How was the political landscape of Tibet during the era of fragmentation?

How was the political landscape of Tibet during the era of fragmentation?

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When reading about the end of the Tibetan empire, information about the political situation of the area is scarce (most authors focus a lot on the religion).

Basically, who was de facto or de jure in charge of its regions? The buddhist monastic schools?

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Maybe I wasnt't too clear, sorry for that. I want to know the political landscape of Tibet at the time. I know there was no single power looming over it, but which were the most influent imperial houses and religious schools?

Made my comments into a provisory and partial answer.

In western Tibet it seems the kingdoms of Guge, Purang, Mar-yul, Yar tse and Zanskar were still around by the 11th century. Couldn't find anything from eastern tibet, unfortunately.

When Nima-gon died around 930AD, Mnah-ris (Ngaris), the Western Tibetan Empire, was divided among his three sons: Pelgyi-gon, the eldest and thus the suzerain over the others, got Manyul (Upper Ladakh), Tashi-gon got Gugé and Purang, and Detsu-gon got Zanskar, Lahul, and Spiti.

Later, Lhachen Utpala (1080-1110), grandson of Pelgyi-gon and the king of Ladakh, vassalized Purig, Purang and Kullu (Lahul-Spiti).

You can get most of that info if you follow the timeline in Buddhist Western Himalaya: A politico-religious history


Most people around the world have heard of Tibet, the land of high mountains, permanent snow, and the Buddhism. However, there are a lot of facts about Tibet that most people rarely know, and even fewer understand. From the weather to the languages and the people themselves, knowing a little about where you are going before you get there can help to make your Tibet Tour even more exciting.

Where is Tibet?

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is one of the westernmost provinces of the People’s Republic of China, and lies on the border with India to the south and west, with Nepal to the west and Bhutan to the south within the borders with India. Ringed on the southern and western sides by the mighty Himalayas, this vast land lies on the world’s highest plateau. To the east lie the provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan, and Gansu, and to the north are Qinghai Province and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Geography of Tibet

Tibet has a unique topography and geography, and varies in elevation from the northwest to the southeast. Ringed by the main body of the Himalayas, the plateau is crisscrossed by the mountain ranges of the Transhimalaya, including the famous Gangdise Mountains (Mount Kailash) and the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains closer to Lhasa. The landscape ranges from dense green forests to arid deserts and dry moonscapes, and high mountain ranges to the deepest river canyons. Vast areas of prairies and grasslands stretch across the plateau, and four of the world’s most important rivers start their course to the seas from this high-altitude region. With such a diverse geography and climate, the plateau is home to a huge number of endemic animals, plants, and birds.

Mt.Qomolangma-Highest Mountain in the world

Weather in Tibet

Knowing some more the weather in Tibet is one of most important fact to make your Tibet travel easy and well prepared. Due to the higher altitude of the plateau, most people think it snows all year round here. It doesn’t, but the weather can be unlike any you have ever encountered. Across most of the region, the weather is considered to be harsh, and at elevations above 4,500 meters, it is possible to see snow late in the spring and autumn seasons.

Tibet has a four-season monsoon climate, and despite being subject to the Indian Southwest Monsoon in the summer months from June to September, the plateau actually sees a lot less rain than any other monsoon climate. The height of the Himalayas actually filters out most of the rain before it gets there, leaving a lot less to fall on the plateau.

Temperatures, however, can be a troublesome thing in Tibet. While even in the winter months, areas such as Lhasa can be pleasantly warm, with temperatures of around 10-12 degrees, other areas can have daytime temperatures as low as -10 degrees in winter. In the summer, it is not uncommon to find warm temperatures up to 24 degrees in the warmer areas, despite the harsh conditions, and even at Mt. Qomolangma (known as Mount Everest in west) Base Camp, the summer sees temperatures of up to 14-16 degrees. So the Mount Qomolangma Base Camp Trekking is very popular and the temperature is very favorable during summer.

However, it is the nights that make the difference. After the sun drops below the horizon, temperatures can drop very quickly, often dropping to around or below freezing in less than a couple of hours. At Mount Qomolangma Base Camp, the temperature at night can drop to freezing in May, and as low as -17 in January but normally the temperature at night during summer will be above minus.

