Home > Topics > Tibet Issue > Did Tibet Become an Independent Country after the Revolution of 1911
II. The Attitude of the Tibet Region towards the Central Government of China after the Revolution of 1911.

The Dalai Lama and the Panchen Erdeni are the two most int bestial Grand Living Buddhas in Tibet and also the political and religious leaders. They control the political and religious power of Tibet. It is therefore very important to understand the attitude of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Erdeni towards the relations the Tibet region and the central government.

1 . The Thirteenth Dalai Lama's Attitude towards the Central Government of China

The thirteenth Dalai Lama extremely hated the British and other foreign aggressive forces which meddled actively in Tibetan affairs by taking advantage of the declining situation of the late Qing political power. He called on the Tibetan people to rise and hit back the British invasion in 1904. Afterwards, the Dalai Lama wavered for a time due to the error of the Qing's Amban in Tibet and the combined threats with inducements by the British. He made some remarks in contravention to the historical facts.

In 1919 the Central Government of the Republic sent special envoys Zhu Xiu and Li Zhonglian to Tibet. They met the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Erdeni, explained the policy towards Tibet by the Central Government of the Republic, removed previous ill will and doubts, and mediated between the parties. Through work they made the Tibetan upper-class personages know the truth, cleared their doubts and misgivings, thereby enabling the Dalai Lama's attitude towards the central authorities transformed a great deal, Before leaving Lhasa Li Zhonglian and Zhu Xiu were given a farewell banquet in their honor by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama made remarks in the banquet to the effect that he was not really pro-British. But he had to take that stand due to the excessive pressure by the imperial envoy. He was very grateful to their visit to Tibet. He only hoped that the President would speedily dispatch his plenipotentiary to solve the outstanding issues. He vowed to them he inclined to the interior and desired to seek for the common well-being of the five nationalities. As to the draft Convention of the Simla Conference, it could also be amended. Shortly before Zhu Xiu and Li Zhonglian's entry to Tibet, the Dalai Lama also sent Khenpos from the three great monasteries to station in Beijing. They were well received by the Central Government. In 1924 the Dalai Lama once again sent Khenpo Kunchok Jungnas to Beijing as the general representative of the Tibet Office in Beijing (also the abbot of the Yonghegong Lama Temple). He did a lot of work in the respect of linking up the relations between Tibet and the Central Government. The Dalai Lama sent Khenpo Lozang Pasang from Wutai Mountain to Nanjing to have an audience with ChiangKai -shek to state his views on Tibetan affairs. He was welcomed by Chiang Kaishek who sent a letter to the Dalai lama through him. The letter read that 'Your Holiness just sent your representative Lozang Pasang coming Nanjing to state all about Tibetan affairs. I have learned your holiness to take a broad and long-term view and make up your mind to turn heart and soul to the party and the state. Looking into the western-most frontiers, I am greatly relieved and assured." "U-Tsang (the Anterior and Ulterior Tibet) is contiguous to powerful neighbours and it has long been oppressed by the imperialists. Fortunately, your holiness are deeply conscious of the righteous cause and are inclined to the interior with deep affection." The Dalai Lama henceforth once again sent Kunchok Jungnas and others to call on Yan Xi-shan, Chairman of the Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs. He said in Yan's face that he received the Dalai Lama's letter and stated three things: "a) The Dalai Lama had no alliance with Britain. He had to have connections with the British because of the geographical contiguity; b) The Dalai Lama was alleged to have hatred for the Hans. That was the result of misinformation. The thirteenth Dalai Lama has time again sent officials to the interior of China; c) The Dalai Lama and the Panchen Erdeni had always had good feelings with each other. The misunderstanding between them was not the fault of the Dalai Lama, etc." On September 3,1929 Kunchod Jungnas and others went to the Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs and stated Tibetan affairs, repeating the Dalai Lama's statement. On September 10, 1929 President Chiang Kai-shek received Kunchok Jungnas and his party. During the meeting, Kunchok Jungnas conveyed the Dalai Lama's statement to Chiang Kai-shek that is, "no pro-British, no departing from the Central Government and welcome the Panchen Lama to return to Tibet." From that time on, the Tibetan local authorities expressed time and again the desire to treat the Central Government honestly; all the Tibetan administrative, military and foreign affairs will be under the management of the Central Government; resident official in Tibet be dispatched by the Central Government; and the draft Convention of the Simla Conference might be declared in future by the Dalai Lama that it should be solved by the Central Government of China, etc. In 1930 the Dalai Lama agreed to set up Tibet Offices in Nanjing, Beiping and Xikang (Khams).The same year the Dalai Lama received special envoy from the Central Government Liu Manqing at Norbu Lingkha, Lhasa and conveyed some truth in his mind in his remarks to Liu:What I hope for the most is nothing but the real peace and real unity in China...? As to the Xikang incident, he asked the government not to send ruthless and tyrannical soldiers to increase the sufferings of our Tibetan people there. Better send an honest and upright official to take over the areas concerned. I could order troop withdrawal anytime. Since all the lands belong to the Chinese territory, it is unnecessary to distinguish yours from mine. If armed confrontation continued, I could not stop the conflict because the Tibetan troops are famous for its bravery. Moreover, it is extremely worthless to quarrel between brothers. He also said: The British did try to entice me, but I knew I should not forfeit the sovereignty. Since the nature and habits between the British and us are entirely different and not tolerable. I dealt with them courteously but without sincerity whenever they come, However, I have never given them the slightest right. If only the internal relations are consolidated, the Xikang (Khams)-Tibet problem would not be difficult to be solved during the feasts. He urged Liu again and again to surely convey his letter to Chiang Kai-shek and take notes about what he said after going back her residence to avoid forgetting. Up to that time, the relations between Tibet and the Central Government had gradually become normalized.  

