Although the Chinese thought they might finally get the Tibetans on their hand again and under control since technically the Panchen is higher in Religious Rank than the Dalai Lama, the return visit developed in a completely un-expected and quite sensational way.
The First thing that caught the Chinese by surpise was the sizeable number of Tibetans who showed up. All had turned out, and a stampede nearly ensued when the Panchen Lama was allowed to see his People. Although subjected to 30 years of religious oppression, intimidation and more heinous crimes, none of the Tibetan Faith had faded. On the contrary.
When subsequently the Panchen went to Tsuglagkhang, the Holiest of Temples in Inner-Lhasa for religious rites and proclaimed its Golden Throne to belong to The Dalai Lama only, an uncontrolable exhilaration swept through the people present and then the City. The Chinese were left baffled. (The Panchen was then imprisoned and tortured in Qingcheng Prison and, obviously not useful, only returned in 89 to die at Shigatse. Rumors hold the Old Lama was murdered).
However, at some Time in 1983 AD once again the Tides of politics seemed to sway against the Tibetans. On the 24Th of August 1983 AD and again on the 27Th and 28Th of that month, large scale arrests took place in the City of Lhasa in neighboring Tibet Autonomous Region. Altogether some 500 Tibetans were rounded up. Of those arrested several were tried on trumped up charges and later executed (Source: Amnesty International). In early October 1983 AD six Tibetans were executed for 'criminal activities'. Chinese promises once more proved empty, and as far as Hu Yaobang's visionary proposals went, it seems rather the opposite was done. The political repressions
In early august of 2009 AD parts of East Qinghai saw a micro-epidemic and scare of the bubonic plague (yersinia pestis), a relatively rare but lethal infectious disease also known as the 'Black Death' for the skin lesions involved.
The provincial government quarantined the small town of Ziketan (near Xinghai) with a population 10.000 souls. The first patient was a 32 year old nomadic herdsman who died not much later. In total three people in Qinghai are reported to have succumbed to the bubonic plague, all relatives of the first patient, and another 11 people were confirmed infected with the deadly lung infection and sickened during the course of the plague scare.
The government moved to quarantine the town and started wide-scale disinfection operations which were succesful in preventing further spread of this airborne disease.
On April 14Th of 2010 a 6.9 scale earthquake struck the Yushu County and wider Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of the Qinghai Region devastating Towns.
in which he requested permissions to enter Tibet in order to be able to visit, support and comfort the victims in the stricken Yushu Area. Regardless the Official 'Five Principles' Statement many times repeated by the Government of The Peoples' Republic of China, the important request went un-answered by anyone official in Beijing. To this date (May 12Th, 2010), no official answer has been given by 'Beijing'.
According to the Tibetan Government in Exile, the whole of Tibet known as Cholka-Sum (U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo) should become a self-governing democratic political entity founded on law by agreement of the people for the common good and the protection of themselves and their environment, in association with the People's Republic of China.
March the 10Th of 2008, the 49th anniversary of the failed uprising in 1959 in Tibet saw the rising of large scale protest in Tibet Autonomous Region which subsequently spread to all native Tibetan Regions within the Peoples Republic of China.
The events began when hundreds of monks from Lhasa's Drepung Monastery began peaceful protests calling for the release of other monks detained since the previous autumn and for religious freedom. When fifty more monks were detained the stage was set for more protest actions.
Although suppressed, tensions between Tibetans, Han and Hui simmer.
returned to Tibet, in hindsight darkly foretelling of what was to happen in the Political Capital of China itself. Deng, an Old Long March Veteran and outright communist who had survived all the Party intrigues and murders including Mao's Cultural Revolution and Lin Biao's assassination to come out on top, would not play the 'Liberals' Ball-game. To him Liberalism was an obscene idea.
As a highpoint of the suddenly developing 'sunshine' policy and not much mentioned since, the Chinese side cautiously allowed the return of a long-standing Exile, the 10Th Panchen Lama, to Tibet. After a 19 Year absence, reportedly under house-arrest in Beijing since 1964 AD and possibly under political control of the Communist Party heads, the Panchen returned to Lhasa in the spring of 1982 AD.
