Tibet Essay, Research Paper
Tibet is a peaceful country, which has never posed a threat to another nation and has even been thought of as the most religious country in the world. However, Tibet was invaded and annexed by China in 1950. Yet, China asserts that Tibet should be rightfully under its control. They argue that the Tibetans have signed documents that invited the Chinese to occupy Tibet in order to help the Tibetans. The Chinese claim to have greatly improved the conditions of Tibet, bringing them such luxuries as electricity and roads. Despite all of these claims, China has, in reality, illegally occupied Tibet, manipulated Tibetans, caused others to flee, oppressed the religion of Tibet, transferred many Chinese people to Tibet, slaughtered thousands of Tibetans, violated the rights of Tibetans, and tried to disguise what they have done by using propaganda. Thus, China must leave Tibet and bestow autonomy to Tibet, allowing Tibet to operate independently as they have successfully for centuries before China s invasion.
China is a neighbor to the small Buddhist country Tibet. Tibet and China have endured a state of mutual respect for centuries. At other times China invaded Tibet, however Tibet also invaded China in the past. Throughout their history together there is no proof at all that Tibet was ever a part of China (Dalai Lama 57).
In the late 1940 s China became a communist government. After their political transfer, China then began to spy on Tibet. Finding that Tibet had a weak military, the Chinese moved their forces to Tibet s eastern border and then attacked without a formal warning. The Chinese abused Tibetan delegates and forced them to sign a treaty allowing Chinese troops to enter Tibet.
The Chinese insisted that they were only in Tibet to help the people and to protect them from imperialist nations, when in fact the Chinese were the only imperialists in Tibet (67). The Chinese said that once they had finished assisting the Tibetans, they would leave; however the Chinese only brought more pain and suffering to the humble Tibetan citizens ( Executive Summary ).
The US aided Tibet by launching a covert war beginning in 1956. The US helped to train the Tibetan Khampas, a mountain people that are famous for their horsemanship and sharp shooting. Khampas were then taken to the US and trained by Americans; afterwards they were returned to Tibet to train their comrades to fight. In spite of this fact, most Tibetan guerrillas died by the hands of the Chinese or committed suicide to evade capture. By the mid 1960 s Washington was putting $1.7 million into this operation, and they did not think that it had much hope of succeeding so support was cut. Eventually all of the Tibetan guerrillas were killed in a large massacre. ( A Secret War on the Roof of the World )
This was not the only resistance to the Chinese. In March of 1959, the Tibetan people rebelled against their Chinese oppressors; however this was unsuccessful. Consequently, from March of 1959 to October of 1960 in Central Tibet eighty-seven thousand Tibetans were killed. The Dalai Lama had to flee to India when he came under attack. He has been living in India ever since. The consequence of this uprising devastated the Tibetans. Many cultural and religious institutions were demolished. Furthermore, the Chinese massacred several thousand Tibetans. Many thousands more were taken forced into labor and concentration camps, where most died. ( Executive Summary )
Currently, the Dalai Lama is the leader of Tibet in Exile. This is the Tibetan government that resides in Upper Dharmsala in India. The government is made up of the Dalai Lama and several other Tibetan refugees. They have worked diligently for a long time to free Tibet from the Chinese. Though they have been unsuccessful this effort has even won the Dalai Lama the Nobel Peace Prize. Through all of this the Tibetan people continue suffer many hardships ( Executive Summary ).
Ever since the Chinese invasion, Tibet has had many troubles. One of them is militarisation. Many Chinese generals with thousands of troops entered Tibet. The military brought fear to the Tibetan people and also ruined their economy. The army would demand food from the Tibetans. At first the army only demanded a little food, but they eventually demanded such a large amount that the price of food inflated to ten times the original value. Chinese people would also burn the bones of dead animals in the Tibetan holy city of Lhasa. This is very offensive to the Tibetan people and their religion. In Tibet, even butchers were considered outcasts for killing animals (Dalai Lama 20).
Yet another crime of the Chinese government was population transfers, where a large number of Chinese were relocated to Tibet. China even has government incentive programs for Chinese to move from different Chinese provinces to Tibet. Thus, Tibetans who still live in Tibet are quickly becoming second class citizens ( Executive Summary ). Furthermore, population transfers not only violate human rights, but international law as well. The Fourth Geneva Convention in 1949 prohibits population transfer without full and informed consent. Population transfer is also prohibited by the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities Resolutions, and by the UNPO Conference on Human Rights Dimensions of Population Transfer.