2. The Ninth Parched Erdeni's Attitude towards Central Government of China

In the last years of the Qing Dynasty, the ninth Panchen Erdeni and the thirteenth Dalai Lama took concerted actions and commonly resisted the invasion of the British troops. Afterwards, the contradiction between the Dalai and the Panchen occurred due to the British instigation. The Panchen Lama fled to the interior of China in 1923. After reaching the interior, the Panchen Lama was accorded a grand reception by various circles. The Panchen Office in Nanjing was set up in 1929. The founding declaration of the Office made a brilliant exposition with regard to the historical origin of the relations between Tibet and the Central Govemment as well as the changes of the Tibetan situation in late Qing and early Republic period and the policy should be adopted towards Tibetan affairs. It pointed out that "Tibet originally existed in China. Since the period of the Han and Tang Dynasties, the relations between Tibet and China had increasingly become close and intimate. During the Qing period, officers and men were dispatched to Tibet to defend the frontier. Considering the ties of history and geography, it is absolutely impossible for Tibet to separate from China to seek independence. If China forfeit Tibet, it would be just like a cart without spoke. Therefore, the relations between Tibet and China are benefited to both sides when united but hurt to all when split. This is a matter of course." "The imperialists even more engaged in economic and cultural aggression against Tibet. On the one hand, they incited the independence of Tibet... All these troubles were made by a handful of pro-British faction. Those people not only destroyed the ties between Tibet and China, but also ignored the interests of Tibet itself. They acted recklessly and blindly. Both the God and human being will be angered..." On May 5, 1931 the Panchen Lama went to Nanjipg to attend the National Conference, at which he delivered a brief speech. On May 10, 1931 he delivered an important speech entitled 'Tibet is the territory of China' at the Third Congress of the Nanjing New Asia Association. The Panchen Lama Looked back the origins of historical development between Tibet and China, pointed out that "a)Tibet is the territory of China. If invaded by the imperialists, it would be not different from one's door being destroyed by others. In that case, it would hardly avoid the worries of the teeth without the protection of the lips. (As the saying goes in China: If the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold.) b) How to unite the Mongolian and Tibetan nationalities into the whole Chinese nation? We should devote a lot of time and energy to carry out these two things, that is, making conceded efforts from the central government down to the national of the whole country." The Great Master Panchen had extensively toured the interior of China for fourteen years and done a great deal of work for safeguarding the unification of the motherland and strengthening the unity of the nationalities. The Great Master Panchen passed away at Yushu (Jyekundo) in December 1937. On his deathbed he still did not forget the unification of the mothetand, He poured out his head in his will, saying that "The great aspirations in my life to the support of the Central Government, to the propagation of Buddhist culture, to the promotion of the unity of the five nationalities and to the joint guarantee of the prosperity of the nation. In the last fifteen years or so, l have extensively toured the interior of China. I am grateful to the preferential treatment accorded to me,witnessed the respect to Buddhism and the equal treatment to the Tibetan nationality by the Central Government. I am greatly consoled and hence have firmed my conviction... I finally hope our Tibetans, officials and common people, monks and laymen, to make efforts for restoring good relations between Tibet and China in the spirit of national construction by the five lateralities advocated by the Central Government. The Dzasa Lamas and the various Khenpos should especially succeed my aspirations well in order to promote their realization."

After the demise of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, the Tibetan local government jointly chose Rating (Rwa-sgreng) Hutuktu as the regent in 1934. The decision was approved and Rating was Conferred upon by the Nationalist Government, After taking charge of the Tibetan political and religious affairs, he did a lot of work for safeguarding the unification of the motherland and opposing the imperialist aggression. After the outbreak of the Anti-lapanese War, Rating personally led scripture-chanting ceremonies by the three great Tibetan monasteries praying for Chinese victory. In 1943 the Kuomintang held its Sixth Plenary Session. He was elected as an alternate member of the executive committee of the central committee of that party, The British imperialists were dissatisfied with Rating's activities for actively safeguarding the unification of the motherland. Then they stirred up the pro-British splitting forces to create 'the Rating Incident" which once again overshadowed the Tibetan situation.

It is not difficult to see from the above-mentioned facts that after the Revolution of 1911, the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama as well as the broad officials, monks and laymen, of the Tibetan local government were turned heart and souls to the interior of China. They all supported the unification of the motherland in their fundamental stands. Although the British imperialist aggressive forces hatched one plot after another against China in that period, the relations between Tibet has not separated from the jurisdiction of the Central Government of China and become "an independent country."

Suggest to a Friend: