History of Qinghai (青海) (4) First Republic to Peoples Republic
This page was last updated on: July 10, 2017
Qinghai Province of China
A Schematic Map of Historical Tibet, today Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and a part of Sichuan province.
Included for reference are current International Borders, provincial borders, locations and names of main cities and towns, main rivers and lakes, mountains,importantTibetan-BuddhistMonasteries and other places of significance.
Further Reports link to More Photos and History & Backgrounds of each City, Town or Ethnic Community of Yugur, Dongxiang Tibetan, Lhoba, Kazakh, Mongol or others where available.
Today Tibet only exists as Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Tourist visits require an aditional visa !
'Qinghai' , is best understood as a Province when viewing a 3D Relief Map of the entire region of Tibet making up the vast proportion of the lower lying regions of the Tibet Region with the largest populations. in the Past these regions were identified as the Tibetan Provinces of Amdo and Kham.
'Qinghai' then was first created as Qinghai in the 1920's and became a province under the second Republic of China in 1928 AD, after Chiang Kai-Shek took power over the Kuomintang 'National' Party.
Subsequently parts of it fell under control of the so-called Five Ma's or the Ma Clique of Warlords (who annexed the Hui dominant parts on and along the eastern rim of the Tibetan Plateaux).
The Tibetans regarded it as a part of independent Tibet. This was the situation until one of the earlier decisions of the establishing Government of the Peoples Republic of China once more named Qinghai as a Province of China. From this and other issues, a conflict arose with the then functional and nominal Government of Tibet located in Lhasa.
In may of 1935 AD Communist groups who are part of the Long March and include the Leadership find themselves trapped between the Min River, the Dadu River, the Yangtze and the Jinsha River. The so called second army of the Rebel Communist Forces under He Long moved through the North-Eastern corner of Yunnan Province northward along the Jingsha River into (Eastern) Tibet, current day South-East Qinghai Province. The first army group which includes Mao Zedong stays more westerly traveling Northward through Sichuan Province.
Survivors of the 2nd Army's march through Tibet account harrowing tales of disastrous and fast changing climate in these sparsely inhabited regions, hunger and major strife and war-fare with the Tibetans. According to them, upon entering the grasslands the Commissars warned the troops that the Tibetans would be deeply suspicious of them. As their story goes, the Tibetans, who were illiterate, were often cheated by the Han Chinese Traders they depended on in the region.AnothermorepracticalreasonlayinthefactthatmostTibetansweredesperatelypoor,andwithonlyoneshortsummertheyhadtoprotecttheirharvestandlife-stockfromthehungryredarmies,orotherwiselikelyperishduringthenextlongwinter.
However, as the Tibetans were pressured by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in Nanjing, and threatened by the actions of the Hui Warlord Clique of Gansu Province (who were annexing parts of Tibet in what is now Qinghai Province) the Communist Party Leadership let the troops know that they saw a chance of winning over the Tibetans if only the troops behaved themselves properly.
Thus, the propaganda teams set to work and slogans such as 'Tibetan & Han workers and peasants unite to sweep away the Nationalist Warlords' were carried along.
On July the 6Th of 1935 AD the village of Takster or Hongya Cun (红崖村) in Amdo Region of Tibet (today South-East Qinghai's Ping'An County of Haidong Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (海东地区)), saw the birth of one Lhamo Döndrub, who according to Tibetan Religious Beliefs was found to be the re-incarnation of the Dalai Lama, a 'Living Buddha'. He lives today as Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso or H.H. the 14Th Dalai Lama and is widely respected and revered by Tibetans and others around the World. The Tibetan Government in Exile is located in Dharamsala, North India.
Still according to the Chinese Government Document 'Tibet as an inseparable part of China' : "After the Qing Dynasty fell in 1911 AD, the imperialists attempted to train trusted followers in the higher ruling group to take advantage of the Civil War in China's inland and instigate the fight for the independence of Tibet. However, this attempt to separate Tibet from China was frustrated by the Tibetan People and other patriotic personages of China."
