International Law Tibet
by
José Elías Esteve Moltó
  • LAST REVIEWED: 16 August 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 July 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0078

Introduction

Tibet has been the subject of ongoing political, legal, and even armed confrontations between the Beijing and Lhasa governments. This controversy has existed at all levels and goes back for centuries. Thus, looking at Tibet’s legal historical status gives rise to quite irreconcilable positions. While some consider the relations between the various Beijing dynasties (the Mongolian Yuan, the Chinese Ming, or the Manchu Qing) and the theocratic Tibetan governments to have been predominantly religious in nature (the priest-patron relationship), others use these same ties to claim that Tibet has always been a dependent territory of China. This legal labyrinth is further complicated by the difficulty of converting into modern legal concepts links to other civilizations and events from other historical eras that are alien to Western internationalist legal thought. The dispute is complicated even more by the introduction into this central Asian territory of the competing ambitions of the former British and Russian Empires, which both pursued expansionist goals in the so-called Great Game. Nevertheless, this Sino-Tibetan rivalry should be examined with greater legal precision by evaluating the most important historical events of the last century. The so-called Declaration of Independence of 1913; the 1914 Shimla Convention; the 1950 crime of aggression and military occupation, or peaceful liberation, of Tibet by the People’s Liberation Army (depending on the version of the events); and the 17 Point Agreement of 1951 all hold the keys to a current evaluation of this territory’s legal status. Although several general legal publications exist on the subject, the truth is that to study the matter in greater depth, it is necessary to turn to sources that are not strictly legalistic, such as diplomatic archives and historical and political books and articles. These bibliographical sources can provide a significant contribution toward revealing the truth of the arguments used on both sides. In addition, for greater academic rigor, multidisciplinary bibliographical material should be completed with documents in Chinese or Tibetan. But this polarization of the dispute becomes seriously worrying when attempts are made to evaluate the last fifty years of Chinese administration in Tibet. And while, for some, the Chinese presence consists of repeated international crimes and systematic human rights violations (including the Tibetans’ right to self-determination recognized by the UN General Assembly), for Beijing, the increased prosperity and protection of the Tibetan ethnic minority is fundamentally unquestionable. According to the official Chinese position, the status of Tibet should not be subject to legal scrutiny as it is considered to be meddling in internal Chinese affairs.

General Overviews

To analyze Tibet’s status from its emergence as a sovereign state to its current position, certain historical events must be considered from a legal point of view. However, depending on the different sources consulted, their significance and interpretation will produce radically different legal results. According to Beijing’s official position, Tibet has been part of China for centuries, and Chinese publications try to legitimize Beijing’s historical sovereignty over Tibet by going back to ancient dynasties. On the other hand, Tibetan claims of sovereignty over the territory hinge on the early 7th century when different clans of noblemen under the leadership of King Namri Srongtsen were unified in a confederation. Even today the People’s Republic of China considers this point of view a separatist claim orchestrated by the Dalai clique and supported by an imperialist conspiracy to dismember China. The impossibility of reaching an agreement over important historical facts leads to radically opposing legal interpretations of Tibet’s status. Of particular relevance are the discrepancies between the official Chinese versions, for example those put forward in Wang and Gyaincain 2009, which defend at all costs China’s historical sovereignty over Tibet, and the positions defended by the Tibetans in exile with the support of Western jurists in The Legal Status of Tibet (Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama 1989), which reach the opposite conclusion and maintain Tibet’s independent status as a state. This polarization extends to academic experts, and while the reference work van Walt van Praag 1987 is considered one of the best works on Tibet’s status, McCorquodale and Orosz 1994, the result of a conference of a group of important jurists meeting in London, and the International Commission of Jurists 1959 do not hesitate to identify Tibet’s independence as the critical date of 1949. Rubin 1968 reaches the opposite conclusion. Either way, academic works such as Sperling 2004 and Blondeau and Buffetrille 2008, which analyze the most controversial aspects of the Sino-Tibetan dispute, contemplate both perspectives.

  • Blondeau, Anne-Marie, and Katia Buffetrille, eds. Authenticating Tibet: Answers to China’s “One Hundred Questions.” Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.

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    An excellent work that brings together academics such as Eliot Sperling, Tsering Shakya, Anne-Marie Blondeau, Robert Barnett, and Thierry Dodin to discuss the most controversial matters regarding Tibet, from its historical origins to more current issues such as the human rights situation, the right to autonomy, economic development, and issues such as the Lhasa riots.

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    • International Commission of Jurists. The Question of Tibet and the Rule of Law. Geneva, Switzerland: International Commission of Jurists, 1959.

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      This report was drawn up by judges, lawyers, and law professors from fifty-three countries who met at an international congress in January 1959 in New Delhi. The group investigating the facts was led by Purshottam Trikamdas, former secretary to Mahatma Gandhi. The report concluded that, after 1912, Tibet was an independent state and that Chinese sovereign aspirations were out of order.

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      • McCorquodale, Robert, and Nicholas Orosz, eds. Tibet: The Position in International Law: Report of the Conference of International Lawyers on Issues Relating to Self-Determination and Independence for Tibet. London: Serindia, 1994.

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        An indispensable compilation of legal analyses of various Tibetan matters such as status, human rights under the laws of the People’s Republic of China, including an extensive debate on the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination. Participants included important academics in international law, such as James Crawford, Emmanuel Bello, Richard Falk, and Hurst Hannum. The Chinese government declined an invitation to attend the conference.

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        • Rubin, Alfred P. “The Position of Tibet in International Law.” China Quarterly 35 (1968): 110–154.

          DOI: 10.1017/S0305741000032136Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          This article acknowledges the legal and political complexity of the problem and discusses in five chapters Sino-Tibetan relations from the Manchu Empire until the “reappearance of Chinese forces” in 1950, ending with an analysis of Tibet’s legal situation since 1951.

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          • Sperling, Elliot. The Tibet-China Conflict: History and Polemics. Washington, DC: East-West Center, 2004.

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            This work uses original historical Chinese and Tibetan sources to put forward both perspectives and does not hesitate to assert that the religious relationship between Beijing and Lhasa implied political domination and that, in fact, on the Tibetan side there was “no claim of a 1949 invasion until the 1980s.”

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            • Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Legal Status of Tibet: Three Studies by Leading Jurists. Dharamsala, India: Office of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, 1989.

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              A compilation of legal reports published by the Tibetan government in exile, including a study by the West German Bundestag Reference and Research Service and a detailed report by jurists Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering, who review Tibet’s historical status with reference to possible restrictions on state sovereignty and distinguish among protectorate, suzerainty, and sphere of influence.

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              • van Walt van Praag, Michael C. The Status of Tibet: History, Rights, and Prospects in International Law. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987.

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                This research has been considered by many a definitive record of Tibet’s legal status, and his conclusions have been supported by the Tibetan government in exile. This work was harshly criticized by official Chinese experts such as Wei Jing ed., Is Tibet an Independent State? On Van Praag’s “The Status of Tibet” (Beijing: New Star, 1991).

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                • Wang, Jiawei, and Nyima Gyaincain. “The Historical Status of China’s Tibet.” Journal of the Washington Institute of China Studies 4.3 (2009): 18–66.

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                  A historical review of Tibet’s legal status that supports China’s official view and openly criticizes the legal interpretations and conclusions in van Walt van Praag 1987. It also questions the analysis of important historical events made by the Tibetan politician and historian Shakabpa. Original work published in Chinese and Tibetan with the title, The Historical Status of China’s Tibet (Beijing: China Intercontinental, 1997).

