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Tibet



Introduction of Tibet
Autonomous region in SW China, bordered on the Sby Myanmar, India, Bhutan, and Nepal. Its capitalis at Lhasa. It is mostly a very high plateau, averaging16,000 feet, surrounded by mountain ranges. Inthe Western view, Tibet has always been a land ofmystery. Its capital, Lhasa, has long been known asthe Forbidden City. It is also known for its emphasison Lamaism, under which at one time as many asone-sixth of the country's males were monks.Tibet's early history is obscure until it emerged inthe seventh century a.d. as an independent kingdom.China established relations with Tibet during theTang dynasty (618-906). From an early associationwith Mahayana Buddhism there developed in Tibet inthe eighth century a form of Buddhism known asLamaism. The country came under Mongol influencein the 13th century; and in 1270 Kublai Khan, theMongol emperor and founder of the YСЊan dynasty ofChina, was converted to Lamaism. The abbot whoconverted him founded the Sakya dynasty in Tibet,which lasted from 1270 to 1340, and he became thefirst priest-king. This dynasty was corrupt and led tothe rise of a reform movement known as the YellowHat Sect. Its influence spread so that in 1641 a Mongolprince gave both temporal and spiritual control toa grand lama, who became known as the Dalai Lama.Spiritual control, however, soon passed to anotherabbot, the Panchen Lama.The Manchu (Qing) dynasty replaced the Mongolsin Tibet in 1720, and Chinese suzerainty becamelargely nominal. In the 18th century the British, frombases in India, tried to establish relations with Tibet,but an invasion by the Gurkhas from Nepal in 1788and their war with Tibet in 1792 put an end to thiseffort. Tibet continued to isolate itself in the 19thcentury, but in mid-century Kashmir seized theLadakh region, and in 1890 the British took Sikkim.In 1893 they finally obtained a trading post in thecountry, but, dissatisfied with their treatment, theysent a military expedition in 1904 that forced a treatyon the Dalai Lama and opened Tibet to Westerntrade. When the Manchu dynasty of China fell, Tibetin 1912 asserted its independence. After the 13thDalai Lama died in 1933, however, Tibet graduallyagain came within China's orbit.A dispute over the succession of the PanchenLama led to a Chinese invasion of Tibet in October1950. In May 1951 Tibet became, by agreement, anational autonomous region of China. Under communism,land reforms were introduced, and the powersof the monastic orders were reduced. These moveswere unpopular, and a revolt broke out in 1959. TheDalai Lama fled to India, and the Chinese put downthe rebellion brutally. Afterward they seized land and forced thousand s of monks to seek work by nearlyemptying the lamaseries. In 1962 China attackedIndia along the Tibetan border, claiming land thathad been awarded to India in 1914. Later the Chinesewithdrew, except in part of Ladakh. The PanchenLama was deposed in 1964 and replaced by a secularTibetan leader. In 1965 the Chinese Tibetan AutonomousRegion was officially established.During the Cultural Revolution, religious practiceswere banned and more than 4,000 monasterieswere destroyed. The ban of religious activities waslifted in 1976 and some Buddhist temples have againbeen in operation since the early 1980s, but the Tibetanscontinue to complain of widespread discriminationby the Chinese. Martial law was imposed onTibet in 1989 after several protests in Tibet in the late1980s and early 1990s. There have been continueddemonstrations against Chinese rule, and support forTibetan autonomy has grown internationally. Humanrights activists internationally and increased opennessin China have driven the Chinese government to moderatetheir stance on Sinoization in Tibet. In 2006, arailway was opened linking Lhasa to Xining in Qinghaiprovince.Autonomous region in SW China, bordered on the Sby Myanmar, India, Bhutan, and Nepal. Its capitalis at Lhasa. It is mostly a very high plateau, averaging16,000 feet, surrounded by mountain ranges. Inthe Western view, Tibet has always been a land ofmystery. Its capital, Lhasa, has long been known asthe Forbidden City. It is also known for its emphasison Lamaism, under which at one time as many asone-sixth of the country's males were monks.Tibet's early history is obscure until it emerged inthe seventh century a.d. as an independent kingdom.China established relations with Tibet during theTang dynasty (618-906). From an early associationwith Mahayana Buddhism there developed in Tibet inthe eighth century a form of Buddhism known asLamaism. The country came under Mongol influencein the 13th century; and in 1270 Kublai Khan, theMongol emperor and founder of the YСЊan dynasty ofChina, was converted to Lamaism. The abbot whoconverted him founded the Sakya dynasty in Tibet,which lasted from 1270 to 1340, and he became thefirst priest-king. This dynasty was corrupt and led tothe rise of a reform movement known as the YellowHat Sect. Its influence spread so that in 1641 a Mongolprince gave both temporal and spiritual control toa grand lama, who became known as the Dalai Lama.Spiritual control, however, soon passed to anotherabbot, the Panchen Lama.The Manchu (Qing) dynasty replaced the Mongolsin Tibet in 1720, and Chinese suzerainty becamelargely nominal. In the 18th century the British, frombases in India, tried to establish relations with Tibet,but an invasion by the Gurkhas from Nepal in 1788and their war with Tibet in 1792 put an end to thiseffort. Tibet continued to isolate itself in the 19thcentury, but in mid-century Kashmir seized theLadakh region, and in 1890 the British took Sikkim.In 1893 they finally obtained a trading post in thecountry, but, dissatisfied with their treatment, theysent a military expedition in 1904 that forced a treatyon the Dalai Lama and opened Tibet to Westerntrade. When the Manchu dynasty of China fell, Tibetin 1912 asserted its independence. After the 13thDalai Lama died in 1933, however, Tibet graduallyagain came within China's orbit.A dispute over the succession of the PanchenLama led to a Chinese invasion of Tibet in October1950. In May 1951 Tibet became, by agreement, anational autonomous region of China. Under communism,land reforms were introduced, and the powersof the monastic orders were reduced. These moveswere unpopular, and a revolt broke out in 1959. TheDalai Lama fled to India, and the Chinese put downthe rebellion brutally. Afterward they seized land and forced thousand s of monks to seek work by nearlyemptying the lamaseries. In 1962 China attackedIndia along the Tibetan border, claiming land thathad been awarded to India in 1914. Later the Chinesewithdrew, except in part of Ladakh. The PanchenLama was deposed in 1964 and replaced by a secularTibetan leader. In 1965 the Chinese Tibetan AutonomousRegion was officially established.During the Cultural Revolution, religious practiceswere banned and more than 4,000 monasterieswere destroyed. The ban of religious activities waslifted in 1976 and some Buddhist temples have againbeen in operation since the early 1980s, but the Tibetanscontinue to complain of widespread discriminationby the Chinese. Martial law was imposed onTibet in 1989 after several protests in Tibet in the late1980s and early 1990s. There have been continueddemonstrations against Chinese rule, and support forTibetan autonomy has grown internationally. Humanrights activists internationally and increased opennessin China have driven the Chinese government to moderatetheir stance on Sinoization in Tibet. In 2006, arailway was opened linking Lhasa to Xining in Qinghaiprovince.

Tibet Images