreya Buddha in the middle of the chapel. The statues
of Avalokitesvara and Bodhisattva Manjusri created by the First
Dalai Lama stands near the statue of Maitreya Buddha. The Great
Courtyard of the Kelsang Temple is the place for lamas to practice
and debate. The wall around the courtyard is covered by thousands
of images of Sakyamuni in different postures and expressions.
Besides the grand palace and gigantic statues, the Tashilhunpo Monastery
also treasures characteristic wall paintings. Because of the variety
of shapes, resplendent colors and exquisite painting, the murals
are considered to be another masterpiece of Buddhist art. Rare sutras,
thangka, china ware and glass ware of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing
Dynasties (1644-1911) are also invaluable assets found in the monastery.
These are good relics for researching the history and society of
Qomolangma meaning "Goddess" in Tibetan and it is the
highest mountain on earth with an altitude of 8, 844.43 meters.
Mt Qomolangma known to the western world as Mt. Everest stands at
the south of Tingri County in southern Tibet, at the border of the
central Himalayas, between China and Nepal, capped with accumulated
eternal snow. Its snow peak sends out silver radiance year after
year. Its waist is hidden in the clouds. The optimum weather to
visit Mt. Everest is from April to June, a golden period for mountaineers.
Each year, a great number of brave robust mountaineers come from
all over the world to visit and climb Mt. Everest, hope to fulfill
a life-long wish by ascending on the peak and overlooking the world
Yarlong Tsangpo River, originating from a glacier
on the northern Himalayas, is the highest river on the earth with
an average altitude of 4,000 meters. Running 2,057 kilometers across
Tibet, it finally flows into India, where it is known as Brahmaputra.
The river is the largest river in Tibet and the sixth longest in
China. It makes a very sharp turn when it meets snow capped Mt.
Namcha Barwa, which soars 7,782 meters up to the sky and stays in
clouds. The turn is so sharp that it forms a gorge three times as
deep as and more spectacular than the Grand Canyon of Colorado.
The Great Canyon of Yarlong Tsangpo River's depth reaches 5,382m
and it has a total length of 496.3 kilometers.
The newly discovered world largest canyon lies at the junction area
of Himalayas, Hengduan Range and Mt. Nyainqentanglha. The depopulated
area covers 17,000 square kilometers and has rich tourism resource.
The great canyon has 17 snow-clad peaks above 6,000 meters. However,
the river drops drastically to 155 meters only at its end. Wet wind
from India plain flows into the area and builds an Edan of plants
and animals undisturbed by man.
The complex and unique geographic and climate conditions provide
Tibet a museum of wildlife. Rare and unique plants and animals exist
only in this area on the earth.
At the deepest of the great canyon, Menba and Luoba people live
their primitive life on the purified land on the earth!
Present Hada is a common practice among the Tibetan people to express
their best wishes on many occasions, such as wedding ceremonies,
festivals, visiting the elders, and entertaining guests. The white
Hada, a long narrow scarf made of silk, embodies purity and good
Proposing a Toast and Tea When you come to a Tibetan family, the
host will propose a toast, usually barley wine. You should sip three
times and then drink up. To entertain guests with tea is a daily
etiquette. The guest has not to drink until the host presents the
tea to you.
When greeting, don't forget to add "la" after saying hello
to the Tibetan people to show respect. Make Way to others. Try not
to make any sounds while eating and drinking.
Celestial Burial or Sky Burial
Celestial burial is popular in Tibet. It shows Tibetan respect for
nature and an understanding of life.
Before the ceremony begins, the Lamas chant a prayer to help the
soul of the deceased person ascend. This is in fact a requiem for
the dead. The corpse is then chopped and cypress branches are burnt
to attract hawks or vultures. It is considered auspicious if the
birds eat up the minced flesh. This is a kind of sacrifice proposed
by Tibetan Buddhism which believes in human elevation with the help
of animals. It also shows the Buddhist's love for all creatures
of the world.
To the Tibetans, the sky, or the universe, holds a supreme position.
It is where the sacred world lies. To merge with the sky is a holy
event, one which replaces the sufferings of this world with peace.