Many of the destructive acts committed in Tibet during the Cultural Revolution Era have been later apologized for by the Chinese Government via ways of Hu Yaobang, who became Secretary General of the Communist Party of China in 1980 and Party Chairman in 1981. Hu was possibly China's only true reformer and rolled out a refreshingly pragmatic policy for Tibet after realizing the mistakes of previous policies, especially the shameful atrocities committed in name of the Chinese People during the Cultural Revolution. After a month long working visit to Tibet Hu announced the orderly withdrawal of thousands of Chinese Han cadres from the Tibet Autonomous Region believing that as he stated; 'Tibetans should be empowered to administer their own affairs'.
During the early 1980's communal agricultural policies for Tibet were abandoned, Nomadic herders were free to roam, religious bans were relaxed and the first tourists were allowed to visit Lhasa and the new 'Tibet Autonomous Region'.
After the demise of Feudal Rule in China in 1911 AD and the subsequent perversion of the 1st Republic of China, Tibet had chosen an independent path. Tibet remained for a large part untouchable behind its natural defenses of High Mountains for some 40 years. However, even before the Nationalist Kuomintang and the Communist had fully battled it out within the Chinese Provinces, the latter insisted on the inclusion of the Tibetans into their 'large family' of ethnic 'nationalities' even though they had been fighting the Tibetans ever since the days of the Long March of 1935 / 1936 AD.
In 1972 AD after lengthy and secret preparations that had been going on for over a year, American President Nixon visited Mao Zedong and Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai in Beijing, on an official state visit that ushered in a new Era of American-Chinese Relations.
On the American part, this major Public Relations Victory for the Chinese Communist was aimed at driving a (further) wedge between the Soviet Union and China, which had both been vying for supremacy within the socialist world. It did however also directly result from America's (political) defeat in the Vietnam War, a war completely sponsored by both the Soviets and the Chinese. Suddenly there was a major improvement in the American attitude towards the Chinese and a need for more tolerance. According to the Nixon Library; 'President Nixon's trip to China in 1972
Deal of the Century? Mao Zedong (Left) and Richard Nixon (Right)shake hands at The Great Hall o/t Peoples in Beijing.
ended twenty-five years of isolation between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) and resulted in establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1979 AD.' In truth however, the exact rationale behind this move remains unclear today. In recorded conversations the only motives mentioned by Nixon involve the 'unfortunate' Korean War (1950 AD - 1953 AD), the general threat of conflict in Asia with 750 million Chinese who had been armed with nuclear weapons since 1964, and the ongoing Vietnam War (Tibet was never mentioned). In other words, Mao's continental strategy, although extremely costly in human lives and suffering, had succeeded in cornering the world's number one super power, the United States and driving it (for a large part) out of South-East Asia.
The domino-theory as pronounced under President Truman in the 1950's had become a true reality, and Nixon was seemingly smiling at all of it while Mao fed him his gruel.
Richard Nixon (Left)toasts to the new 'Friendship' with Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong's 'invisible' second at the Official Banquet inside The Great Hall of The Peoples in Beijing.
April 30, 1970 AD. Richard Nixon explaining the problem of NVA (North Vietnamese Army) positions within sovereign Cambodia, which were supported with materials provided from China (and the USSR).
"Twin Stars of China"
( no longer available )
Naturally, the developments were portrayed as a positive break-through by media in America and across the Western World. In fact, the image portrayed was so positive that it lasts until this very day. Nixon 'broke the Ice' with the Chinese, or so he thought and many still feel it was his great achievement.