Founder of Tibetan Scripture

Tibetan Language

The Tibetan language is one of the two official languages in Tibet, and has its origins in the 7th century, when Buddhist texts first began appearing. While Standard Tibetan is the main version, there are also several variations throughout the plateau, which have grown from the original spoken word over the millennia.

Classic Tibetan as a script is the standard form of writing for all Tibetan variants, and is a form of Abugida, such as is used in writing Dzongkha (Bhutan), Sikkimese, and Ladakhi. The creation of the Tibetan alphabet is normally attributed to Thonmi Sambhota, a minister of Songtsen Gampo. It is said that he went to India to study the art of writing Sanskrit, and introduced a form of Indic alphabet on his return.

More akin to the script of Kashmir than Chinese, the modern Tibetan alphabet has 34 characters, and has little in common with the western Roman alphabet.

Tibetan Population

Despite being the second largest province in China (Xinjiang is the largest), Tibet has the lowest density of population in the entire country. With a land area of 1.228 million km2, Tibet actually covers around 12.8% of the total area of China, but has an average of only two people per square kilometer.

The total population of the Tibetan people is estimated to be around 6 million, but only around 3.18 million actually live in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The rest live in the Tibetan-inhabited areas of Sichuan, Gansu, Yunnan, and Qinghai. With such a low number of people living on the plateau, mostly in the southern and eastern areas, this vast land is open and untouched in many areas, with virgin forests and hidden valleys yet to be discovered.

Drepung Monastery-One of the largest Tibet Buddhist Monastery

Tibetan Religion

The major religion of Tibet is Tibetan Buddhism, and around 80 percent of the Tibetans within the TAR are Buddhists. However, there are still around 12% of the population of Tibet that still follow the ancient animistic and shamanistic practices of Bon, the pre-cursor to Buddhism on the plateau. A small minority of Tibetans are Muslim, around 0.4%, and there is a small community of Roman Catholics in Shannan Prefecture.

Buddhism has been practiced in Tibet since the 7th century, though it was sporadic and disorganized until the late 10th century. Buddhism first came to Tibet under the reign of the Tibetan Kings of the Yarlung Dynasty, and was first formally introduced in the 7th century, under the reign of the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, who married at least two Buddhist wives (Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal and Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty).

Buddhism’s official position was established in the 8th century, but during the 9th and early 10th centuries, King Langdarma, who was an anti-Buddhist Bon follower, began a reversal of the influence of Buddhism in Tibet. After his death, the Tubo Kingdom crashed and civil wars ensued, even between Buddhists and Bon followers.

However, Buddhism survived this period of fragmentation, and grew stronger in the 11th century, with the arrival of the Buddhist master, Atisha, from India and the founding of the Kadampa School of Tibetan Buddhism, the first official sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Since the 1th century, Buddhism has had its strongest influence on the people of the plateau, and remains today the major religion of the Tibetans.

The world is finally responding to the Chinese government’s mass atrocities against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in China’s northwest province of Xinjiang. But now Beijing is replicating some of its worst practices — including rounding up hundreds of thousands of innocent people in military-style reeducation camps — in other parts of China. This year, Beijing built and filled massive camps in Tibet, which had been the original testing ground for cultural genocide, political indoctrination and forced labor. Tibetan leaders are pleading for the world to pay attention.

“When it comes to human rights violations in China, Tibet was Patient Zero,” Lobsang Sangay, the president of the Tibetan government in exile, known as the Central Tibetan Administration, told me during a visit to Washington last week. “Xi Jinping is now reintroducing labor camps back into Tibet . . . what’s new is the speed and the scale of it and the military style that they are bringing to it.”

Beijing has forced more than half a million rural Tibetans into these military-style training and indoctrination facilities in just the past six months, Sangay said. Upon their release, thousands of rural laborers are sent to perform factory work or menial jobs in other parts of China, all under the guise of “poverty alleviation,” according to a September report by the Jamestown Foundation. Corroborating documents obtained by Reuters showed that Chinese Communist Party officials were given strict quotas for how many Tibetans to round up.