The celestial burial platform at the hillside near Zhigongdi Temple
is a striking place for such burials. The snow on the mountains
never thaws. Lush green brush covers the land. Buddhist banners
are forever blowing in the wind brightening up the dismal sky. The
surroundings give the platform a holy and awesome air.
Legend has it that the huge black stone used for chopping corpses
flew from India, the holy land of Buddhism. The smaller stones around
the huge ones are believed to be remnants of the holy hawks that
brought the black stone. The platform is said to be linked with
a burial platform in India via a beam of light. While the huge stone
is for adults who died of normal causes, the small stones are for
kids under 8 and those who died of infectious disease, poison or
murder. The corpses of the latter are chopped, the flesh is burnt
up so that vultures and hawks cannot eat it. In Tibetan custom,
only people who died of normal causes are entitled to celestial
Also known as the Lamaism, the Tibetan Buddhism was introduced to
Tibet from the mainland and India in the seventh century. The Tibetan
Buddhism consists of four major sects, the Ge-lug-pa (Yellow) Sect,
the Nying-ma-pa (Red) Sect, the Saturday-kya-pa (Variegated) Sect,
and the Ka-gyu-pa(White) Sect.
The immediate motivations of pilgrimage are many, but for the ordinary
Tibetan it amounts to a means of accumulating merit or good luck.
The lay practitioner might go on pilgrimage in the hope of winning
a better rebirth, cure an illness, and eliminate bad luck or simply
because of a vow to take a pilgrimage if a Bodhisattva granted a
In Tibet there are countless sacred destinations, ranging from lakes
and mountains to monasteries and caves that once served as meditation
retreats for important yogin. Specific pilgrimages are often proscribed
for specific ills; certain mountains for example expiate certain
sins. A circumambulation of Mt. Kailash offers the possibility of
liberation within three lifetimes, while a circuit of Lake Manasarovar
can result in spontaneous Buddhahood.
Tibetan medicine, an important part of the Chinese medical tradition,
has been evolving for nearly 3,000 years. During the third century
BC, a primitive medical system had existed on the Qinghai-Tibet
Plateau, comprising theories on daily life, food and drink, and
health care. Although a complete medical theory had not yet formed,
simple therapies were used such as blood-letting, massage, using
butter to stop bleeding, and using distillers' grains from highland
barley to treat wounds. They had also hypothesized that "toxins
and medicines co-exist."
During the 7th century, Tibetan King Songtsan Gambo united the Qinghai-Tibet
Plateau and established the Tubo Kingdom. He invited medical experts
and translators from neighboring states, together with medical experts
of Tibet, to compile medical classics such as A Complete Collection
of Medical Works, Medicine and Diagnosis of Moon King, and Four
Medical Classics. He encouraged Tibetan medical researchers to incorporate
Indian and Han Chinese medical principles into their work. These
efforts promoted the development of traditional Tibetan medicine
and laid a solid foundation in the fields of physiology, diagnosis,
In around 1450, two contradictory schools of thought-northern and
southern-arose. Each school had it own views concerning prescription
methods and the Four Medical Classics. This conflict in ideas marked
a new stage in the development of traditional Tibetan medicine.
Sukar, a representative of the southern school, and his disciples
conducted research on diseases caused by dampness in southern Tibet.
They based their studies on the Four Medical Classics and created
a unique theoretical system for diagnosis and medication. They wrote
more than ten representative medical works. Qamba and Namgyai Zhabsang
were representative figures of the northern school. They conducted
research on diseases caused by the cold climate in northern Tibet
and based their work upon the Four Medical Classics. They wrote
more than ten representative medical works. The contention between
the northern and southern schools of thought greatly promoted the
development of traditional Tibetan medicine.
Between 1600 and 1959, traditional Tibetan medicine developed slowly,
without any dynamism. But after the peaceful liberation of Tibet,
the Party and the central government have been aiding the development
of Tibetan medicine. After China adopted economic reform policies
in 1978, traditional Tibetan medicine has rapidly developed. Research
centers have been established in Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan.
Provincial-level hospitals and pharmaceutical production bases have
been set up in Tibet and Qinghai. Also, prefecture medical organizations
have been established in Sichuan, Gansu, Tibet and Qinghai. Traditional
Tibetan medicine is being standardized.