It certainly seemed like it was progress, but it came at considerable cost. Among things, amid scandals and public outrage at home, CIA involvement in South-East Asia had to be curtailed, leaving the territories to growing Chinese influence. Nixon promised an ever willing Mao that U2 overflights of Chinese Territory (more on U-2 overflights, read: Jiquan Report - 'History of Jiquan (Suzhou District)'), defenses and nuclear facilties were to be Halted and CIA operations and weapons shipments into Tibet stopped completely. Mao Zedong got what he wanted, but from the Chinese side operations continued as usual in theKorea's,Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Tibet, Kashmir, Ladakh and elsewhere. Mao didn't play nice, he played to win. He even went up against Joseph Stalin. A political amateur without any China experience such as Nixon was no match for his skill and cunning. Someone was going to have his ears washed.
Thus, the trip ended with the Shanghai Communique,
a joint statement from China and the U.S. that pledged to improve relations between the countries and maintained that Taiwan was part of China, a diplomatic sticking point. At the close of the journey, Nixon crowed, "This was the week that changed the world." (See TIME's 1972 Cover Story "Richard Nixon's Long March to Shanghai").
That was certainly true for Mao, as even though he claimed not to be planning to recognize the Chinese Communist as the true China, Nixon just handed him a glance at his great prize: the elimination of Independent Taiwan. Besides, the World was changed in yet another way considering that, as can be reviewed now, from that very moment on The Rise of a New China was underway. China would be left to dominate South-East Asia and Tibet, a process still left unfinished but worked on hard by those in Government today.
(In Nixon's very own words: "This was the week that changed the world, as what we have said in that Communique is not nearly as important as what we will do in the years ahead to build a bridge across 16,000 miles and 22 years of hostilities which have divided us in the past. And what we have said today is that we shall build that bridge."
In 1979 AD, three years after the death of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the United States broke off relations with the Republic of China and established full diplomatic relations with the P.R.C. instead, completing what was started by the agreements reached during the 1972 Beijing Nixon Trip).
The USA had betrayed their Taiwanese allies and 'lost' Taiwan with seemingly only words and flowers in return. As one American Newspaper headlined: 'They Got Taiwan, we got egg-rolls'. Indeed, although presented with many smiles, it did appear to come down to a full American cop-out. That was not entirely the case though. Only after the Chinese side was thus satisfied the Vietnamese War was allowed to come to an end. On January 27Th of 1973 AD, Secretary of State William P. Rogers signed the Peace Agreement ending the Vietnam War.
Various ethnic groups had been recruited by the CIA to fight a proxy-war against the rising communist tide. In Vietnam there were the Hmong, and the Tibetans were already behind 'enemy lines' since 1951. All of these groups bore the brunt of any reprisals forth-coming.
Their cause largely abandoned by the outside world, Tibetan resistance fighters struggled on through 1973 and 74. Only as late as August 1974, when Gyatotsang Wangdu, the last well-known leader of an armed resistance group was ambushed by Chinese Troups and killed and the (last) guerilla base at Mustang on the Nepalese frontier, all armed confrontations peetered out. Having gone without International support, and without CIA covert shipments since 1972 AD, the Tibetan Guerilla's found themselves depleted of material, man-power and moral. The remaining forces fled across international borders to Nepal, India, Bhutan and Sikkim.
Last known Tibetan armed resistance leader Gyatotsang Wangdu, who died in August 1974 AD. According to some sources he, along with 2 brothers, was trained by the CIA at a secret base on Saipan Island, then parachuted into Tibetan Area's.
Interestingly, although Nixon spent a whole week posing for photos in China, he actually only got to meet Mao Zedong (who had just been severly ill) one Time. Upon their meeting, Mao's first words to Nixon were: "Our common old friend, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, doesn't approve of this".
The South Vietnamese weren't happy with Nixon's moves, nor were the Taiwanese, needless to say. Some other friends were also left dangeling.
Qinghai and Tibet 1979AD to 1983 AD -'Brief Hope of better relations within The Peoples Republic of China':
Tibet,QinghaiandChina 1983 AD to1989-'The Peoples Republic of China':
Hu Yaobang was purged by Deng Xiaoping for 'Liberalism' not much after (In the winter of 1986-87, students protested in Beijing in favor of democratic reforms) and then remained under strict house-arrest in Beijing until his death in early 1989 AD sparked the beginnings of the now infamous Tiananmen Square protests.