What is not mentioned by the Chinese Governments document from 1990 AD is that in 1911, upon the declaration on the First Republic of China under Sun Yat-Sen, the Tibetan Government, then under Leadership of the 13Th Dalai Lama, expelled all Chinese Government Officials, the Amban (Imperial resident; Tibetan: Ngang pai) and Chinese Troops (some 240 Officers and Men) from Tibet, making Tibet de Facto Independent. Tibetan Independence was then declared.
In fact, the Tibetan Independence during the 20Th Century starts a little earlier, in the year 1909 AD, when the 13Th Dalai Lama was handed his 'Seals of Office', making him the De Facto 'King' or Head of State of Independent Tibet. This 'Great Seal of the Dalai Lama' was presented to him by the Tibetan National Assembly.
Thus, as many Tibetans claim and hold true today Tibet was itsown Boss for at least 40 years. As 'Students for a Free Tibet'
Historic Map - China (Qing) Empire in 1910 AD
An obviously non-Chinese but western-inspired and made Map of the Ching Dynasty Chinese Empire in the year 1910 AD, a year in which China's sovereignty has been under threat and siege for over 70 years.
In this Map of 1910 AD, made one year before the abdication of Last Ching Emperor Xuan Tong and the final end of China's Feudal History, China is depicted as in it's smallest boundaries and definition. Most notably Manchuria, and Inner Mongolia, both territories nominally under Chinese Control and under Chinese Sovereignty are depicted as separate area's. Manchuria is the ancestral home of the Aisin-Gioro Clan of the Ching Dynasty.
Other interesting features of the Map and geography of the Time : after the Sino-Japanese war of 1899 AD, both Korea and the Island of Formosa (now Taiwan / ROC) have been annexed by the Japanese Empire.
Treaty Ports, around 80 in total dot the Map of China.
As further stipulated by the Government of the Peoples Republic of China in the Section 'Tibet as an inseparable part of China' part of the document 'Tibet - The 'Roof of the World' , from the series China - Facts & Figures ; ISBN: 7-119-01259-2 / Z502 and Published by Beijing Foreign Language Press (BFL) in 1990 AD, Beijing :
After the Democratic Reform in 1959 AD, and especially since China's reform and open policy in 1979 AD, the economy and culture of Tibet have developed rapidly and people's living conditions have improved gradually. But a few separatists have created disturbances to cooperate with Dalai's separatist activities. Since September 1987, several disturbances have broken out in Lhasa because of the advocating for Tibetan Independence by the Dalai Lama in the United States and other countries, in his attempt to win the support of foreigners for his separatist efforts. In spite of this, the five principles for the Dalai Lama and his followers issued by the central Government (of The Peoples Republic of China) continue in effect.
They are as follows:
1) China has entered a new period with a long-term stable political situation and a continuously prospering economy. All nationalities of China will unite and support one another in this period. Dalai and his followers are bright enough to believe this or they can wait for several years and see.
2) The Dalai Lama and the men he sends to meet us should speak frankly (honest) and sincerely and not beat about the bush. We will not be tangled with the incident of 1959 AD, which is history and should be forgotten.
3) We earnestly and sincerely welcome Dalai and his followers to come back and settle in China to safeguard the unification of the country, to strengthen the unity of the Han and Tibetan peoples and of the people of all nationalities in China and to realize the four modernizations of our country.
(Deng Xiaoping; Four Modernizations introduced in December 1978 at 3rd Plenum of the 11th Central Committee: Agriculture, Industry, National Defense, Science and Technology)
4) After returning to China, Dalai's political and living treatment will be the same as before 1959 AD. The Party Central Committee will suggest to the National People's Congress that he (the Dalai Lama) be allowed to continue as a Vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee and, through consultation, be the Vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. He can stay in Beijing and not go back to Tibet and not hold concurrent posts in Tibet. At present the young cadres in Tibet have done a good job in their posts. Of course, Dalai can visit Tibet at any time. Proper arrangements will be made for his followers, and its unnecessary to worry about their lives and work. They will lead better lives than before because our country has made great progress.
5) When the Dalai Lama wants to come back to China, he may make a brief statement to the press saying whatever he wishes in the statement. When we receive notice of his intended return, we will send a ministerial-level official to meet him at the border if he comes back through Hong Kong to Guangzhou. At the same time, we will publish the news.
