Tibetan Nation (A History of Tibetan Nationalism and Sino-Tibetan Relations)

Item Code: NAC172
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Warren W. Smith Jr
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788129114792
Pages: 763 (17 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.4 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 740 gm
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Book Description
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This detailed history offers the most comprehensive account available of Tibetan nationalism, Sino-Tibetan relations and the issue of Tibetan Self Determination. Warren Smith Explores Tibet’s ethnic and national origins the birth of the Tibetan state the Buddhist state and its relations with China, Tibet’s quest for independence and the Chinese takeover of Tibet after 1950.

Focusing especially on post 1950 Tibet under Chinese Communist rule, Smith Analyses the Marxist-Leminist and Chinese Communist Party’s Nationally and policy their application in Tibet and the consequent rise of Tibetan nationalism. Concluding that the essence of the Tibetan issue is self determination Smith bolsters his argument with a comprehensive analysis of modern Tibetan and Chinese political histories.

Warren W. Smith. Jr. an independent scholar in Alexandria Virginia, received his Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.


Tibet’s brief appearance on the international political stage in 1950-1951 at the time of the Chinese invasion and in 1959 following the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile in India was followed by long periods of the absence of any news on Tibet except the glowing reports emanating from the PRC propaganda machine about the glorious progress of the Tibetan people in achieving Liberation Democratic reforms and Socialist transformation Since 1980 however the opening of Tibet to the outside worlds has revealed that Chinese rule in Tibet has been oppressive and destructive of Tibetan culture and Civilization. In addition Tibetan nationalism has not been eradicated but has been exacerbated by Chinese nationalism has grown under the conditions of foreign conquest and rule despite every effort by the Chinese to eradicate it.

The history of Tibetan nationalism and Sino-Tibetan relations involves immensely complicated historical and political issues. Tibetans and Chinese will never agree on whether Tibet was or even currently is a part of China. In the Tibetan empire period of the seventh to ninth centuries a centralized Tibetan government dominated the entire Tibetan plateau and consolidated a Tibetan Buddhist state which was dependent upon foreign political and military patronage Tibet came under the also ruling dynasties of Mongol and Manchu empires both of which were also ruling dynasties of China. China when it overcame its own foreign domination was thus able to claim Tibet as part of China due to the legacy of Mongol and Machu Domination over Tibet. Tibetan Nationalism little developed under the politically benign conditions of indirect rule was aroused by China’s attempt to transform its previous suzerainty into direct sovereignty.

After the Chinese Communists liberation of Tibet in 1950-1951 Tibetan local nationalism was targeted for eradication by Marxist Leninist nationalities policies which were purported to provide the solution to the nationalities question. Marx and Lenin had realized that nationalism is inevitably aroused by foreign imperialism however because this lesson to nations under their own domination. Instead Marxists have attempted to disguise their imperialist domination of other nations by claiming to have liberated those nations from their own ostensibly feudal and exploitative social and political systems a type of justification typical of imperialism. The issue of Tibet is not the nature of its former social and political system a system far more benign than the hell on earth described in Chinese propaganda. Instead the issue is the legitimacy of China’s invasion and conquest of Tibet its continuing foreign imperialist rule over Tibet and its denial of Tibetan’s right to self determination.

The history of Tibetan nationalism and Sino-Tibetan relations may be divided into four main periods. The first period is that of the consolidation of the Tibetan state from the beginnings of Tibetan history up to the fall of the Tibetan empire in 842. The territory and peoples of the Tibetan plateau were politically unified by the Tibetan empire (630-842) the only time in history that all of the Tibet was unified under an independent centralized Tibetan state. During the empire period Tibet rivaled T’angdynasty China (618-907) for influence in inner Asia and along the frontier between the two countries. It is during this period that Tibetan cultural territorial and political identities the fundamentals of later Tibetan nationalism were consolidated.

After the collapse of the Tibetan empire in 842 Tibet was not again politically unified until the mid-13th century when Tibetan lamas established a political spiritual relationship known as Cho-Yon or priest patron relationship with the Mongol empire. This arrangement averted a Mongol conquest of Tibet and established ecclesiastical rule in Tibet under the Sakya sect. Tibet was a dependent state under the Mongol Yuan (1260-1368) and Manchu Ch’ing (1644-1911) dynasties. Tibet was independent of Chinese influence during the native Chinese Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Tibet’s relationship to China typical of feudal relationship Tibetan feudal relations with the Mongol Yuan and the Manchu Ch’ing had little impact upon Tibetan autonomy and Chinese impotence but failed to achieve international recognition of its independence.