Although Hu Yaobang had been sacked as the secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party in January 1987, he was still a member of the Politburo with a Considerable Reputation and clique of sympathizers. As Politburo member he was entitled to attend important meetings. As the most detailed accounts hold it; 'during such a meeting on April 9 of 1989, after uttering some strong words on the Communist Party's failures, the respected Hu Yaobang had a stroke. A week later he passed away'. The death immediatly triggered a huge public interest as all of China had a sense of Yaobang's idea's. Not a few thought perhaps he had been conveniently disposed of. Not long after, his memorial services in Tiananmen Square led to a first incident, which then, as happened twice earlier in history, then rapidly evolved into mass public gatherings and protest by Beijing Students.
In the afternoon of April 17 of 89 the protest began in earnest when 600 students of the Chinese University of Political Science and Law marched into Tiananmen Square with mourning banners and wreaths. They were 10,000 by the evening. The Public only followed the example of the students. The rest is well-known Chinese History (read more in section Beijing-TiananmenSquare(3) Historic Events in Tiananmen Square).
In the aftermath of the debacle at Tiananmen Square in 1989 AD, hard-liners and The Military regained influence in China leading to another crackdown in Tibet. Hu Yaobang's idea's and person were thoroughly discredited and promises for more Tibetan Autonomy once more were swept under the rug. Even today, after posthumus honors given to Hu Yaobang, Tibet remains un-mentioned.
The only available film of the Tibetan guerilla fighters who carried on their resistance efforts in Tibet from the remote Mustang area of Nepal from 1960 to 1974. In the film George Patterson, author and Tibetan expert, takes the viewer to the secret guerilla camps and accompanies the men on a mission to raid a Chinese military truck convoy.
On September 21, 1987 AD, at the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in Washington, D.C., the Dalai Lama announced a Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet. In this speech and document he called for a conversion of Tibet into a zone of peace, a sanctuary in which humanity and nature can live together in harmony. I also called for respect of human rights, democratic ideals, environmental protection, and a halt to the Chinese population transfer into Tibet. The fifth point of the peace plan called for earnest negotiations between the Tibetans and the Chinese.
As stated by the Dalai Lama in his Address to the Members of the European Parliament Strasbourg in June of 1988 AD; 'We, have therefore, taken the initiative to formulate some thoughts which, we hope, may serve as a basis for resolving the issue of Tibet. I would like to take this opportunity to inform the distinguished gathering here on the main points of our thinking'.
While armed resistance had finally been subdued in Tibet and the Peoples Republic could finally settle in for a long stay on the Tibetan Plateaux, in Beijing Mao Zedong's health was slowly but surely faltering. Mao Zedong died in September of 1976 leaving a new supposedly more liberal regime in charge. The nightmare of Mao's absolute Leadership and the political madness that came with it were finally over for most. But not for all.
Apparently, according to the book "After the Nightmare" by Liang Heng and Judith Shapiro, the Labor Camps in Qinghai Province remained open and in working order, ready to receive a new wave of political outcasts exiled for attempting to make use of the transitory process within China to ask for more political freedoms. Among the prisoners sent to labor reform camps in Qinghai Province in the year 1978 was the illustrious Wei Jingsheng, a top leader of the 1977-78 Beijing Spring (Democracy Movement) which had erected what today is known as 'The Democracy Wall' at the Square of Heavenly Peace in Beijing. For his part in the "Beijing Spring", which was among things the writing of the founding document and the manifesto known as (The) "Fifth Modernization" , Wei was sentenced to fifteen years in prison, to be reformed through hard labor.
Although according to sources, conditions in the Labor Camps did slightly improve, as they did for Wei Jingsheng, the condemned student leader remained inside a Qinghai Labor Camp as late as 1984, when most of China had been swept by economic and other reforms.
The new leader, Deng Xiaoping, who was confirmed in the top position of Party Secretary and Chairman of the Military Committee clearly was not loosening his grip on power and had no plans for encouraging a possible democracy movement.