These Five Principles will not change and are the consistent principles of the central government. We hope that Dalai Lama will put the interests of the Tibetan People first and acts as he thinks appropriate."
"My Long March" (2007 AD)
( no longer available )
By late July all four armies of the Communist Rebel Forces were traversing through what today is the Qinghai Plateaux in Qinghai Province. In the end the Fourth Army stayed within Tibetan Territories for the longest period. During this period in July and August of 1935 AD, the Fourth Red Army led by Zhang Guotai succeeded in helping Tibetans in their region set up their own Independent Communist Base (or Soviet), still seen today by the Chinese Communist Party and Government as the 'Tibetan Peoples' Republic' or 'The Peoples Republic of Tibet'. According to its constitution, this 'Peoples' Republic of Tibet' was (to be) an independent socialist Nation (so, not connected to China other than by ties of Friendship) with its very own Army (presumably The Tibetan Peoples Liberation Army), equality and autonomy for all Nationalities in the Territory and last but not least, full Tibetan Independence. The constitution did include a clause obliging the Tibetans to eternal friendship with the Communist Party of China and to provide food and aid to their army.
Thus, the year 1936 was the first year of existence of independent Socialist Tibet, according to idea's shared by (some) Tibetans and the Communist Party of China. Unfortunately however for all idealists involved, as soon as the 4Th Red Army was
forced to move on and left the Tibetan area's, the old Power-brokers moved in dealing quite swiftly with the communist sympathizers left behind. The Islamic Hui warlords, the Ma's were back, cooperating with Tribal Chiefs (land-lords and serf-owners in the view of the Chinese) eradicating the recently built communist network. Many Tibetans, including their families, were killed brutally.
Oddly, the work had not made the Chinese Communist Party leadership happy either. That is, the person held responsible was Zhang Guotai, who in fact had disagreed with Mao Zedong's so hailed thought and had planned to start his very own Communist Base in opposition to Mao Zedong and his small but clever and ambitious group. The disagreement on where to move to establish a new Base area so direly needed by the decimated Communist Rebels was cause for a total split in the Communist Party as the ever authoritarian and peasantly stubborn Mao insisted on carrying on the -up to then disastrous- Long March north (to Shaanxi Province).
Zhang Guotai probably was (probably) honest in his wishes to Liberate Tibet and befriendit,butlikelylesssowiththepromisesof independence. Through setting up a Base area in (East) Tibet and creating an independent Base, he also created a safe area for himself to fall back on.IncaseZhangGuotaicouldnotreachtopLeadershipovertheParty,hemightstarthisownnewParty, or even his own competingcountry.IftheRedArmywentwesteventually,endingupin-ornearQinghai,ZhangwouldbeatanadvantageoverMaosincehehadorganizedthePolitical Structure of these regions whereas the others would be alike old fish thrown into a new pond.
However,noneofthisevermaterializedeven thoughZhangtriedhard.Not much later the desperate situation of the army and its supplies led Zhang Guotai to undertake actions, planning a raid on Mao Zedong, his camp and command group. Mao would have been killed and the Long March terminated if it were not for the ever occurring Chinese story of betrayal in the ranks.
Zhang Guotai's attempt at seizing power within the party and rescuing what was left of the armies from what he thought was a mad-man's plan, ultimately led to the so-called 'Ningxia Campaign' which eliminated the 4Th army, and ruined the chances of Zhang Guotai at ultimate Leadership over China. According to historians, up to 75% of the total 80 thousand men strong army was annihilated, either dying from starvation, the horrible weather, or the incessant attacks of the very hostile Hui population (who were interested in their own independence which they hoped to gain through their 'Ma Clique' of Warlords who together held sway over Ningxia, Gansu and the Kokonor Region of East Tibet).
Without any supporters within the party and too honorable to sell out or too ambitious to retire himself, Zhang was purged in 1937 at the Extended Meeting of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China. Finally done with the Communist Party he defected to the Kuomintang in 1938.