In addition to these atrocities, the Chinese have horribly violated the rights of the Tibetan people (Dalai Lama 78). Due to the violation of human rights, over 1.2 million Tibetans have died between 1951 and 1979; and roughly 80,000 have been exiled. When Tibet was an independent state, there was no famine at all. After the invasion though, the military forced Tibetans to sell their personal food reserves. The food was used in the state buffer stocks. Contrary to statements made by the Chinese government, several organizations have confirmed human rights violations against the Tibetan people, such as large and methodical abuses against Tibetans. A few of these organizations are Amnesty International, Asia Watch, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, the UN, and Pax Christi. The international concern for Tibet has been expanding ever since the United Nations report, giving them more and more evidence of human rights violation in Tibet. ( Executive Summary )
Moreover the religious rights of Tibet have been violated. For a long time, China has been trying to manipulate the religious hierarchy of Tibet. The Chinese claim to have this right because of an agreement made over 2 centuries ago. Tibet was invaded by Nepal, and the Tibetans nobles asked the Chinese Emperor for assistance. The Chinese helped drive the Nepalese out of Tibet, but in exchange the Emperor demanded a say in the selection of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. The Chinese government claims that this gives them the historic right to ratify the Lamas of Tibet. Beijing tries to use reincarnation to their advantage, by finding newly reincarnated Lamas and raising them to be loyal to the Chinese government, doing whatever the Chinese government wants. Beijing hopes that by doing this they can keep the Tibetan people under their control. ( A Buddha Busts Out )
One of the positions of reincarnation that the Chinese government is currently trying to use is the Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama was first incarnated in the 14th century AD, and he is only second in rank to the Dalai Lama. Six years after the last Panchen Lama died in 1986, monks identified his reincarnation as a young boy. After his identification, Chinese authorities came and took him away. The Chinese replaced him with a Chinese boy who they claim is the real Panchen, few Tibetans agree. The original boy was never seen again. ( Day of the Living Buddhas )
Another boy who is being manipulated is Soinam Puncog. He is a two year old who was identified as the Reting Lama. He was formally enthroned in January of 2000. The Reting Lama is a high-ranking Lama of Tibet (Dalai Lama 18). The Chinese government wants him to grow up loyal to the Beijing government and independent of the Tibetan government. The Beijing government hopes to use the Reting Lama to counter the political power of the Dalai Lama ( Day of the Living Buddhas ).
The 17th Karmapa is another young Tibetan who the Chinese tried to manipulate. The Karmapa is a 14 year old. He was taught to be loyal to Beijing, however he fled China to go to the Tibet in Exile government in India. He had planned his escape because he found it hard to serve Buddhism and the Tibetan people with the Chinese controlling him and there was an assassination attempt on him. In 1998, two assassins were found in the Tsurphu monastery. They admitted that they had been hired to kill the Karmapa, but they were still released by the Chinese authorities. The Chinese still publicly deny that the Karmapa fled China. They allege that the Karmapa went to India to pick up things that belonged to his previous incarnation; the Chinese await his return. ( A Buddha Busts Out )
For the Tibetans who still live in Tibet, their religion is oppressed. Monasteries and nuns used to be very common in Tibet (The Dalai Lama 50). Tibet used to have thousands of monasteries and monks. However most of the monasteries in Tibet were destroyed and by 1976 only eight monasteries remained. Though there is some religious freedom the proliferation of Buddha is dispirited and controlled ( Executive Summary ). Even now, the Chinese authorities do not permit monasteries to practice their religion as they have traditionally done.
Superficially, there is some religious freedom, but there are restrictions on serious practice. The Chinese want religious people to be patriotic to the Communist Party. The Communists destroyed Tibetan Buddhism. (Dalai Lama)
Though the Chinese have done all of this they try to hide it and lie about it by using propaganda. The Chinese have made many propaganda books about Tibet and distributed them to foreigners to try and convince them of China s right to own Tibet. The Chinese have said that they were liberating the Tibetans. They said that the Tibetans were being saved from imperialism, when in fact they were being taken over by the imperialistic Chinese.
Despite the many plots of the Chinese to annex Tibet, they are still a separate country. In the early 1900 s the Tibetans signed a treaty with the British. The treaty did such things as confirm Tibet s boundaries and trading rights. By signing the document Tibet made an international conventionalized agreement, something that is done by a country. The British even made China accept the treaty, because they thought China would interfere with the British s trading privileges with the Tibetans. Though later on, the British made a treaty with the Russians where they agreed that neither nation would interfere with Tibet, it was not signed by the independent nation of Tibet.
Tibet was in fact an independent nation at the time of China s invasion. They had met all the requirements of an independent nation. They had a defined territory, a population inhabiting the country, a government using authority in that territory, and the ability to initialize international relations.
Finally, when Tibet was invaded by China in 1950 Tibetan delegates argued to China that Tibet was an independent nation. They gave enough evidence to the Chinese to prove that they were an independent nation, but the Chinese would not accept any of it. China presented the delegates with an ultimatum, but the delegates were not allowed to make any changes or talk to the Dalai Lama or the Tibetan Government for counsel. The Chinese made them sign it by abusing them, insulting them, and threatening them with military violence against Tibet. This treaty is void though, because international law prohibits forcing treaties by threat of or use of force on a person or a country ( Executive Summary ). The Chinese have claimed that the use of this void document invited the Chinese troops to Tibet.
In conclusion, China is a country illegally occupying the nation of Tibet. The people of Tibet have been through many hardships, which no country should be forced to endure. China has illegally occupied Tibet, manipulated and controlled Tibetans, exiled thousands of Tibetans, suppressed the religion of Tibet, transferred many Chinese people to Tibet, killed many Tibetans, violated the rights of Tibetans, and tried to hide what they have done behind a shield of propaganda. Therefore, China should leave Tibet and allow Tibet autonomy as they have done in the past.