Some herbs just grow in Tibet with very strong vitality. They are
very effective to cure diseases. For instance Tibetan Saffron
Geography of Tibet
Tibet is unfamiliar to most outsiders but its unique geography,
beautiful scenery, interesting customs, splendid art and culture
and mysterious religion are very enchanting.
Tibet is one of China’s nationality autonomous regions covering
an area of 1.2 million square kilometers with the population of
2.5 million. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with an average altitude
of 4,000 meters above the sea level is really “the roof of the world”.
The world highest mountain, Qomolangma at 8,844.43 meters in the
mid-Himalayas, stands on the border between China and Nepal.
Millions years ago Tibet was a vast sea. Over the eons, strong movements
made it the highest region in the world. During the last few years
many Paleolithic and Neolithic sites have been discovered, indicating
that human beings were living there at least 4,000-20,000 years
ago. In the long melding process of history, its native people merged
with peoples from the north, including the Qiang, Mongolian and
Han nationalities, thus to form today’s Tibetans.
Tibetans made important contributions to the forming of the Chinese
multi-national country. They have struggled tenaciously in an adverse
natural environment to survive and develop, creating a splendid
culture. At the beginning of the 7th century, King Songtsan Gambo,
an outstanding leader, unified Tibet and built a strong Tubo slavery
state. The capital was established at Lhasa, a written language
was created and Buddhism was introduced. From then on, Tibet entered
a new age and Tibetans had more contacts with other people.
The Himalayas blocked the Tibetans’ way to the west and south, so
their connections with other people moved to northeast where the
Hans lived. No body knows exactly when the exchanges first took
place between Hans and Tibetans but archaeological finds show that
as early as 4,000 years ago Tibetans interchanged with Hans living
in the Yellow River Valley.
From the early 7th century to the mid-9th century, when Tibet was
a Tubo power and inland was under the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD.),
active exchanges took place between the two regimes. In 641AD The
Tang emperor Taizong married Princess Wencheng to the Tibetan king
Songtsan Gambo and conferred on him the office “Governor of Imperial
Son-in-law” with the title “Prince xihai” In 710, the Tang emperor
Zhongzong married Princess Jincheng to the Tibetan king Tride Tzuktzon.
Once he wrote a memorial to the Tang emperor Xuanzong, which was
said: “I am the nephew of the late emperor. Now I have been honored
with the marriage to Princess Jincheng. So we are in one family
all the people should live in harmony, peace and happiness.” In
822, the Tang Dynasty sent envoys to Lhasa on behalf of the Tang
emperor Muzong to attend the ceremony to form an alliance with Tibetan
king, and a stone tablet was erected to mark the occasion. It expressed
the everlasting friendship between the Tibetans and Hans. The Tang-
Tobo Peace Pledge Tablet is still standing before the Zuglakang
Monastery in Lhasa.
During the 200 yeas of Tobo rule in Tibet (634-846), official envoys
were exchanged between the two regimes 191 times, and contacts between
the two peoples were more frequent. When the Tang Princess Wnecheng
and Jincheng entered Tibet, they brought a large number of artisans
and craftsmen and all kinds of books and Han products, they introduced
advanced production techniques and scientific knowledge to their
new home, thus promoting economic and cultural development. Even
until today, Princess Wencheng is respected and praised by the Tibetans.
Many temples have her statue together with her husband, King Songtsan
Tibetan culture also flowed into the inland. A Tibetan ball game
played on horse back was popular in the Tang Dynasty. Relics discovered
in the Dunhuang Grottoes include many classical Tibetan books. Silk,
tea and large quantities of advanced tools were transported to Tibet,
while Tibet’s yaks, leather, furs and medicine went inland. Frequent
economic and cultural exchanges brought the Tibetan and Han peoples
closer. That laid a solid foundation for Tibet to join the multinational
family of the motherland.
In the mid-9th century the Tobo regime collapsed. Tibet was split
into many small powers, each fighting the other. For 400 years Tibet
was in chaos. During this period, some of the powers submitted to
the Song Dynasty, and trade of tea and horses developed. But neither
the Song Dynasty nor the rulers of different powers in Tibet had
the ability to unite all Tibet.