'Where-everthecommunistbanditsgo,thefirstthingtheydoistoburnthetemplesandmonasteries,destroytheBuddhiststatues,killtheLama'sandsilencethesoundofprayers...'. ' No wonder everyone hates them'.'TheyareabigthreatforusBuddhists...'.
'Armyourselves, help the Nationalist troops, and prepare to defend our people against the evil enemy of our religion.Donotbelieveintheirsweetpropaganda!Theywillburnyourhouseanddestroyyourfamily.Iamtellingyououtofakindintentionandtosavetheworld!'.
Needlesstosay,aftertheeradicationoftheTibetansinvolved,nothingmuchwaseverheardoftheTibetanPeoplesRepublic.Today,neitherParty-China (P.R.C.)northeTibetanGovernmentinExile-wants to base Tibetan Independence on the 1936 AD events.
In1937AD,the9ThPanchenLama,Thubten Choekyi Nyima,diedhe died in Gyêgu (Tibetan: Jyekundo; Today Yushu (Gyegu) in Qinghai Province), which was at the Time located in a (disputed) border-region just insideChinesecontrolledterritoriesofTibet.ThePanchenLama'slifehadbeenanextra-ordinarilycontroversialstoryinwhichheranintopoliticaldisputeswiththeDalaiLama and fled to Chinese controlled Inner-Mongolia in 1924 AD.Eventsthatfollowedaretosaytheleastkeptshady,buthesubsequently fellunderChineseinfluenceand,beingtheoreticallyofhigherreligiousorder,wasplayedoffagainsttheDalaiLamaasreligious and spiritualauthorityofTibetand'theTibetans'.
Qinghai and Tibet during afterthe 1911AD-PostfeudalChina, theTibetansandTibet:
A SatelliteImage overview Map of the entireTibetanPlateauxincluding parts of bordering regions of Xinjiang-UyghurAR, Gansu Province, NingxiaHuiAR, Inner-MongoliaAR,Sichuan Province,andYunnan Province. Surrounding nations and Territories are: Myanmar (Burma), Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Kashmir and Pakistan.
The Chinese Government Document 'Tibet as an inseparable part of China' further States: "In 1930,
the Kuomintang Government sent officials to Tibet to make connections and in the same year the
Tibetan local government also sent a representative to Nanjing (then the seat of the 'Kuomintang National Government'which was at war with the Communist Party of China) and set up a resident Tibetan Office there."
respectstothedeceased13ThDalaiLama. Although not welcome within Tibet, the Chinese Officials stayed on after the Funeral Ceremonies had passed, setting up an un-official mission in Lhasa.
"In 1934 AD, the Kuomintang government sent officials from the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Committee to Tibet to handle Tibetan affairs."
Meanwhile, by means of the de facto Administrators of Tibet in Lhasa,theStateofTibet declared itself a neutral country (bharnas gyalkhap), which would not take any part in hostilities during World War II. During the 5 years, the Tibetan government successfully resisted pressure from Britain, a threat of invasion from China by means of the Kuomintang 'National' Armies or nominally sub-ordinate warlords, and even a personal request from American President Roosevelt to allow construction of a military road through Tibetan territory, or allow the passage of military supplies. In a humanitarian gesture, passage of non-military goods was later permitted.
As is now well known through the Film '7 Years in Tibet' starring Brad Pitt, Tibet granted political asylum to two Austrian climbers who escaped from a British POW camp in India. These Men were Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschneiter. Tibet also provided hospitality and transport to American flyers whose plane crashed in Tibet in 1944 on their way over 'the Hump'.
In 1943 AD the self-declared independent Government of Tibet
Mao Zedong speaking on the ideals and benefits of Chinese Communism in 1939 AD.
The Story of the Invasion of Tibet by Chinese Forces and the subsequent Flight of the Dalai Lama. Must See ! - No longer available
"The ascension of the 14Th Dalai Lama in 1940 AD and that of the 10Th Bainqen Erdini in 1949 AD were approved by the central government (in 1940 by the Kuomintang National Government led by Chiang Kai-Shek, in 1949 - under research) according to the old system, and both the ceremonies were presided over by the president of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Committee.