While Beijing has long operated gulags for political prisoners and dissidents in Tibet, these new facilities represent a huge expansion of China’s years-long program to involuntarily mass relocate rural Tibetans, which Human Rights Watch in 2013 called “unprecedented in the post-Mao era.” The goal of these camps is threefold, according to Sangay: Beijing wants to appropriate Tibetan land to commercialize its natural resources the CCP uses the camps to forcibly assimilate Tibetans by snuffing out their culture, language and religion and the third goal, using Tibetans as cheap forced labor, serves the first two.

“ ‘Poverty alleviation’ for us means cultural assimilation,” Sangay said. “In that sense, they want to take away our faith and erase the history of Tibet.”

Sangay came to Washington to support the Tibetan Policy and Support Act, which Congress passed as part of the omnibus spending bill. The legislation is meant to ensure the Biden administration doesn’t turn away from yet another Chinese government campaign of cultural genocide through forced assimilation and political indoctrination.

The legislation expresses support for the idea that Tibetan Buddhists, not the CCP, should determine the identity of the 15th incarnation of the Dalai Lama after the current Dalai Lama exits this world. The fact that Beijing plans to foist on Tibetans an imposter Dalai Lama tells you everything you need to know about how it views their right to worship.

Perhaps more importantly, the law updates the original Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 to call on Beijing to negotiate directly with the Tibetan government in exile based in Dharamsala, India, toward what the Dalai Lama calls the “Middle Way Approach” — a compromise to give Tibetans limited autonomy within the Chinese system. It also calls on the U.S. government (soon to be the Biden administration) to sanction CCP officials guilty of human rights violations in Tibet and establish a U.S. consulate in Lhasa, the administrative capital of Tibet.

Predictably, the Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted to the legislation by demanding the United States shut up about Tibet, “lest it further harms our further cooperation and bilateral relations.” Beijing is trying to see if the Biden team will fall into the same trap President Barack Obama did in his first year. In 2009, Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett traveled to Dharamsala and told the Dalai Lama that he would not be invited to the White House in Obama’s first year. When he did eventually visit, Obama tried to please Beijing by downgrading the meeting from the Oval Office to the Map Room and ushering His Holiness out the back door, where he was photographed walking past heaps of trash.

But Beijing did not reward Obama’s deference. Once Chinese leaders realized the United States was willing to downgrade the Tibet issue, they cut off talks with the Tibetan leadership and ramped up their repression campaign. President Trump never even bothered to meet with the Dalai Lama. Biden must establish early on that he won’t trade Tibetans’ futures for the false promise of smooth relations.

The Role of Somalia and Insurgency Movements in the 1960s and 1970s

Somali nationalism gained significant momentum with the establishment of an independent Somalia in 1960. The new Somali constitution called for the “union of Somali territories” and the Somali flag featured a five-pointed star against a UN-blue background, each point of the star symbolizing one of the five Somali regions. 8

Somalia’s new government swiftly started a diplomatic and military campaign to unite the three “missing” regions to the new Somali state. The latter effort included supporting Somali insurgent groups in southeastern Ethiopia, the beginning of a strategy of cross-border insurgency support on both sides of the Ethiopian-Somali border that was to endure for decades. 9  

The first insurgent activities began in the early 1960s, supported by the Somali government. Activities escalated in 1963 to include attacks on police stations and convoys. 10 This, alongside rising Oromo nationalism, provoked an Ethiopian military crackdown on southeastern Ethiopia and a series of clashes with the Somali military. 11 Under Emperor Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian military employed abusive counter-insurgency tactics to deal with the problem of Somali “agitation” in the east. Many of these tactics, including the confiscation or destruction of large numbers of livestock to put pressure on Somali pastoralists and controlling water points, 12 have been replicated by successive administrations.

The Somali-backed insurgency in Ogaden and neighboring Oromo territories caused Ethiopia to declare martial law in parts of the region in 1966. It took Ethiopia until 1971 to pacify the region through a combination of military campaigns and the careful cultivation of pro-Ethiopian Ogaadeeni and Oromo figures. 13 The 1969 military coup of Maj. Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre in Somalia also focused Somalia on domestic priorities, leading to diminished support for the insurgent groups previously supported by Somalia. 14

Power, Economy, Political, Religion during the Renaissance

▪Largest Empire after the fall of Rome was the Islamic Empire.

▪Under the leadership of Dynastic Arab & Turkish families, Islam (originating in Saudi Arabia) spread from Spain to India by the 13 th C., effectively surrounding the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Empires from the East, South, and West.

Led to migration of Arabs and Turks all over Europe

▪By Mid 11 th C., seeds were sown for a unified ‘Western’ identity, after more than 500 years of political and cultural fragmentation

▪1050: Split (‘Schism’) b/w Roman Catholic Church (West) & Eastern Orthodox Church

▪1096: 1 st Crusades, initiated by Pope Urban II (i.e. Catholic) which brought Catholics (i.e. ‘westerners) together to reclaim the Holy Land (Palestine) from Islamic control.

Led to permanent settlement of Western Europeans in Palestine, and created new settlements from Europe into the Middle East (to service the traveling Crusaders)

▪Mongol invasion West led to Mongol control of Russia by 1240 CE. This made Western Europeans very nervous.

Led to migration of Europeans further West.

▪Catholic reconquest of Spain from Muslim control- 11 th -15 th C. Jews and Muslims kicked out or killed as Catholics bring Spain under the banner of Catholic identity.

Led to migration of Jews and Muslims across Europe, and into Africa.

Other causes for migration:

10th- 15th century: Political conflicts between the political and economic powers that were established in the previous period of expansion. The 100-year war between Britain and France (1337-1453) England had penetrated a large part of France, wars between Italy and Aragon, wars between Scandinavian states and Hanseatic (German)-cities, the revolt of the Slavs against the German expansion caused a stream of political refugees to other countries.

▪Between 10th century CE and the Plague in 1350CE the population in Europe almost doubled in size.

▪A lot of wastelands were cultivated in order to provide food for all these people, so much in fact that some were freed from participating in primitive food production and instead became clergy, artists, or scientists (i.e. diversified division of labor)

▪Between 1347 and 1351 about one-third of the European population was killed by the plague. After this disaster, smaller epidemics continued to strike Europe so that the population did not recover quickly. In addition to this, farmers had very small pieces of land and too much had been brought under cultivation. In these conditions, a bad harvest almost immediately led to famine.

▪Hard times had come for the farmers besides famine and disease, they had to cope with a bad grain market. The prices were low because too much grain was being produced now that the population had diminished. Laborers on the other hand were very expensive. For many farmers, it was not possible to change their business from grain-production to cattle breeding, which could have been a solution to this problem.

▪Many new cities had developed in the previous centuries, most of which appeared near citadels built during the invasions of the Norse. This did not mean however that Europe was urbanizing quickly, as 90% of the population still made its living from agriculture and the cities often maintained a very rural character.

▪12-14 th C. economic redevelopment of Europe was dependent on tapping into international economic activity:

▪Europe dependent on Gold market in Timbuktu, until conquering Americas

▪Italian city-states, particularly Genoa, Venice & Florence helped to channel ‘Asian wealth’ into Europe. Thus, Italian city-states played a vital role in reigniting trade economy for the entirety of Europe.

▪Crusades stimulated trade throughout the Eastern Mediterranean

▪The political authority of the Catholic Church had diminished due to internal conflicts. People developed a very personal religion which included many mystical elements. Religious leaders responded to this development with the persecution of heretics (‘non-believers) during the 14th and 15th centuries. They also tried to spread fundamentalist Christian beliefs to other areas, for instance by organising Crusades.

▪Another seed of trouble lay in the conflict between central and local power within rising “states”. There were many succession-right problems whereby cities and local lords wanted to keep their autonomy, whereas monarchs wanted to keep centralised power in their own hands. (see also, ‘Cosmology & Human Order, below)

▪A third political characteristic of Europe was a changing attitude towards the rest of the world. Europe was an area of expansion in the 11th to the 14th century, contrary to its previous position as a ‘closed’ fortress in the 9th and 10th centuries. Some contacts that already existed with Asia, the Middle East, overseas areas on the skirts of Africa and even America were strengthened and expanded upon during this period. Political battles, internal to Europe, were now increasingly played out on the international stage.

▪The movement of migrants and refugees also destabilized long-held institutions changes in politics were responding to this new found diversity.

4. Religion/ Cosmology

▪Cosmology refers to how ‘order’ in the universe is envisioned by a particular civilization or culture. At the eve of the Renaissance, a very specific ‘cosmology’ was shared by most of Christian Europe: the great ‘Chain Of Being’.

▪The ‘Chain Of Being’ is an order of the universe characterized by a strict hierarchical system. The Chain of Being is composed of a great, almost infinite, a number of hierarchal links, from the most base and foundational elements up to the very highest perfection – in other words: God.

▪In the natural order, earth (rock) is at the bottom of the chain these elements possess only the least amount of existence. Moving on up the chain, each succeeding link contains the positive attributes of the previous link, and adds (at least) to one other. Rocks, as above, possess only existence the next link up, plants, possess life and existence. Beasts add not only motion, but appetite as well.

▪Man is a special instance in this conception. He is both mortal flesh, as those below him, and also spirit. In this dichotomy, the struggle between flesh and spirit becomes a moral one. The way of the spirit is higher, nobler it brings one closer to God. The desires of the flesh drag one down.

▪In medieval Europe, it was believed that the chain of being was fixed, and that movement between the hierarchies was impossible (except for Alchemists, who were interested in the transmutation of substances).

Example: If one were to examine only the earthly inhabitants, and their place in the chain, this is what would be found


Rocks, Minerals

▪Cosmology & Human Order: Fedualism

▪Each link in this chain might be further divided into its component parts. In terms of the religious order, the Pope was directly linked to God. Under the Pope, the many levels of church administration enjoyed decreasing levels of authority.

In terms of secular (=earlthly) order, for example, the King is usually on top, followed by the aristocratic lords, and then the peasants below them. In the family, the father is head of the household below him, his wife below her, their children. The children might be subdivided so that the males are one link above the females.

▪The conflict between earthly rulers, and Church authority, on the chain of being become increasingly important in the centuries later on. As well, the abuse of this chain of being by both Church and royalty, throughout the medieval ages, are at the core of the political and religious revolutions in Europe in the succeeding centuries.(see ‘Politics’, ‘Expansion, War, Migration’ above)

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Why is Tibet not considered to be a country?

Tibet is an autonomous region of People’s Republic of China which was established in 1965 to replace an administrative region known as Tibet Area which they inherited from Republic of China. It is the second biggest Chinese autonomous province which occupies an area of about 460,000 square miles right after Xinjiang. Due to its rugged and harsh landscape, it is the least populous provincial-level division in PRC (People’s Republic of China). Tibet’s boundaries were established during the eighteenth century. Tibet is bordered by Central China Plain to the eastern and northern side, Bhutan, India, and Nepal to the south and Kashmir to the west.

As much as the Chinese laws guarantee them some autonomy in numerous areas of language and education policies, the PRC’s government oversees the administration of the region. Just like all the other Chinese provinces, the regular administration is done by the PRC’s government under the leadership of a Chairman. The Shengwei Changwei also known as the Provincial party standing committees serve as the top team in charge of the political power in all the Chinese provinces.

Late antiquity: the reconfiguration of the Roman world

The Roman Empire of late antiquity was no longer the original empire of its founder, Augustus, nor was it even the 2nd-century entity of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. In the 3rd century the emperor, who was first called princeps (“first citizen”) and then dominus (“lord”), became divus (“divine”). The powerful religious connotations of the imperial office were adopted even by usurpers of the imperial throne, backed by their armies, who then ruled autocratically at the head of a vast bureaucratic and military organization. Internal and external crises during the 3rd and 4th centuries resulted in the division of the empire into an eastern and a western part after 285, with the east possessing a great and flourishing capital built by the emperor Constantine—Constantinople (now Istanbul)—and far more economic, political, and military resources than the western half. The administration of the entire empire was restructured to finance immense military expenditures, giving the western European provinces and frontier areas greater importance but fewer resources. Most of the population of the empire, including soldiers, were frozen hereditarily in their occupations. The Western Empire, whose capital moved north from Rome in the 4th century to a number of provincial cities—Trier, Arles, Milan, and ultimately Ravenna—became less urbanized, more ruralized, and gradually dominated by an aristocracy of landowners and military officials, most of whom lived on large villas and in newly fortified cities. The provincial economy had become increasingly rural and localized and was dominated by the needs of the vast military bases near the frontiers.

The great and small estates were worked by slaves, freedmen, and coloni (“farmers”), who had once been independent but had voluntarily or involuntarily subordinated themselves to the great landowners as their only protection against imperial tax collectors or military conscription. The landowners dispensed local justice and assembled private armies, which were powerful enough to negotiate on their subordinates’ behalf with imperial officials. Mediterranean trade diminished, and the production of more and more goods was undertaken locally, as was the organization of social, devotional, and political life.

Non-Roman peoples from beyond the frontiers— barbari (“barbarians”) or externae gentes (“foreign peoples”), as the Romans called them—had long been allowed to enter the empire individually or in families as provincial farmers and soldiers. But after 375 a number of composite Germanic peoples, many of them only recently assembled and ruled by their own new political and military elites, entered the empire as intact groups, originally by treaty with Rome and later independently. They established themselves as rulers of a number of western provinces, particularly parts of Italy, Iberia, Gaul, and Britain, often in the name of the Roman emperor and with the cooperation of many Roman provincials.

Roman ethnography classified external peoples as distinct and ethnically homogeneous groups with unchanging identities they were part of the order of nature. Adopting this view, philologists, anthropologists, and historians in the 19th century maintained that the Germanic “tribes” that first appeared in the 3rd century were the ethnic ancestors of the “tribes” of the 5th century and that the ethnic composition of these groups remained unchanged in the interval. Late 20th-century research in ethnogenesis thoroughly demonstrated the unreliability of Roman ethnography, although modern concepts of ethnicity continue to exploit it for political purposes.

V. A Complete Victory over Poverty

Tibet was a contiguous poor area with the highest incidence and most severe level of poverty, where the cost of poverty eradication was highest and the difficulty greatest. Ending poverty in Tibet is a consistent policy of the Central People&rsquos Government.

As early as 1951, after the liberation of Tibet, the PLA and other organizations in Tibet were already taking action to reduce poverty.

In 1959 after feudal serfdom was abolished and Tibet embarked on the path of socialism, the CPC set about developing the productive forces, eliminating exploitation and poverty, achieving common prosperity, growing the economy, and improving people&rsquos lives.

After the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Party convened the National Conference on Better Poverty Alleviation Partnership Assistance from Other Parts of the Country to Tibet for five successive years, and launched a campaign under which SOEs directly under the central government would assist Tibet in achieving prosperity. Through targeted poverty alleviation policies and measures, Tibet has won a decisive victory over poverty, and local people of all ethnic groups now have adequate food and clothing and access to compulsory education, basic medical services and safe housing.

By the end of 2019, all the 628,000 registered poor and 74 designated poor counties in Tibet had risen from poverty, marking the end of absolute poverty in Tibet for the first time in history. The average annual per capita disposable income of those who have just emerged from poverty now exceeds RMB10,000, an indication that the positive results of poverty elimination have been consolidated.

It was the democratic reform in Tibet that led to leapfrog progress in its social system, and the fight against poverty secured historic improvements in its ways of life.

Eliminating absolute poverty

Tibet has made great efforts to develop industries that leverage local strengths, to find the right path for economic growth. It has been vigorously developing and promoting highland barley strains such as Zangqing 2000, Ximala 22, and livestock breeds such as Pagri yak, Riwoqe yak, and Gamba sheep, to raise the per unit yield.

Tibet has been supporting deep processing, improving product supply, and expanding industrial chains. In 2020, there were 162 leading agriculture and animal husbandry enterprises, with a total processing output value of RMB5.7 billion. This was double the figure for 2015.

Tibet has been increasing the level of specialization in production and boosting production efficiency through cooperation between cooperatives and rural households, and among leading enterprises, village-level collective economic organizations and rural households. The comprehensive mechanization rate for growing staple crops has reached 65 percent.

Tibet has been alleviating poverty by developing e-commerce programs targeted at the entire rural community to improve the marketing of local specialties. A total of RMB879 million from the state budget was allocated to promote the online sales of agro-products, boost incomes and employment, and reduce poverty in Tibet.

