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Geography

Historical Map of Tibet IV:

The End of Isolation, [1940-49]


After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the communist government directed the main thrust of its conquest in Tibet towards Lhasa and Central Tibet.

Map IV show how this initial expansion in the extension of Chinaís administrative and political hegemony along traditional trade routes from Amdo and Kham towards Central Tibet. Yet, despite the arrival in Lhasa of the Peopleís Liberation Army troops in 1950 along these occupied routes, Communist China still exercised little direct control over vast sections of both Amdo and Kham. Indeed while the short lived Chinese province of Xikang, established during the Republican period (1911-1949), was comprised of southern and eastern Kham, Xikhang never really existed in any de facto geo-political sense among the local Tibetan population of Kham outside of a few Chinese settlements along trade routes. Additionally Chinese provincial boundaries of Qinghai and western Gansu, which today comprise virtually all of Amdo and northwestern Kham, were only administered by local level Chinese officials in 1949.

Within Tibet, most of the communities of the borderland regions of Kham and Amdo remained under their own local lay and monastic leaders into the 1950ís. Tibetan region of Lho-Jang and Gyarong in Kham, and Ngapa (Chinese Aba) and Golok in Amdo, were still independent of Chinese hegemony, despite the creation on paper of Qinghai Province in 1927. Indeed, in 1935, and official delegation from Lhasa was sent to search for the incarnate XIV Dalai Lama in the Tsongkha region of far northeastern Amdo. Before the young Lhamo Dhondrub was allowed to leave Taktser, his village, and return with the official entourage, a ransom over US $90.,000 had to be paid to Ma Bugeng, the Muslin warlord whose territory included Taktser. Chinese officials exercised no political or military authority in the region. Indeed, owing to warlordism, civil war, and invasion by Japan, Chinaís Republican and Nationalist Government could not, in the first half of the 20th Century, focus their military and political resources in expanding de facto administrative or military control over the mountainous eastern regions of Tibet.


EASTERN TIBET [CA [1940-50]


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