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The Tibetan ethnic minority (9)


10:59, August 08, 2011

Post-1950 Life

With the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, the Tibetan areas in the western part of the country was liberated one after another and the Tibetans there entered a new period of historical development.

In 1951, representatives of the Central People's Government and the Tibet local government held negotiations in Beijing and signed on May 23 a 17-article agreement on the peaceful liberation of Tibet. Soon afterwards, the central government representative Zhang Jingwu arrived in Lhasa and Chinese People's Liberation Army units marched into Tibet from Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan in accordance with the agreement.

China's First National People's Congress was held in Beijing in 1954. The Dalai Lama, Bainqen Erdini and representatives of the Tibetan people attended the congress and later visited various places in the country. The State Council then called a meeting at which representatives of the Tibet local government, the Bainqen Kampo Lija and the Qamdo People's Liberation Committee formed a preparatory group for the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region after repeated consultations and discussions. In April 1956, a preparatory committee for the purpose was officially set up.

Regional autonomy and social reforms were introduced cautiously and steadily in one Tibetan area after another according to their specific circumstances arising from the lopsided development in these areas due to historical reasons.

A number of autonomous administrations have been established in Tibetan areas since the 1950s. They include the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Yushu, Hainan, Huangnan, Haibei and Golog Tibetan autonomous prefectures and the Haixi Mongolian, Tibetan and Kazak Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province; the Gannan Tibet Autonomous Prefecture and the Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous County in Gansu Province; the Garze and Aba Tibetan autonomous prefectures and the Muli Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province; and the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province.

In light of the historical and social development of the Tibetan people, the central government introduced democratic reforms in various places according to local conditions and through patient explanation and persuasion. Experiments were first carried out to gain experience.

A campaign against local despots and for the reduction of rent and interest was unfolded in the Tibetan areas of Northwest China in 1951 and 1952. In farming areas, people were mobilized to abolish rent in labor service and extra-economic coercion in the struggle to eliminate bandits and enemy agents. Sublet of land was banned. But rent for land owned by the monasteries was either intact or reduced or remitted after consultation. In pastoral areas, aid was given to herdsmen to develop production and experience was accumulated for democratic reforms and socialist transformation there.

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