Tibet has been fully engaged in developing tourism, launching programs such as &ldquoTibetan Cultural Tour,&rdquo &ldquoG318 Self-drive Tour&rdquo for the 2018 Around China Self-driving Tour Championship (ACSC), and &ldquoWinter Tour in Tibet.&rdquo By 2020, rural tourism had created, directly or indirectly, 86,000 jobs for local farmers and herdsmen, resulting in an increment in annual per capita income of RMB4,300.

Tibet has been developing its cultural industry by expanding the market for traditional Tibetan culture. Thangka, sculpting, textiles, costumes, home decoration and other handicrafts have grown into emerging industries, huge in both supply and demand. Cultural industry demonstration parks/centers at all levels and in all categories have been completed, creating a total output value of more than RMB6 billion at an average annual growth rate of 15 percent.

Since 2016, Tibet has applied agricultural funds totaling RMB75.4 billion to poverty alleviation and implemented 3,037 programs supporting local businesses, which has helped 238,000 registered poor out of poverty. It has issued subsidized loans of RMB64.8 billion and micro-credit loans of RMB6.33 billion, providing strong support for the development of local industries.

Efforts have been made to renovate dilapidated rural homes to ensure safe housing. Since 2008, a total of RMB3.62 billion has been applied to 399,700 households in Tibet for the renovation of dilapidated homes, covering registered poor households, households entitled to subsistence allowances, severely impoverished rural residents cared for at their homes with government support, and impoverished families of individuals with disabilities. The project has enabled them to abandon rammed-earth dwellings and stone shacks, and presented them with bright and spacious housing. The widowed, orphaned and childless in extreme poverty are eligible for rural public rental housing, or vacant public housing that has been renovated, to guarantee their access to safe housing. All these measures have laid a solid foundation for Tibet to beat poverty and achieve moderate prosperity.

Tibet has relocated the impoverished to improve their living and working conditions. Poverty-stricken populations in Tibet are concentrated in the northern pastoral areas, the southern border areas, and the eastern areas along the Hengduan Mountains. All these areas are located at high altitudes. They are remote from vital markets and live in harsh conditions. Therefore, relocating the inhabitants of these areas is a rational solution to lift them out of poverty. Since 2016, Tibet has increased efforts to resettle the impoverished from inhospitable areas to places with better economic prospects. By 2020, Tibet had completed the construction of 964 relocation zones/sites for poverty alleviation in low-altitude, hospitable areas, where 266,000 poor were happy to resettle. Some five percent of Tibet&rsquos growth-driven poverty alleviation funds were applied to the development of industries and businesses at relocation sites, and at least one individual from each resettled household was guaranteed employment. This was a significant primary step ensuring steady progress toward a prosperous life.

Tibet has implemented policies to sustain poverty elimination through the endogenous initiatives of the poor themselves by increasing their confidence and helping them acquire knowledge and skills. Tibet&rsquos education funds are directed more to basic education and vocational education in poor areas to improve conditions there. Tibet has established a student financial assistance system covering all stages of education from preschool to higher education, covering both private and public education, and covering all students experiencing economic difficulties, supported by 40 financial assistance policies. The Three Guarantees policy for education in Tibet &ndash providing food, accommodation and school expenses for preschool to senior high students from farming and herding households and impoverished urban families &ndash has resulted in a rise in subsidy to an average of RMB4,200 per student per year dropouts from registered poor families are all identified and helped back into school in a timely manner.

Tibet has encouraged institutions of higher learning to recruit students from its farming and pastoral areas and poverty-stricken areas through special programs. Tibet has implemented the Three Cost-frees and One Subsidy policy, under which college students from registered poor households and rural families entitled to subsistence allowances are exempt from tuition, textbook and accommodation fees and are provided with cost-of-living subsidies. Altogether 46,700 impoverished undergraduates received assistance from this policy during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016&ndash2020). Based on market demand and personal choice, poor populations in Tibet are provided with vocational and technical education covering constructional engineering, service, food processing, vehicle repair and maintenance, nursing, and handicrafts, to help them obtain stable jobs with higher payments.

Tibet has improved social security by providing subsistence allowances for the impoverished. All the 114,000 registered poor in Tibet are provided with subsistence allowances. Currently, the standards are RMB10,164 per person per year for urban residents, RMB4,713 for rural residents, RMB7,070 for severely impoverished rural residents cared for at their homes with government support, and RMB13,213 for severely impoverished urban and rural residents cared for at nursing homes with government support. The standard for temporary social relief has been raised to RMB4,334 on average. In all its 74 national-level poor counties, Tibet has implemented the national nutrition improvement program for children in impoverished areas, targeted at 6 to 24-month-olds.

Tibet has implemented the project of &ldquoLaying the Foundations for Better Lives,&rdquo through innovative paired-up assistance for the impoverished. From 2012 to 2020, Tibet dispatched 193,300 resident officials in nine groups to help alleviate poverty in villages. Officials at all levels in Tibet were paired up with registered poor households in all designated poor villages, townships and counties, to offer one-to-one employment assistance to the relocated poor and college graduates from impoverished families, and to help boost the economy in poverty-stricken areas.

Developing border areas and improving people&rsquos lives

Tibet has a 4,000-km long external border line. The inhabitants of the contiguous areas experience harsh living and working conditions and a high incidence of poverty. Governments at all levels have been making constant efforts to develop border areas and improve people&rsquos lives. Under the guidance of the Party Central Committee, financial input has been increasing year by year for border development in Tibet. Particularly since 2012, border villages, townships and counties in Tibet have been granted more preferential state policies on infrastructure construction, covering water, electricity, roads, and housing. In 2017, the Plan of Tibet Autonomous Region on the Construction of Villages of Moderate Prosperity in Border Areas (2017&ndash2020) was released, designed to ensure better access to housing, water, electricity, roads, communications and the internet, to improve education, technology, culture, healthcare and social security in border villages, and to boost industries in border areas. By the end of 2020, first-tier and second-tier border villages had access to highways, all border townships and towns were connected to the main power grid, and all border villages had access to postal services, mobile communications, and safe drinking water. Through all these efforts in the border areas in Tibet, infrastructure has seen remarkable improvements, all industries are flourishing, and the people enjoy better living and working conditions.

Revitalizing the countryside

In 2017, China proposed the strategy of rural revitalization. Accordingly, the Strategic Plan of Tibet Autonomous Region on Rural Revitalization (2018&ndash2022) was formulated, to build rural areas with thriving businesses, an eco-friendly environment, social etiquette and civility, effective governance, and a prosperous rural population, making sure that the positive results in poverty elimination are consolidated and become an integral part of rural revitalization in Tibet. The plan focuses on:

&bull developing plateau biotechnology, tourism, green industry, clean energy, modern services, advanced digital technology, and border trade and logistics

&bull improving talent training in farming and pastoral areas, scaling up the training of native professionals, establishing a complete training system for farmers and herdsmen, and attracting talent toward rural development

&bull promoting civilized village rules, improving public cultural services, encouraging literary and artistic works on agriculture, rural areas and rural people, carrying forward the best of traditional Tibetan culture, strengthening the competence of rural cultural workers, nurturing healthy folk customs, cultivating fine family traditions, and encouraging virtues in individuals

&bull protecting and restoring the rural eco-system, improving rural living environments, developing eco-friendly rural industries, and building institutional mechanisms for promoting rural eco-environmental progress, so as to keep Tibet&rsquos eco-environment at the highest national level, and turn its farming and pastoral areas into a beautiful, hospitable countryside where the people live in harmony with nature.

The Aftermath of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising

Since the 1959 Uprising, the central government of China has been steadily tightening its grip on Tibet. Although Beijing has invested in infrastructure improvements for the region, particularly in Lhasa itself, it has also encouraged thousands of ethnic Han Chinese to move to Tibet. In fact, Tibetans have been swamped in their own capital they now constitute a minority of the population of Lhasa.

Today, the Dalai Lama continues to head the Tibetan government-in-exile from Dharamshala, India. He advocates increased autonomy for Tibet, rather than full independence, but the Chinese government generally refuses to negotiate with him.

Periodic unrest still sweeps through Tibet, especially around important dates such as March 10 to 19 during the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising.


  1. Conner

    All about one and so infinitely

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