Tibet's Fate

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Tibet's Fate examines the issue of the political fate of Tibet. It is told by Tibetans themselves as well as by the author from his own experiences. The title is not meant to imply that the current fate of Tibet is an ultimate destiny, or even that Tibet’s fate is already decided. It is only meant in the sense that if Tibet’s fate is now determined, it has been determined not by the Tibetan people but by those of China. If it is to be determined by China, then Tibet’s fate is indeed to be an integral part of China. However, if Tibet’s fate were to be decided by the Tibetan people, if they were allowed their right to national self-determination, then it would definitely be different.

Given all the criteria for independent statehood—territory, culture, language, religion and government—Tibet surely should be an independent state. Tibetan territory, defined by altitude, was the very nearly exclusively habitation of people who identified themselves as Tibetans. Those people share a distinct culture, language and religion. They had a central government that directly administered the territory of Central Tibet and indirectly that of Kham and Amdo. Had Tibetans been allowed to determine for themselves their political status; that is, if they had the right to self-determination as specified in the most fundamental documents of international law, there is no doubt that they would have chosen independence. Whatever the flaws of the Tibetan social and political systems, Tibet should have had the right to determine its own fate, and could have done so, until deprived of that right by China.

The book also examines the sensitive question of the nature of the Tibetan political system and its role in the fate that has befallen Tibet. The author concludes that the Tibetan political system of Chosi Shungdrel, or the unity of religion and politics, is implicated in the failure of Tibet to maintain its independence.

Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield
Publish Date

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