It was the Mongol rulers of the yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) who reunited
Tibet and ended the four centuries of chaos. In the mid-13th century
Kublai Khan sent troops to Tibet ended the splitting in Tibet and
incorporated Tibet officially into China’s territory. The central
government helped the Sakye Sect to build a local political power
combining religion and politics and creating a new governmental
system. The religious leader Phags- ba was given the title “Imperial
Tutor”. He created the new written language. The central government
also set up an organ to handle Tibetan affairs and sent officials
to Tibet to make surveys of the population, designate taxes and
levies, built postal stations, examined local officials. From then
on, China’s central government exercised the sovereignty and administration
on Tibet continuously.
In 1368, the Yuan Dynasty collapsed and the Ming Dynasty was set
up. The new government continued to handle Tibetan affairs. The
relationship between Tibet and central government was strengthened
and communications was promoted.
In the mid-17th century, when the Manchus overthrew the Ming Dynasty
and established the Qing Dynasty, the new rulers strengthened the
administration over Tibet. Emperor Shuzhi and kangxi officially
granted the titles of the fifth Dalai Lama and fifth Panchen Lama
in 1653 and 1713, making them the top leaders of the local government
and religions in Tibet. The Qing also stipulated that all generations
of Dalai and Panchen must be approved by the central government.
More concrete stipulations were made for the functions of the local
Tibetan government and organizations. In 1728, the Qing court sent
permanent representatives to Tibet who on behalf of the central
government together with the Dalai and Panchen were in charge of
administration, military, judicial, financial and personnel affairs
in Tibet. Foreign affairs were managed by central government. The
representative also supervised and presided over the reincarnation
of the Dalai, Panchen and other high living Buddha. Later the regulation
of drawing lots from the gold urn to confirm the reincarnated soul
boy was put into practice.
In 1793 the central government officially issued a 29-article “Ordinance
for the more efficient governing of Tibet”, which prescribed the
status and power of the Qing Preventative to surprise Tibetan affairs
and defined other provisions concerning civil administration. This
indicated that the Qing administration over Tibet had reached its
highest stage. For nearly a hundred years this ordinance maintained
social order and stability in Tibet. Economic and cultural exchanges
between the Tibetans and various peoples in land grew.
In the mid-19th century, the imperialists started to invade Tibet.
In 1888 and 1904, when British troops directly assaulted Tibet,
the people fought bloodily battles against them. Although the Tibetans’
anti- British war was defeated, they blocked the imperialists’ attempt
to colonize Tibet.
After the Qing Dynasty in 1911, the imperialist changed their strategy.
While the inland areas were in civil war they built up pro-imperialism
in Tibet’s ruling clique, plotting and “independent Tibet”. The
aim was simply to separate Tibet from China. But they failed China’s
central government maintained its jurisdiction over Tibetan local
government. The incarnation and appointment of the 14th Dalai Lama
still followed the old regulations, with the approval of the central
government, which sent an official to preside over his installation
ceremony. Although the relationship between Tibet and the motherland
underwent setbacks in the early 20th century, it remained a part
of Chinese territory.
The Rebirth Tibet
On 1st, October 1949, the People’s Republic of China was founded.
On May23rd, 1951, negotiations between the representatives of the
Tibetan local government and the central government came to an agreement
and Tibet was peacefully liberated. In 1959 the democratic reform
was carried out. Serfdom was abolished and serfs and slaves -95persent
of the society were set free and became the masters of the society.
The social system changed and the old ruling clique lost their special
benefits, the 14th Dalai Lama fled away to India with his family.
The special natural environment and long- term serfdom had left
Tibet’s economy and culture backward. So our central government
attached great importance on developing its economy and culture.
In September 1965, the Tibet Autonomous Region was officially established.
Tibet enjoys the full rights of national autonomy in the big family.
The central government offers special commercial subsidies to Tibet
to promote the living standard there. Thousands of teachers, workers,
doctors, scientists, engineers went to Tibet to help the local people.
Now great changes have taken place there the people there enjoy
a much better life.