Thursday, April 10, 2008

OUTLINE: Should Tibet be given Independence?


Beijing's rule in Tibet has been alarmed by series of protests coming from the Tibetan communities. These protests are brought about by the desire of the Tibetan to attain independence from China. Issues about self-determination, human rights and issues of economic sustainability are the concerns that were largely raised during the protests. The debate comes now if Tibet has the legal capacity to be independent.


1. Tibet has the right to self-determination. The Himalayan region was an independent kingdom for many centuries, and that Chinese rule over Tibet has not been constant. For example, after a brief military conflict between China and Tibet in the early part of the 20th Century, Tibet declared itself an independent republic in 1912.

2. Independence will ensure peace andsecurity in Tibet. China's rule in Beijing is characterized by human rights violations. Widespread mistreatment of the Tibetan population and a denial of religious and political freedom.

3. Tibet can govern itself. People of Tibet recognizes the authority and mandate of the Dalai Lama in leading region's autonomy.

4. China is taking advantage of Tibet's economy. Work and trade is dominated by the Hans leaving the Tibetan in a disadvantageous position.


1. Tibet is part of China's Territorial Jurisdiction. Tibet has officially been part of the Chinese nation since the mid-13th Century, so should continue to be ruled by Beijing. China sent troops to Tibet in 1950 and summoned a Tibetan delegation the following year to sign a treaty ceding sovereignty to China.

2. Tibet cannot protect itself from foreign elements. Beijing plays up the foreign threat. Beijing has raised the specter of Tibetan suicide squads organized by the "Dalai Lama clique" attacking the Olympics.

3. Tibet is not ready to be an independent State. The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet after a failed uprising in 1959 but remains the religious and cultural leader of many Tibetans, has said that he wants greater autonomy for the remote mountain region but is not seeking independence.

4. China knows what's best for Tibet. The Communist Party is like a parent to the Tibetan people and is always considerate about what the children need. Hans have poured in the money to Tibet's economy.


1. BBC News, Q&A: China and Tibet
2. International Herald Tribune, US lawmakers criticize China for Tibet crackdown, urge negotiations with Dalai Lama, April 9, 2008
3. Philip Bowring, Bowring: Beware an angry China, April 8, 2008,