Preface xi
Acknowledgements xv
Geographic Preface xix
Chapter 1 Tibetan Ethnic Origins and Sino- Tibetan Ethnic Relations 1
Tibetan Ethnic and Cultural origins 1
Mythology of Tibetan Origins 12
Summary of Tibetan Ethnic origins 16
Chapter 2 Chinese Frontier Policies 19
Sino-Barbarian Differentiation 19
China’s Ethnic cultural and political frontier 24
Tribute system 25
Barbarians within the frontier 29
Frontier Feudalism 32
Chapter 3 Foundation of the Tibetan State 37
Mythology of Origins 37
Religious Foundations 41
Epic Mythology 45
Mountain Cults 47
Political Foundations of the Yarlung state 52
Frontier Feudalism 32
Chapter 4 The Tibetan Empire 59
Consolidation of the Tibetan Empire 59
Sino-Tibetan Conflict 66
Cultural and political effects of the Empire 75
Chapter 5 The Emergence of the Tibetan Buddhist State 81
Post Empire Interregnum 81
Tibetan Relations with the Mongols82
Cho-Yon 93
Later Yuan Dynasty100
Revival of the Cho-Yon relationship with the Mongols 105
Tibetan Relations with the Manchu 108
Chapter 6 Tibet Under the Ch’ing 115
The Fifth Dalai Lama 115
Death of the Fifth Dalai Lama and Rule of the Desi 117
Lhazang Khan 121
Ch’ing protectorate over Tibet 126
The Rule of Polhanas and the Ch’ing ambans 129
Zenith of Ch’ing Authority in Tibet 133
Decline of the Ch’ing 137
Political Status of Tibet Under the Ch’ing 145
Chapter 7 The Thirteenth Dalai Lama and the Quest for Independence 151
The British and the Great Game 151
Treaties of 1906 and 1907 160
Exile of the Dalai Lama 164
Chinese Incursions in Eastern Tibet 168
The Dalai Lama in India 175
The Tibetan Declaration of Independence and the Tibet Mongolia Treaty182
The Simla Convention 188
Tibetan Advances in Kham and Post Simla Negotiations 205
Flight of the Panchen Lama 215
Last Years of the Dalai Lama 219
Chapter 8 Interregnum 231
Death of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama 231
The Reting Regency 240
The Taktra Regency 243
The Tibetan Trade Mission 257
Chapter 9 The Chinese Invasion of Tibet 265
Prelude to Invasion 265
The Invasion of Tibet277
The 17 Point Agreement 294
The Dalai Lama’s Return to Lhasa 304
Chapter 10 Chinese Nationality policy and the Occupation of Tibet 232
Chinese Nationalism and Nationality Policies 323
Leninist Nationality Theory and policy 329
Chinese Communist party Nationalities Policy to 1949 336
Post Revolutionary CCP Nationality Policy 341
Implementation of Nationality policy 352
The occupation of Tibet 1951-1954 360
Usurpation of Tibetan Governmental Authority 375
Chapter 11 The Revolt in Tibet 387
Democratic Reforms and Socialist Transformation 387
High Tide and Socialist transformation Among Nationalities 391
Revolt in Tibet 1956 399
Retrenchment policy in the TAR 1957 412
Contradictions Among the people422
Nationality Contradictions 426
The Great Leap Forward 435
Revolt in Central Tibet 440
Chapter 12 Tibet Transformed 451
Aftermath of the Revolt 451
Democratic Reforms 470
Prisons and Labor Camps 480
Sino-Indian Border Dispute 488
Tibet at the United Nations 492
Tibetan Resistance and the CIA 506
ICJ Report and second United Nations Resolution 510
Sino- Indian Border War 519
Purge of the Panchen Lama 521
Tibet’s Final Appeal to the United Nations528
Inauguration of the Tibet Autonomous Region 532
Chapter 13 The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Tibet 541
The Nyemo Revolt 548
Communization During the Cultural Revolution 551
US-PRC Rapprochement 554
End of the Cultural Revolution 555
Chapter 14 Revival of Tibetan Nationalism 563
Sino-Tibetan Dialogue 563
Revival of Tibetan Religion Culture and Nationalism 577
1984 Law on National Regional Autonomy 584
1984 Tibet work meeting 586
Chapter 15 Internationalization of the Tibet Issue 597
Demonstrations in Lhasa 602
The Dalai Lama’s Strasbourg Proposal 608
Martial Law in Tibet 616
Tiananemen and after 618
China’s Propaganda Offensive 627
China’s Solution to the Tibet Problem 634
Denigration of the Dalai Lama 647
Conclusions 654
Chapter 16 Tibetan Self Determination 659
Tibet’s Legal status 661
Self Determination in international Law 667
Minorities Rights in the PRC 681
Conclusions Prospects for Tibetan Self – Determination 684
Bibliography 695
Index 717
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