Thus history shows that Tibet (and thus Qinghai) has been part of China's territory since ancient Times."
Againthiscannotbeconfirmed.Thatis,inJulyof1949AD, the ChineseofficialswhichhadstayedoninLhasasince1933ADaspartofaone-sidedandun-officialmissiontoTibetwererequestedtoleave.Althoughallfriendlyformalitieswereobserved,theHanChinesewereinfactexpelledfromTibetsimplybecauseithadassumedNationalIndependence.Furthermore,earliereventssurroundingthedeclarationofThePeoples'RepublicofTibetinEastTibet(nowQinghai), which naturally occurred withoutconsultationswiththeDalaiLama,PanchenLamaandLhasaGovernment,hadassuredthattheTibetanRulerswerenotinterestedindealingwiththeChineseCommunistPartywhichtheyalreadysuspectedof
The document Section 'Tibet as an inseparable part of China', leaves out the significant fact of the establishment of a Soviet Base in (East) Tibet by the 4Th Red Army of the Chinese Communist Party, an army under Leadership of Zhang Guotai. After running into conflict with Mao Zedong over future strategy,
this Red Army had traveled along a separate route and right through the Tibetan Grasslands of (what is now) Sichuan Province and Qinghai Province. During its Time on the grasslands in the summer, avoiding Mao Zedong and confrontation, the Army Cadres helped Tibetans set-up a Soviet Base which could also serve as a future power-base for any arriving Red Army. The Soviet Base was officially turned into 'The Peoples Republic of Tibet' setting up an independent Nation with an army along the lines of earlier used models.
There have been many more such accusations and frictions over Time. For instance, The Peoples Republic of China claims that many 100's of supporters of Tibetan inclusion within China were massacred in Tibet at sometime during the year 1947 AD. Furthermore, they have asserted that this was done with complete support of the British Mission in Tibet.
In 1948 AD the Nations of India, Britian and the United States of America admitted what was dubbed a 'Tibetan Trade Mission' sent from a self-asserting Lhasa despite the fact that the Missions Members did not have any passports. The Mission was clearly a Tibetan attempt to expand contacts and trade with other Nations, outside of Chinese Government Channels. What really ticked the Chinese off was that the Visa's for the United States were issued by the U.S. Ambassador in Beijing, 'even though they did not have Chinese Passports". Clearly, the Kuomintang Government of the Time, in death-struggle with the Communists, still had ambitions to hang on to Chinese Sovereignty claims over Tibet as they launched several protest against their most powerful ally. When the United States did not respond to the Chinese Protest, a Kuomintang order went out to the un-official Mission in Lhasa to take up the issue directly with the Dalai Lama himself. When trying to re-assert Chinese Sovereignty over Tibet during a meeting on July 8 of 1949 AD, the Chinese officials were asked to leave Lhasa and Tibet.
According to Chinese claims of the recent past, as soon as the Kuomintang Government was humiliated by Lhasa, the Chinese Communist Party stepped up proclaiming that 'all parts of China' would be liberated.
As the Chinese further claim, America started large scale shipments of arms into Tibet from India through Nathu-La Pass, which went on throughout 1950. As proof they quote from international news articles of the Time which proclaim this to be true.
As quoted in 'From Opium War to Liberation' from 'The CIA Tibetan Conspiracy' by Christopher Mullen (Sept. 5, 1975 Economic Review); "In the period from 1956 to 1972 this involvement included the parachuting into Tibet of Guns, and 'Guerrilla's' trained at places such as Camp Hale, Colorado, financing and arming of 'secret armies' for border raids, and a variety of political intrigues."
The Chinese claims of CIA operations within Tibet from the 1950's onwards have been confirmed by several others sources, including by former CIA agents involved.
As a result of further Indian, British and American support for Tibetan Independence the establishing Government of the Peoples Republic of China not yet operational warned that its Peoples' Liberation Army would invade Tibet.
Fairly recent research by a Chinese scholar into historic sources reveals that when Mao Zedong met JosephStalin his fellow Communist Ruler and Ally on January the 22nd of 1950 AD in Moscow, he requested the help of the Soviet air force in transporting vital supplies needed for the succesful invasion of Tibet. In the case, Stalin, although always cautious with Mao, had no apparent objections as he replied: "Its good you are preparing to attack Tibet. The Tibetans need to be subdued."
Apart from claiming historic rule and thus sovereignty over Tibet, the Chinese Government on its part, has accused other Nations of instigating troubles in Tibet. Next to the accusations against Britain (which were NOT cleared after Indian Independence in 1947 AD), China accuses the United States of attempting at several moments to try and split away parts of the integral Chinese Nation.
As described in the Book 'From Opium War to Revolution', by Israel Epstein (China's first foreign Member o/t Communist Party), China asserts that : "U.S. agents" operated plots in Mongolia, in Ningxia Region as well as Tibet.
The book especially claims : "Most fascinating to the U.S. Military was Tibet, 'The Roof of the World', in which they saw great strategic possibilities for air force and rocket installations to dominate all China (PRC), the USSR and India.
First penetrating the region during world war II, they conducted reconnaissance, made political contacts with the most-imperialist corrupted section of the serf-owning aristocracy and equipped a radio network (the latter referring to the setting up of radio stations in Tibet for the Tibetan Government for communications by the Britons Reginald Fox and Robert Ford, as described by witness Heinrich Harrer in Return to Tibet (1982). According to Harrer Robert Ford was sent to Chamdo, center of conflict (with the Chinese Army) to start up a radio transmissions station (radio telephone). As Harrer believed, as a result of one test transmission Ford was then interned by The Peoples Republic for five years. Harrer was however wrongly informed as other sources from the time report that 'An English radio operator (Robert Ford) in Tibetan government service at the Chamdo front wrote that Tibetan forward defenses at the main ferry-point on the Drichu Riverfought almost to the last man'. (If it was a test-transmission, then it had been a very succesful one). ). As the Kuomintang tottered to collapse, U.S. Agents became more active. Notable was the 1949 AD journey of the Lowell Thomasses, father and son, ostensibly only as radio
reporters (they also filmed and took photos according to Harrer.). Actually, as they later revealed, they had been briefed by General MacArthur who commanded the U.S. Forces in he Far East from Tokyo, by General Willoughby who headed his Intelligence', and by Loy Henderson, U.S. Ambassador to India. The Thomasses returned from Lhasa proclaiming the urgency of sending "modern weapons and advisors to instruct their use".
After rushing to see President Truman in Washington, they transmitted to the Lhasa serf-owners Truman's "hope to organize the moral forces of the world against the immoral", and a proposal from U.S. Secretary of State Achison that a high Washington official enter Tibet disguised as "merely another traveler" to survey the field for "a definite program of support"."
(aswesternhistoriansgenerallybelieveLowell Thomas Sr. & Jr. were invited by the Tibetan government to make a film inTibet in 1949 with the hope that the Lowell reports would help persuade the U.S. government to defend Tibet against the Chinesethreat. The trip oftheLowellslasted 400 days.Father and son Lowellwere the last Westerners to reach Lhasa before the ChineseArmy. CBS did not broadcast the resultant film, Expedition to Lhasa, Tibet, until years later, but LowellJr's book about the expedition,named 'Out of This World'andpublished in 1950 became a bestseller.)
describes it; "until the Chinese invasion of 1950-51, Tibet enjoyed full sovereignty as defined under international law: it had a territory, a population, a government exercising effective control, and the ability to enter into international relations (such as the 1914 Simla Convention with Britain, trade delegations to the West, and neutrality in World War II).
DepictionaPrintofthe Seal thatwashandedtothe13ThDalaiLamaintheyear1909AD,makinghimheadofGovernment.
YouTubeVideo:Footage of Tibet & The Tibetan Army shot by a German Mission in 1939 AD.
allowed the opening of a British 'Bureau of Foreign Affairs' in Lhasa. The Chinese 'National' Government and the Chinese Communist Party remained however un-welcome. Overall Tibet remained a highly secluded nation which had not admitted Foreigners, except on very unique occasions, since the 18Th Century.