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                  Historical Precedents

                  To fully understand Tibet’s legal status, it is necessary to trace this territory’s history and go back to the origins of the Tibetan Empire and its relations with the various Beijing-based dynasties. Special attention should also be paid to the appearance of new actors on the regional stage after the 18th century, such as the British and Russian Empires, that takes the historical narrative up until the controversial and key phase of the first half of the 20th century.

                  The Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties

                  Before considering the legal interpretation of imperial relations between Beijing and Tibet, it is necessary to examine the events that took place and the agreements that were reached, and that are compiled from the official Chinese viewpoint in Archives of the Tibet Autonomous Region 1995 and Wang and Suo 1984. It is also vital to consult historical bibliographical sources written by renowned orientalists, including Petech 1972, Rockhill 1998, and Ahmad 1971, or works that provide external views in perspective, such as Powers 2004. Similarly, Kuz’min 2010, written by a Russian orientalist, provides a broad historical perspective of Tibet up to the early 21st century, and McKay 2003 includes an extensive compendium of academic articles on the whole of Tibet’s history.

                  • Ahmad, Zahiruddin. Sino-Tibetan Relations in the Seventeenth Century. Serie Orientale 40. Rome: Istituto Orientale er il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1971.

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                    This work reproduces letters between the Dalai Lama and the rulers of the new Qing dynasty, showing that the new Sino-Tibetan relationship was no different from the patron-protector relationship that had existed earlier with other rulers, such as the Mongols.

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                    • Archives of the Tibet Autonomous Region. A Collection of Historical Archives of Tibet. Beijing: Cultural Relics Publishing House of the People’s Republic of China, 1995.

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                      A compilation by Chinese authorities of 107 historical documents from the Yuan and Qing Dynasties, which according to these authorities helps to determine that, historically, Tibet has belonged to China. This document has been called into question by the Tibetan government in exile in Central Tibet Administration in Exile, A 60-Point Commentary on the Chinese Government Publication: A Collection of Historical Archives of Tibet (Dharamsala, India: Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, 2008).

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                      • Kuz’min, S. L. Skrytyi Tibet: istoriia nezavisimosti i okkupatsii. St. Petersburg, Russia: Izd-e A. Terent’eva, 2010.

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                        After reviewing Tibet’s history, the author concludes that Tibet is an occupied country but was an independent nation beforehand. The only relationship Tibet had with the Yuan and Qing dynasties was that of priest-patron. Published in English as S. L. Kuz’min, Hidden Tibet (Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, 2011); available online.

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                        • McKay, Alex. The History of Tibet. 3 vols. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.

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                          Three volumes published both separately and in one volume. A broad compilation of 126 articles that analyze Tibet’s entire history. Tibet’s relations with the various Beijing empires are analyzed in Volume 2, The Medieval Period: c. 850–1895: The Development of Buddhist Paramountcy (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003).

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                          • Petech, Luciano. China and Tibet in the Early XVIIIth Century: History of the Establishment of the Chinese Protectorate in Tibet. Monographies du T’oung Pao, Archives concernant l’histoire, les langues, la géographie, l’ethnographie et les arts de l’Asie Orientale 1. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1972.

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                            An indispensable historical document for unraveling one of the most controversial and important historical periods: Sino-Tibetan relations at the peak of the Qing Empire. The author refers to the fact of external Tibetan dependence as a protectorate that lasted until 1912, and he describes the functions of the ambans and their power to supervise and participate in the affairs of the Tibetan government.

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                            • Powers, John. History as Propaganda: Tibetan Exiles versus the People’s Republic of China. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

                              DOI: 10.1093/0195174267.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              An analysis of events that goes beyond the strictly historical to highlight the importance of ideological concepts within the Chinese and Tibetan perspectives. The historical review by this senior lecturer of the Faculty of Asian Studies of the Australian National University begins in the 7th century before the imperial period in order to point out the contradictory and incompatible points made in both official versions.

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                              • Rockhill, W. W. “The Dalai Lamas of Lhasa and Their Relations with the Manchu Emperors of China, 1644–1908.” Toung Pao 11 (1998): 1–104.

                                DOI: 10.1163/156853210X00018Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                This American diplomat in China and Tibet historian describes the important meeting between the Dalai Lama and the Manchu emperor. The author refers to the Chinese chronicles Tung-hua Ch’üan-la that mention the borders between the two territorial entities. This work was originally published in 1910.

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                                • Wang, Furen, and Wenqing Suo. Highlights of Tibetan History. Beijing, China: New World, 1984.

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                                  A historical review of the most important landmarks in this controversy that provides an interpretation is in agreement with the official version of events put forward by the current government of the People’s Republic of China.

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                                  British and Russian Interventions in Tibet

                                  Throughout the 19th century, as the Tibetan government gradually regained its political powers from the Qing dependency, it aroused growing international interest. The newly established Russian presence in Mongolia and Central Asia put the Tsar’s empire on Tibet’s doorstep. Also, the annexation of Siberia and the region of Buryatia, whose Mongol population were Buddhist subjects of the Dalai Lama, made his mediation likely in order to extend Russian influence throughout the plateau. At the same time, the British Empire, aware that maintaining its consolidated position in India required broad political and economic influence, advanced beyond Hindustan. The clash of interests with Russia in both Persia and Afghanistan made the British strive hard in advancing policies that aimed to annex strategically important Tibet. This moment in history is important in the legal debate on Tibet’s status as several international treaties regarding this territory were signed by the various empires. Also, the appearance of these new players added new points of view to the controversy. The publications by academics and historians, such as Lamb 1986, offer a thorough and well-documented view of British aspirations in Central Asia. British diplomats and military officers offer their own views, such as in Bell 1996, that include the texts of international treaties regarding Tibet, and Younghusband 1998, which describes the author’s own experiences in negotiating and signing of the controversial 1904 agreement. The historical perspective of this period should also be considered in consulting works by important academics. Kuleshov 1996 provides important sources from the official archives of Tsarist Russia that are worthy of note. Aitchison 1983 compiles all the international treaties signed by different states with Tibet. Norbu 1990 analyzes the important effects of Chinese suzerainty over Tibet, and Addy 1985 analyzes the historical period up to the 1914 Shimla Convention.

                                  • Addy, Premen. Tibet on the Imperial Chessboard: The Making of British Policy towards Lhasa, 1899–1925. London: Sangam, 1985.

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                                    Special attention is paid to the agreements signed in the early 20th century, with the author, in line with the British point of view at that time, calling China’s authority over Tibet one of “suzerainty.” The article includes a chapter on the Shimla conference and the drawing up of the McMahon line marking the border.

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                                    • Aitchison, Charles V. A Collection of Treaties, Engagements, and Sanads Relating to India and Neighbouring Countries. Vol. 14, Eastern Turkestan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Siam. Rev. ed. Delhi, India: Mittal, 1983.

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                                      A detailed compilation of all the international treaties signed by different states with Tibet and the agreements regarding this territory, originally published in 1929 by the government of India in Calcutta.

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                                      • Bell, Charles. Tibet: Past and Present. New Delhi: Molital Banarsidass, 1996.

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                                        Sir Charles Bell participated in the Shimla Conference in 1914 and led diplomatic missions to Lhasa until 1921. This book, originally published in 1924 by Oxford University Press, provides detailed information on this historical period, together with maps and appendixes with transcriptions of the treaties signed by these European powers with China and Tibet.

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                                        • Kuleshov, S. Nikolai. Russia’s Tibet File: The Unknown Pages in the History of Tibet’s Independence. Edited by Alexander Berzin and John Bray. Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1996.

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                                          Following the declassification of some of the official Russian archives of this historical period, the author uses these new sources in this monograph to confirm Tibet’s independence at the beginning of the 20th century.

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                                          • Lamb, Alistair. British India and Tibet, 1766–1910. 2d rev. ed. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986.

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                                            An extensive and detailed review of British policy in Tibet. The study begins with Bogle’s mission in 1774, whose task was to obtain a treaty of friendship and trade relations with Tibet. This diplomatic foray was followed by those of Turner in 1783 and Hastings in 1786. This prestigious historian analyzes in detail the agreements signed during this period and their effects until 1910.

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                                            • Norbu, Dawa. “The Europeanization of Sino-Tibetan Relations, 1775–1907: The Genesis of Chinese ‘Suzerainty’ and Tibetan ‘Autonomy.’” Tibet Journal 15.4 (1990): 28–74.

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                                              This article provides an analysis of British strategy to safeguard British commercial interests and security in Tibet. An epigraph evaluates Tibet’s legal status according to the various conventions signed independently by Britain, China, Russia, and Tibet.

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                                              • Younghusband, Francis. India and Tibet: A History of the Relations Which Have Subsisted between the Two Countries from the Time of Warren Hastings to 1910; With a Particular Account of the Mission to Lhasa of 1904. Delhi, India: Book Faith India, 1998.

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                                                Colonel Younghusband, leader of the 1904 military expedition, entered Lhasa by force and negotiated (imposed) a convention that was signed by Tibetan representatives and himself on behalf of the British Empire. The official Chinese position acknowledges the existence of the agreement but refers to it as an “unequal treaty.”

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                                                Between Suzerainty and Independence, 1913–1950

                                                The events that occurred in Tibet in the first part of the 20th century are decisive in evaluating Tibet’s legal status at the critical date of 1950: the 1912 Tibetan-Mongol Treaty, the 1912 declaration of independence, the 1914 Shimla agreements and the Lamaist government’s state of neutrality during World War II have again led to doctrinal disputes between jurists and historians. Thus, while some consider these facts decisive in evaluating Tibet’s status, others deny the very existence or relevance of any such events. McCabe 1966 quotes the Tibetan-Mongol Treaty of 14 December 1912, its validity and various documents of the Shimla Conference as proof to support the author’s argument for Tibet’s legal independence. Van Walt van Praag 2013 reaches the same conclusion after examining the legal effects of the 1913 Mongolia-Tibet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance. Sharma 1965 (cited under the Sino-Indian Border Dispute) considers this declaration of independence to be similar to that proclaimed by Bulgaria in 1908 with regard to the continued occupation of that country by the Turkish Empire. Similarly, Alexandrowicz-Alexander 1954 concludes that, when the Manchu Dynasty fell, the Republic of China could not impose any form of subordination regarding Tibet. Rubin 1966, however, questions both the existence of the declaration and the proof supplied by McCabe 1966, especially the authenticity of the Urga Treaty between Mongolia and Tibet, and considers “questionable” the reports by British civil servants and even subsequent declarations by the 14th Dalai Lama. Sautman 2010 reaches this same conclusion, denying Tibet the status of statehood during this period. Within this section it is also essential to consult other bibliographical sources of a historical nature (Goldstein 1989), those concerning the Sino-Indian dispute (Mehra 1979), or those by British diplomats sent to the area (Richardson 1945).

                                                • Alexandrowicz-Alexander, Charles-Henry. “The Legal Position of Tibet.” American Journal of International Law 48 (1954): 265.

                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2194374Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  The author describes how the status of Tibet evolved from that of a protectorate, or quasi-protectorate, to an independent state after its neutral stance in World War II and maintains that in any case the ambitions of, first, the Guomingtang and, then, the regime of Mao cannot question Tibetan independence, as those claims are devoid of any legal significance because they do not correspond to the reality of the facts.

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                                                  • Goldstein, Melvyn C. A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.

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                                                    The compilation of historical events by this anthropology professor at Case Western Reserve University constitutes an important academic reference work on this matter. In his work, the author uses a variety of Chinese and Tibetan sources together with British Foreign Office records and those at the US National Archives.

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                                                    • McCabe, David A. “Tibet’s Declaration of Independence.” American Journal of International Law 60 (1966): 369–371.

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                                                      The author believes this declaration implies “a decisive turning point in Tibet’s status” and says the conclusions of Rubin 1966 are wrong.

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                                                      • Mehra, Parshotan. The North-Eastern Frontier: A Documentary Study of the International Rivalry between India, Tibet and China. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1979.

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                                                        This publication by the director of the History Department of Punjab University provides a detailed account of the most important official records of all the incidents regarding the disputed territory delineated by the McMahon Line, a boundary that was agreed to by Tibet and British India in the Shimla Convention.

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                                                        • Richardson, H. E. Tibetan Precis. New Delhi: Indian Political Service, Government of India Press, 1945.

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                                                          A representative of the British government in Tibet until 1947 and then of the Indian government, Richardson provides a clear description of those events during this period that carried the greatest legal relevance, from the treaties signed and the delineation of frontiers to diplomatic visits by other states’ representatives to Lhasa; includes detailed maps of Tibet’s borders.

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                                                          • Rubin, Alfred D. “Tibet’s Declaration of Independence? American Journal of International Law 60 (1966): 812–814.

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                                                            The author considers that a declaration of independence, such as that of the United States in 1776, should be “broadly published,” whereas Tibet’s so-called declaration of independence and the Urga Treaty with Mongolia were kept secret.

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                                                            • Sautman, Barry. “Tibet’s Putative Statehood and International Law.” Chinese Journal of International Law 9.1 (2010): 127–142.

                                                              DOI: 10.1093/chinesejil/jmq003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              The author evaluates Tibet’s so-called sovereign attributes and declares that the government’s competency to coin its own money, operate a postal service, or issue passports does not prove its status as a state. The author argues that other Chinese provinces and autonomous regions have held these competencies without the implication that such attributes imply a recognition of their having independent legal status.

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                                                              • van Walt van Praag, M. C. “A Legal Examination of the 1913 Mongolia-Tibet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance.” Lungta 17 (Spring 2013): 81–100.

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                                                                This article examines the 1913 Mongolia-Tibet treaty from a legal point of view. It focuses on the legal effects of the agreement, implying Tibet and Mongolia’s treaty‐making capacities and the recognition of the independence of the state parties and their governments. The Mongolian version of the article: “Mongol, Tuvdiin nairamdal, kholbootny 1913 gereenii erkh zuin sudalgaa,” in Mongol, Tuvdiin 1913 Ony Geree – Olon Ulsyn Erkh Zuin Barimt Bichig, edited by A. Tuvshintugs, D. Zorigt, et al. (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Monkhiin Useg, 2011), pp. 9–43.

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                                                                The Year 1950 and the Sino-Tibetan 17 Point Agreement of 1951

                                                                When the People’s Republic of China was born on 1 October 1949, Mao announced the forthcoming reunification of all the peoples of the motherland. On hearing this declaration, the Lhasa government warned China not to include Tibet, as it affirmed a considerable body of evidence upheld its status as an independent state. Given the international community’s lack of determination to halt China’s threatening aspirations of annexation, a Tibetan delegation met in September 1950 in New Delhi to negotiate with members of the Chinese embassy But while these talks were taking place, the People’s Liberation Army advanced on Tibet, either to liberate the territory from pro-imperialist elements, according to Wei 1989, or to occupy it militarily by an act of aggression, according to Shakabpa 1984. Once again, to understand the seemingly irreconcilable differences between these events and the Sino-Tibetan agreement signed subsequently, it is necessary to turn to works by historians and specialists in the field: Shakya 1999, Smith 1996, and Goldstein 2007. Unable to repel the advance of Maoist troops, the Tibetan government appealed to the United Nations for help, but, failing to secure concrete support from the international community, it then sent a Tibetan representation to Beijing to negotiate a solution, which resulted in a Chinese military presence in Tibet. The agreement reached—the 17 Point Agreement for the peaceful liberation of Tibet—proved controversial, and its legal validity has been subject to analysis by international legal scholars. Sloane 2002 points out that the agreement led to an international practice of recognizing Chinese sovereignty over Tibet, while Chornet and Esteve Moltó 2001 maintains that the treaty was not only null and void, but also that all its provisions have been violated. Whatever the case, the opposing Chinese and Tibetan perspectives regarding the negotiations and whether or not the terms of the agreement were accepted by the Dalai Lama’s government have polarized the debate. While on the one hand, the official Chinese version, advanced in Wei 1989, accepts that the Dalai Lama’s government ratified the agreement, the official Tibetan version of the events, related in Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration 2001, indicates the exact opposite.

                                                                • Chornet, C. Ramón, and J. E. Esteve Moltó. “El Status jurídico internacional del Tíbet en el 50º aniversario del Acuerdo chino-tibetano de 1951.” Anuario de derecho internacional 17 (2001): 171–194.

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                                                                  An analysis of the negotiations and the various articles in the agreement, its legal efficacy, and Tibet’s incorporation into China according to international law. In this article, Tibet’s current legal status is analyzed fifty years after the 17 Point Agreement.

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                                                                  • Department of Information and International Relations. Facts about the 17 Point “Agreement” between Tibet and China. Dharamsala, India: Department of Information and International Relations, 2001.

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                                                                    This monograph on the 50th anniversary of this controversial agreement was published by the Tibetan government in exile. The first part constitutes a compilation of the historical facts described in the testimonies of the Chinese and Tibetan members of the negotiating delegations. The report includes the agreement’s text, together with articles by Chinese (Song Liming and Chanqing) and European academics (Claude Arpi and van Walt van Praag).

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                                                                    • Goldstein, Melvyn C. A History of Modern Tibet. Vol. 2, The Calm before the Storm, 1951–1955. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

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                                                                      Divided into three parts, this book reviews the Chinese and Tibetan perspectives on the agreement before analyzing the consequences of its implementation. The author believes that, by signing this document, the Tibetan government accepted Chinese sovereignty over Tibet for the first time in its history.

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                                                                      • Shakabpa, W. D. Tibet: A Political History. New York: Potala, 1984.

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                                                                        The author, who was minister of the economy and a diplomat during the last years of the Tibetan government, provides concrete evidence indicating that Tibet possessed all the attributes necessary to be considered an independent state; a status that was altered by “the Communist Chinese invasion” in 1950. An indispensable work in defense of the official Tibetan viewpoint, originally published in 1967 by Yale University Press.

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                                                                        • Shakya, Tsering. The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet since 1947. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

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                                                                          A detailed and documented description of the situation in Tibet before the Chinese invasion. The work examines, in detail, Tibet’s plea to the United Nations, the negotiations of the agreement and the impossibility of a peaceful coexistence envisaged in said agreement between the Tibetan and Chinese governments.

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                                                                          • Sloane, Robert D. “The Changing Face of Recognition in International Law: A Case Study of Tibet.” Emory International Law Review 16 (2002): 107–186.

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                                                                            In this article, the author recognizes that the 17 Point Agreement “could deprive Tibet of de jure statehood.” However, the author admits that the subsequent practice of states recognizing China’s sovereignty over Tibet has complicated its current legal status.

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                                                                            • Smith, Warren W. Tibetan Nation: A History of Tibetan Nationalism and Sino-Tibetan Relations. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1996.

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                                                                              A lengthy compilation of Tibetan history from its origins to the present day. The book denounces both the Chinese government for its intention never to fulfill the 1951 pact and Nehru’s Indian government for having signed the Panchshila pact, or the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence,” in 1954 with China, which internationally legitimized China’s occupation of Tibet.

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                                                                              • Wei, Jing. One Hundred Questions about Tibet. Beijing: Beijing Review, 1989.

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                                                                                A broad generic work covering the most controversial points concerning the issue of Tibet, ranging from this territory’s historical status to the current human rights situation. With regard to the 17 Point Agreement, this official report by the Chinese government even quotes the Dalai Lama as having given his consent to the agreement to Mao in person in 1951.

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                                                                                Tibet in the United Nations

                                                                                Before examining the issue of Tibet in relation to this international organization, it is necessary to consult the few academic publications and official UN documents. The matter of Tibet was taken to the United Nations fundamentally for two reasons: to evaluate its legal status and to denounce the human rights situation. Regarding the first objective, after its borders had been crossed by Chinese military forces, the Tibetan government’s attempt to denounce this “clear case of aggression” should be examined first (United Nations 1950 ), while not forgetting the attempts to take the case to the League of Nations, discussed in Shakya 1985. Despite the reluctance of most Western countries to defend Tibet, on 28 September 1959 the Malayan Federation and Ireland proposed including “the Tibetan question” on the agenda of the 14th Session of the General Assembly. The subsequent debates were intended to center only on the human rights issue, but some states stressed the importance of the question involving Tibet’s legal status. However, the General Assembly addressed only the former in condemning Maoist China in three resolutions for systematically violating the Tibetan people’s human rights, including their right to self-determination. In this context, it is advisable to analyze not only the resolutions of the General Assembly (United Nations General Assembly 1959, United Nations General Assembly 1961, United Nations General Assembly 1965), but also the debates prior to them, elucidating the contradictory views of events in Tibet. While some Western states accused the Beijing government of genocide and of having committed an act of aggression, the Soviet bloc, led by the USSR, condemned “the hypocritical debate” that employed human rights to justify an intervention in Tibet, a Chinese territory. China’s immediate reaction to the United Nations resolutions was to call them a “farce,” and “illegal,” and to affirm that they constituted a clear consequence of the “aggressive policy” pursued by the United States during the Cold War. The debates and reactions to the UN resolutions can be followed in Guillaume 2008; in any case, all the official documents are compiled in Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama 1965. Since the General Assembly Resolution of 1965, the Tibetan question has been considered in less stringent terms and today the human rights situation in Tibet is debated only occasionally and largely fruitlessly, a fact that is denounced in Drakmargyapon 2006.

                                                                                • Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tibet in the United Nations, 1950–1961. New Delhi: Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 1965.

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                                                                                  A compilation of official UN documents discussing the Tibetan question after the entry of Chinese troops. The texts are preceded by an introductory note by the secretary general of India’s Commission of Jurists.

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                                                                                  • Drakmargyapon, Ngawang C. Goodbye Commission, Welcome Council: Tibet’s Quest for China Scrutiny at the United Nations. 2006.

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                                                                                    The article by the human rights officer at the Tibet Bureau for UN Affairs in Geneva analyzes the possible advantages of the new Human Rights Commission for Tibetan aspirations. The author comments on the need to overcome the procedural matter of the “no action motions” and believes that the universal review mechanism must be welcomed.

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                                                                                    • Guillaume, Stéphane. La question du Tibet en droit international. Paris: Harmattan, 2008.

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                                                                                      The author analyzes the most important legal questions regarding Tibet and examines possible solutions to the controversy, such as the right to self-determination and possible agreements of association, with special attention to the matter of Tibet in the United Nations.

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                                                                                      • Shakya, Tsering. “Tibet and the League of Nations with References to Letters Found in the India Office Library, under Sir Charles Bell’s Collections.” Tibet Journal 10.3 (1985): 48–56.

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                                                                                        This article describes the contacts between the Tibetan envoy Sonam Wangyal and the retired British diplomat Sir Charles Bell and other academics such as Dr. Barbour, a member of the League of Nations’ Union, to investigate a hypothetical request by Tibet to join the League of Nations.

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                                                                                        • United Nations. Appeal by His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet to the United Nations. UN Doc. A/11549-11, Kalimpong, India.

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                                                                                          The appeal by Tibet’s cabinet (Kashag) to the United Nations makes the claim that, after 1912, Tibet, like Nepal, reached full independence. On 14 November 1950, the representative of El Salvador’s delegation, Héctor Castro, asked the president of the UN General Assembly to include in the organization’s agenda the item “the invasion of Tibet by foreign forces.”

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                                                                                          • United Nations General Assembly. Question of Tibet. Resolution 1353 (XIV) (21 October 1959), GAOR 14th Session Supp. 16, 61.

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                                                                                            Together with the resolution, see Official Records of the General Assembly, Fourteenth Session, Plenary Meetings, Verbatim Records of the Meetings UN Doc. A/PV.826 to UN Doc. A/PV.834. Also see William Schabas, Genocide in International Law (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 454. Schabas points out that, at these debates, some states have, for the first time, denounced this crime at the General Assembly.

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                                                                                            • United Nations General Assembly. Question of Tibet. Resolution 1723 (XVI) (20 December 1961), GAOR 16th Session Supp. 17, 66.

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                                                                                              The debates prior to the resolution should also be consulted because they led to the final resolution recognizing the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination as part of an effort to put an end to Chinese colonialism. According to the Soviet bloc, Tibet constituted an integral part of Chinese territory and it denounced the General Assembly’s discussions as meddling in China’s internal affairs.

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                                                                                              • United Nations General Assembly. Question of Tibet. Resolution 2079 (XX) (18 December 1965), GAOR 20th Session Supp. 14, 3.

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                                                                                                It should be noted that in the plenary debates of the General Assembly prior to the resolution, Verbatim Records of the Meetings, 30 November–21 December 1965, most states insisted that opportune measures should be taken to put a stop to the religious genocide and accused China of flagrantly violating the 17 Point Agreement.

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                                                                                                The Sino-Indian Border Dispute

                                                                                                Worried by its loss of influence in Tibet and the border conflict, and fearing that Britain would try to negotiate directly with Tibet, as Russia had done with Mongolia not long before, in January 1913 the Chinese government proposed opening negotiations regarding these matters. Britain suggested holding a tripartite conference, to which China agreed (The Boundary Question between China and Tibet). On 3 July 1914, at the eighth session of the conference, Ivan Chen declared that his government regretted the action taken by its plenipotentiary, did not accept the terms of the convention, and would never acknowledge any treaty between Tibet and Britain. Nevertheless, ignoring China’s warning, Britain and Tibet signed a declaration that the Shimla Convention was binding on both governments and that, until the Chinese government adhered to it, all the privileges granted therein to China would be denied. A further pact was also signed in which the famous McMahon Line moved British India’s border to the Himalayan heights and established the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA). Today this area constitutes the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is still disputed by India and China. Almost fifty years after the Shimla agreements, in 1960 Indian prime minister Nehru met Chinese premier Zhou Enlai in Delhi to resolve the frontier conflict. The Chinese premier declared that the dispute owed its origins to the legacy of British imperialist acts of aggression and accused India of advancing these colonial policies that it had inherited from Britain. The crossfire of accusations ended on 20 October 1962 with the Chinese army crossing the McMahon Line and expelling all Indians from the Aksai Chin region. Sino-Indian rivalry in ongoing regarding the validity of this boundary agreement. On the one hand, Rubin 1965 maintains that Tibet did not have the competence to conclude any agreement with British India regarding the border, and Li 1956 reaches the same conclusion in considering the Shimla agreements null and void. On the other hand, Sharma 1965, Krishna 1962, and Indian Society of International Law 1962 all recognize Tibet’s capacity to conclude international treaties, given its status as an independent state since 1914. Other legal analyses, such as Lucchini 1963, declare that India’s legal right over this border territory is supported by other evidence. Lastly, a detailed historical view of the controversy is provided in Lamb 1966.

                                                                                                • Indian Society of International Law. The Sino-Indian Boundary: Texts of Treaties, Agreements and Certain Exchange of Notes Relating to the Sino-Indian Boundary. New Delhi: Indian Society of International Law, 1962.

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                                                                                                  A compilation of treaties and official documents. A legal analysis of the controversy is also available: Indian Society of International Law, The India-China Boundary Question: A Legal Study with a Brief Historical Introduction (New Delhi: Indian Society of International Law, 1963).

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                                                                                                  • Krishna, Rao. “The Sino-Indian Boundary Question and International Law.” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 11 (1962): 375–415.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/iclqaj/11.2.375Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    The author provides an extensive historical review of the Sino-Indian boundary in different parts of the Himalayas. He defends the legal validity of the agreement reached between Tibet and British India at Shimla and uses China’s acceptance of the watershed principle as evidence of its ratification of the legitimacy of the McMahon Line.

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                                                                                                    • Lamb, Alistair. The McMahon Line, a Study in the Relations between India, China and Tibet, 1904–1914. London: Oxford University Press, 1966.

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                                                                                                      Two volumes that describe in minute detail the historical origins of the main border dispute between India and China. The author consulted official documents of the Foreign Office in writing this detailed historical perspective, which is essential in evaluating the controversy from a legal point of view.

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                                                                                                      • Li, Tieh-Tseng. “The Legal Position of Tibet.” American Journal of International Law 50.2 (1956): 394–404.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/2194956Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        A former Chinese ambassador to Iran and Thailand asserts that the international documents to which the British and Tibetans finally agreed in Shimla are not valid due to Tibet’s inability to assume international obligations. According to the author, the absence of any legal validity of these agreements is shown by their exclusion from Aitchison’s compilation of treaties, which are also not referred to by the Indian government’s Foreign and Political Department.

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                                                                                                        • Lucchini, Laurent. “Aspects juridiques de la frontière sino-indienne.” Annuaire française de droit international 9 (1963): 278–299.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.3406/afdi.1963.1032Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Argues that, despite Maoist China’s not having recognized earlier agreements imposed on imperial China by European powers (the so-called unequal treaties), in its clear description of commercial routes, Article 4 of the 1954 Sino-Indian Treaty delimits the points along the frontier. In addition, China’s acquiescence is further evidenced by India’s effective control of the disputed territories.

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                                                                                                          • Rubin, Alfred D. “‘A Matter of Fact,’ in ‘Notes and Comment.’” American Journal of International Law 59 (1965): 586–590.

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                                                                                                            This article breaks down the border conflict by area and asserts that Tibet did not have “clear competence” to reach a border agreement with Britain. The author criticizes Sharma’s Indian perspective (Sharma 1965). In a previous article, “The Sino-Indian Border Dispute,” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 9 (1960): 96–125, he analyzes the controversy in depth and shows the strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese and Indian positions.

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                                                                                                            • Sharma, Surya P. “The India-China Border Dispute: An Indian Perspective.” American Journal of International Law 1 (1965): 16–47.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2197143Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              The author recognizes Tibet’s status as an independent state at the Shimla Conference, asserting its legal personality and capacity to conclude that border agreement, while criticizing Rubin 1965 and maintaining that China’s acquiescence to the McMahon Line from its creation at Shimla is conclusive.

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                                                                                                              • The Boundary Question between China and Tibet: A Valuable Record of the Tripartite Conference between China, Britain and Tibet Held in India, 1913–1914. Peking: s.n., 1940.

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                                                                                                                An official document published by the Chinese Nationalist government that includes the conference records, the Tibetan claims, the Chinese counterproposals, the proceedings of the different meetings, and the British proposals.

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                                                                                                                Tibet under Chinese Regional Autonomy

                                                                                                                In rigorously evaluating China’s administration of Tibet since signing the 17 Point Agreement in 1951, reviewing the Chinese and Tibetan sources reveals two radically different realities. Beyond the issue of human rights, when the issue of civil and political rights is analyzed together with that of economic, social, and cultural rights, the perspectives of the two sides appear irreconcilable. This scenario pertains despite the legal protection guaranteed the Tibetan people in the 17 Point Agreement, the 1982 Chinese constitution, and the various laws and guidelines provided for in the statutes of Tibet’s Autonomous Region. Similarly, an evaluation of the environmental impact of Chinese policies in Tibet reveals a bipolarity of positions. To examine these currently irreconcilable positions, the reader need only turn to the official reports of China (Information Office of the State Council 2011) and of Tibet (Central Tibetan Administration 2001).

                                                                                                                • Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration. Tibet under Communist China, 50 Years. Dharamsala, India: Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, 2001.

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                                                                                                                  The report reviews events in Tibet since the military occupation and calls the treatment of the Tibetan people under China as constituting rule by a colonial power. It accuses Beijing of imposing an imperialist strategy on Tibet, first to advance its geopolitical and security objectives and then to exploit Tibet’s energy resources.

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                                                                                                                  • Information Office of the State Council. Sixty Years since Peaceful Liberation of Tibet. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2011.

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                                                                                                                    The report’s conclusion speaks for itself: “Sixty years are just a fleeting moment in the history of mankind. However, within six decades Tibet has achieved the development that would normally call for a millennium” (p. 15).

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                                                                                                                    Civil and Political Rights

                                                                                                                    China’s laws and constitution guarantee its citizens fundamental human rights, though specifying that their exercise “should not infringe the interests of the state, society or the collective” (Article 35). All the reports on human rights in China published by the State Council insist on the continued progress of human rights in Tibet. Similarly, the official “white papers” (Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China 2003) describing the current situation in Tibet all stress the progress made in the region on the basis of “peaceful liberation” and deny the accusations against the Beijing government made by the community in exile and various pro–Dalai Lama international organizations (see Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy 2009). However, in analyzing both perspectives, the evidence supporting one or other position is striking. It should be stressed here that, for two decades, the reports of various United Nations working groups and special rapporteurs have been conclusive in their denunciation of the Beijing regime. These official documents have been compiled by the Tibet Justice Center. Lastly, mention should be made of the issue of civil and political human rights when protests erupted throughout Tibet—specifically from 1987 to 1989 and in 2008. Once again, while China argues that its repression of the demonstrations is justified as part of the struggle to promote unity and safeguard stability, numerous reports on these violations have been published by human rights organizations. To that effect, International Commission of Jurists 1997 constitutes one of the most detailed reports. Tibet Information Network and Human Rights Watch 1996 focuses on the repressive policies programmed under Jiang Zemin’s presidency. Similarly, Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organizations 1997 calls the human rights violations acts that are typical of a colonial regime. Likewise, official reports of the United States (Congressional-Executive Commission on China 2008) denounced the latest wave of repression on the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, and Australian Human Rights Delegation to China 1993 focuses on the practice of forced abortions. Documents such as these contain assertions that Beijing considers meddling in its internal affairs.

                                                                                                                    • Australian Human Rights Delegation to China. Report of the Second Australian Human Rights Delegation to China. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1993.

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                                                                                                                      A summary review of various human rights abuses in Tibet, ranging from the practice of forced abortions and sterilizations to the absence of an independent judiciary.

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                                                                                                                      • Congressional-Executive Commission on China. “Tibet.” In Annual Report 2008, 110th Congress, Second Session, 182–204. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2008.

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                                                                                                                        A detailed report describing the protests of the Tibetan people in the spring of 2008 and their systematic repression by Chinese security forces, which resulted in violations of human rights, including the practice of torture and the arbitrary detention and arrest of thousands.

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                                                                                                                        • Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. “Tibet: Its Ownership and Human Rights Situation.” Chinese Journal of International Law 2.2 (2003): 747–790.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.cjilaw.a000499Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          White paper published initially in 1992 that reviews the human rights situation in Tibet with regard to different thematic areas and concludes that the region had progressed from medieval backwardness to modernization.

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                                                                                                                          • International Commission of Jurists. Tibet: Human Rights and the Rule of Law. Geneva, Switzerland: International Commission of Jurists, 1997.

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                                                                                                                            The report examines the overall human rights situation in Tibet since the 1994 Third Work Forum on Tibet; notes that strategic planning from Beijing has led to increased violations of basic rights. One section is devoted to civil and political rights.

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                                                                                                                            • Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. Human Rights Situation in Tibet: Annual Report 2008. Dharamsala, India: Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, 2009.

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                                                                                                                              A compilation of human rights abuses in Tibet during the protests throughout Tibet and the various Chinese provinces where Tibetans reside. Founded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, this organization publishes an annual report.

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                                                                                                                              • Tibet Information Network and Human Rights Watch. Cutting off the Serpent’s Head: Tightening Control in Tibet, 1994–1995. New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                A description of the increased repression as a result of new policies and strategies applied in Tibet, from an official Chinese manual published in 1994 by the Tibet Autonomous Region Communist Party, titled “A Golden Bridge Leading into a New Era.”

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                                                                                                                                • Tibet Justice Center. Legal Materials. 3d ed. Oakland, California: Tibet Justice Center, 2010

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                                                                                                                                  An updated list of reports by UN special rapporteurs, working groups, and treaty bodies that have denounced the human rights situation in Tibet.

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                                                                                                                                  • Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organizations (UNPO). “China’s Tibet”: The World’s Largest Remaining Colony: Report of a Fact-Finding Mission and Analyses of Colonialism and Chinese Rule in Tibet. The Hague: Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organizations, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                    As its name indicates, this report calls the policies and systematic human rights violations in Tibet colonial acts committed by China; notes that the situation is made worse by the intensive militarization carried out by China.

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                                                                                                                                    Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

                                                                                                                                    Controversy emerges yet again in this area. According to official Communist Party doctrine, Tibet’s economic backwardness requires China’s fraternal assistance through the development projects promoted by the Work Forums on Tibet; initiatives that, according to Beijing, have led to the elimination of feudal servitude in Tibet in favor of a popular democracy characterized by a modern, progressive, civilized, and open society (Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China 2004). On the other hand, according to the Tibetan community in exile, the actions of the Chinese have led to a mass transfer of Han Chinese to Tibet. The demographic changes induced in the various Tibetan areas, justified officially by a policy to advance the economic development of China’s most backward region, not only worsen the poverty of the Tibetan people, but also marginalize them in their everyday lives, in employment, health care, education and housing. Tibetan Youth Congress 2005 denounces this development, one that has been labeled cultural genocide. Sautman 2003 considers this assertion to be out of proportion to the reality. At the academic level, Sautman 2001 believes the consequences of this demographic pressure do not justify the label of colonialism. On the contrary, Hall 2001, in analyzing Chinese population transfer, Radin 1993, in reviewing the cultural rights situation in Tibet, and Dreyer 2003, in questioning the effects of economic development, all maintain that Chinese policies in Tibet can be considered to constitute a systematic violation of human rights. Moreover, Fischer 2005 considers that these state acts by Beijing are a direct, causal factor inducing Tibetan mass demonstrations. It should also be added that these discriminatory conditions for the Tibetan population have been periodically denounced by the UN special rapporteurs and other treaty bodies.

                                                                                                                                    • Dreyer, June T. “Economic Development in Tibet under the People’s Republic of China.” Journal of Contemporary China 12.36 (2003): 411–430.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/10670560305470Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      The article discusses the positive effects of development in Tibet without denying its negative consequences, such as the environmental impact or the dependence on subsidies.

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                                                                                                                                      • Fischer, Andrew Martin. State Growth and Social Exclusion in Tibet: Challenges of Recent Economic Growth. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                        Mention is made of the economic impact of the Western Development Strategy, with an in-depth analysis of its consequences on economic, social, and cultural rights. The author concludes that these policies lead to exclusive growth and a polarization of society that provide the grounds for popular protests, an assertion that he also makes in his subsequent work, Educating for Exclusion in Western China (Oxford: Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, 2009).

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                                                                                                                                        • Hall, John S. “Chinese Population Transfer in Tibet.” Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law 9 (2001): 173.

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                                                                                                                                          The author criticizes China’s policy of population transfer to Tibet, which has resulted not only in numerous human rights violations, but also endangers the environment in Tibet. The article also refers to the project by the World Bank and ends with a description of Sino-Tibetan negotiations and peace plans.

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                                                                                                                                          • Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet. Beijing: New Star, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                            An account from the Chinese perspective drawn from a white paper on the situation in the Tibet Autonomous Region, which affirms that Tibet has progressed from feudal servitude to a democratic administration in which the Tibetan people act as “master of their own affairs.” Special emphasis is given to listing the economic and social developments.

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                                                                                                                                            • Radin, Michele L. “The Right to Development as a Mechanism for Group Autonomy: Protection of Tibetan Cultural Rights.” Washington Law Review 68 (1993): 695–714.

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                                                                                                                                              This article maintains that China’s economic development plans in Tibet have led to serious violations of human rights, such as cultural rights, and even to the denial of the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination. In view of this situation, other legal mechanisms must be resorted to, such as the right to development in order to safeguard cultural rights within the context of autonomy.

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                                                                                                                                              • Sautman, Barry. “Is Tibet China’s Colony? The Claim of Demographic Catastrophe.” Columbia Journal of Asian Law 15.7 (2001): 81–131.

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                                                                                                                                                The article points to discrepancies in the demographic statistics of the Chinese government and those of the Tibetan Government in exile, and points out that not only has the Chinese population in Tibet increased since 1949, but the Tibetan population also has grown. The article concludes that the colonial argument made on this matter does not reflect reality.

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                                                                                                                                                • Sautman, Barry. “‘Cultural Genocide’ and Tibet.” Texas International Law Journal 38.2 (2003): 173–246.

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                                                                                                                                                  An extensive article in which the author examines such matters as religious and cultural repression and the resettling of nomads. The author ends by questioning the Tibetan community in exile’s accusation of cultural genocide, although the controversy is anything but peaceful, as shown in the report of the International Campaign for Tibet, 60 Years of Chinese Misrule: Arguing Cultural Genocide in Tibet (Washington, DC: International Campaign for Tibet, 2012).

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                                                                                                                                                  • Tibetan Youth Congress. Tibet: The Gap between Fact and Fabrication: Tibetan Response to China’s White Papers. Dharamsala, India: Tibetan Youth Congress, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                    A document drafted by one of the most militant organizations of exiled Tibetans that aims to refute the arguments of the Chinese white paper, which it accuses of providing distorted facts and figures. The article focuses on the effects of economic policies in Tibet.

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                                                                                                                                                    Regional Autonomy, Legislation, and Governance

                                                                                                                                                    As already mentioned, the theory and practice of Tibet’s autonomous regime has engendered widespread controversy and has led to extensive, detailed academic debate. On the one hand, Ghai, et al. 2010 considers that, despite the gap between the autonomy law and practice, the solution may still be found in a genuinely autonomous regime within the framework of the Chinese constitution. Others, such as Davis 2008, propose legal changes and the establishment of a special administrative region. Smith 2008 concludes that the only solution for an autonomous regime of assimilation is to be found in the effective exercise of the right to self-determination. Carlson 2004 examines Beijing’s position on Tibet and concludes that China has always tried to consolidate its sovereignty over the region. On the other hand, some analyzes by Tibetan and Chinese scholars have written analyses not only on the Tibetan position on autonomy, such as Stiftung Friedrich-Naumann 2005, but also on the position of both sides, such as Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre 2000, which is a compilation of the results of various workshops. Lastly, Herzer 2002 examines various autonomy systems to find an ideal model for Tibet.

                                                                                                                                                    • Carlson, Allen. Beijing’s Tibet Policy: Securing Sovereignty and Legitimacy. Policy Studies 4. Washington, DC: East-West Center Washington, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                      A description of Beijing’s policy toward Tibet since the reformist era begun in 1979. The author maintains that Beijing’s position has always been that of asserting Chinese sovereignty over Tibet, while distinguishing between an initial reformist period before 1987 and a more repressive later phase, supported by the economic development programs.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Davis, Michael C. “Establishing a Workable Autonomy in Tibet.” Human Rights Quarterly 30.2 (2008): 227–258.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1353/hrq.0.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        The author examines Tibet’s regime of self-government since the signing of the 17 Point Agreement, and believes that the Chinese totalitarian state has never guaranteed Tibet’s autonomous regime. He proposes a change in Tibet’s legal status, one that would guarantee the establishment of a special administrative region under Article 31 of the Chinese constitution.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Ghai, Yash, Sophia Woodman, and Kelley Loper. “Is There Space for ‘Genuine Autonomy’ for Tibetan Areas in the PRC’s System of Nationalities Regional Autonomy?” International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 17.1 (1 February 2010): 137–186.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1163/157181110X12595859744286Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          The authors carry out a complete historical analysis of the autonomous system and affirm that the basic deficiencies produced in practice can be resolved within the framework of the Chinese constitution by granting Tibet genuine autonomy.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Herzer, Eva. Options for Tibet’s Future Political Status: Self-Governance through an Autonomous Arrangement. New Delhi: Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                            A comparative and systematic analysis in English and Tibetan of thirty-four autonomy systems around the world. The authors explore global autonomous and central government power arrangements with the goal to devise a self-governing regime for Tibet through an autonomous arrangement with China.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Smith, Warren W. China’s Tibet?: Autonomy or Assimilation. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                              A review of Tibet’s historical origins to the current status as an autonomous entity under the PRC. The author suggests that events such as the Panchen Lama’s petition of 70,000 characters, the Cultural Revolution, the patriotic education campaign, and Chinese propaganda white papers deny the practical application of an autonomous regime in Tibet, and he argues for self-determination as a solution to the conflict and as a means by which to maintain Tibetan national identity, given the failure of Sino-Tibetan talks.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Stiftung Friedrich-Naumann. Autonomy and the Tibetan Perspective. New Delhi: Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                A study of the concept of autonomy within legal frameworks, describing the history of autonomy policy in China and Beijing’s position on Tibetan autonomy, together with the Tibetan Middle Way approach. The study ends with a compilation of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre. Tibetan Autonomy and Self-Government: Myth or Reality? New Delhi: Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                  The published results of workshops on the theory and practice of Tibetan autonomy. The participation of Tibetan and Chinese scholars provides perspectives of both sides on the issue of Tibet’s self-governance. The book includes chapters on the concept of autonomy in international law and the practice of autonomous arrangements.

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                                                                                                                                                                  The Autonomous Region and the Right to Self-Determination

                                                                                                                                                                  The official Chinese position reiterated in Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China 2004 (cited under Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights) declares that the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination is already met as their autonomy is recognized in both the Chinese constitution and the Law on National Regional Autonomy. The paper adds that Tibet’s future cannot be decided by the Dalai Lama’s clique but by the whole Chinese nation, including the Tibetan people. Opposing this view, pro-Tibetan organizations, in works such as Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre 1996 and Dulaney, et al. 1998 justify the right to self-determination. Similarly, academic organizations that have dealt with this matter, in findings of international conferences (McCorquodale and Orosz 1994, cited under General Overviews) and reports (International Commission of Jurists 1997, cited under Civil and Political Rights), all conclude that the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination needs to be made effective; a view that has been reiterated in numerous publications. Similarly, other academics are in favor of the right to self-determination, strengthening other lines of reasoning. Norbu 1997 draws up a detailed analysis of the Leninist and Maoist positions on the right to self-determination. Partsh 1993 denounces the lack of effectiveness of resolutions of the UN General Assembly. The author of Clark 2002 bases his thesis on the nullity of the Peaceful Liberation Agreement. Brouder 2002 recognizes Tibet’s right to secession, while Smith 2004 and Kamenka and Erh-Soon Tay 1993 consider that the conditions for the creation of a genuine autonomous regime have not been met.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Brouder, Alan. “Self-Determination for Tibet: Prospects in International Law.” Trinity College Law Review 5 (2002): 172–201.

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                                                                                                                                                                    The author believes that the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination should be changed to allow for the right to secede unilaterally from China.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Clark, Regina M. “China’s Unlawful Control over Tibet: The Tibetan People’s Entitlement to Self-Determination.” Indiana International and Comparative Law Review 12 (2002): 293.

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                                                                                                                                                                      A position in favor of Tibetan self-determination, using the arguments that the 17 Point Agreement is null and basic rights have been systematically violated.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Dulaney, Andrew G. Dennis M. Cusack, Michael van Walt van Praag, et al. The Case concerning Tibet: Tibet’s Sovereignty and the Tibetan People’s Right to Self-Determination. New Delhi: Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                        A synthesis by jurists Dulaney, Cusack, and van Walt van Praag of the arguments supporting the belief that the Tibetans are entitled to self-determination; touches on historical and human rights and peace and security. Undertaken for the International Committee for Tibet and Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Kamenka, Eugene, and Alice Erh-Soon Tay. “International Law, International Justice and the Autonomy of Tibet.” Bulletin of the Australian Society of Legal Philosophy 18 (1993): 36–55.

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                                                                                                                                                                          This analysis starts with historical considerations in identifying the various viewpoints in the controversy, followed by an analysis of the reports by the Australian human rights delegations to Tibet.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Norbu, Dawa. “Self-Determination in the Post-Soviet Era: A Case Study of Tibet.” International Studies 34.3 (1997): 237–268.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/0020881797034003003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            After distinguishing between the concept of the right to self-determination according to Leninist and Maoist theories, this professor of Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University concludes in favor of the Tibetan people’s effective exercise of this right; a claim that should not be interpreted as “an élite conspiracy.”

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Partsh, Karl Josef. “New Findings on the Right of Self-Determination for Tibet?” German Yearbook of International Law 36 (1993): 524–529.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Despite UN General Assembly Resolution 1723 (see United Nations General Assembly 1961, cited under Tibet in the United Nations) having been ignored, the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination should be acknowledged. The author uses historical rights and systematic human rights violations to support his position.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Smith, Warren. China’s Policy on Tibetan Autonomy. Working Paper 2. Washington, DC: East-West Center, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                A detailed historical review of Sino-Tibetan relations in which the author concludes that the question of historical status cannot be resolved; he compares the views held by China and by the Tibetan community in exile regarding autonomy and concludes that the key to a solution lies in self-determination.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre. Tibetan People’s Right to Self-Determination: Report of the Workshop on Self-Determination of the Tibetan People: Legitimacy of Tibet’s Case. New Delhi: Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Minutes of the workshop on the self-determination of the Tibetan people held in India in October 1994 and February 1996, to which Indian jurists, such as R. P. Dhokalia, former secretary general of the Indian Academy of International Law and professor at Banaras Hindu University, contributed.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  The Environmental and Nuclear Situation

                                                                                                                                                                                  According to China’s official position, laws protecting the environment have contributed to ecological progress in Tibet (Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China 2003); the Tibetan government in exile draws a radically different conclusion (Tsultrim 2007). Although the environmental situation in Tibet may seem of marginal or collateral importance to international law, academic publications have appeared in which authors affirm that, for various reasons, the issue is a critical one. Roos-Collins 1992 denounces the plundering of Tibet’s natural resources, which the author cites as revelatory of the treatment of Tibet as a colonial territory, while Ziemer 2001 and Haertling 2007 consider that the environmental destruction that is taking place constitutes a violation of the most basic human rights. Khoday 2007 examines the repercussions of regional climate change, which have inevitably impacted Tibet, and threat such changes pose for the future development of the Tibetan population. Heischmidt 2010 highlights the importance of the nuclearization of the Tibetan Plateau, the consequences of which for the population may constitute a violation of the Convention on Genocide and which threatens international peace and security. From another perspective, Clarke 1998 studies the devastating effect that economic development programs have had on the environment.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Clarke, Graham, ed. Development, Society, and Environment in Tibet. Papers presented at the Seventh Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Graz, Austria, 1995. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    A compilation of papers presented at a panel at the seminar attended by Western, Chinese, and Tibetan scholars. Although they are not legal analyses, the case studies reveal the interrelation between the development policies in Tibet and their repercussions on the environment and the social and economic life of the population.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tsultrim, Tenzin. Tibet: A Human Development and Environment Report. Dharamsala, India: Environment and Development Desk, Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      A detailed review of the environmental situation in Tibet with numerous references to scientific publications. The subject matter is linked to the violation of second-generation human rights. The analysis is complemented with a later publication by the same organization: The Impacts of Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau: A Synthesis of Recent Science and Tibetan Research (Dharamsala, India: Environment and Development Desk, Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, 2009).

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Haertling, Peter. “Trains above the Clouds: The Primacy of Political and Civil Human Rights in Tibet and the People’s Republic of China.” Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy 18 (2007): 459–476.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        The environmental damage in Tibet is discussed, with the author suggesting that separating the environmental crisis from political and civil rights dilutes the importance of finding a solution to the problem.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Heischmidt, Christina M. “China’s Dumping Ground: Genocide through Nuclear Ecocide in Tibet.” Penn State Environmental Law Review 18 (2010): 213–233.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          This article does not hesitate to call the consequences of Chinese policies regarding nuclear materials, such as uranium mining, nuclear research, and intentional dumping of nuclear wastes, acts of genocide against the Tibetan population.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China’s. Ecological Improvement and Environmental Protection in Tibet. Beijing: New Star, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            This white paper stresses how, since China’s administration of Tibet, efforts to modernize the territory have led to improvements in the environment since 1979 thanks to the adoption of protectionist laws and a strategy of sustainable development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Khoday, Kishan. Climate Change and the Right to Development: Himalayan Glacial Melting and the Future of Development on the Tibetan Plateau. Human Development Report Occasional Paper 2007/28. New York: United Nations Development Programme, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              The report warns about the dramatic effects the Western Development Strategy is having on climate change and environmental degradation on the Tibetan Plateau, which has a direct repercussion on the Tibetan people’s current and future development. The document recommends that a series of measures be adopted under the UNDP program.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Roos-Collins, Margit. The Relationship between Environmental Management and Human Rights in Tibet. San Francisco: International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                The report reviews the exploitation of natural resources in Tibet and concludes by calling it a “classic colonial” situation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ziemer, Laura S. “Application in Tibet of the Principles of Human Rights and the Environment.” Harvard Human Rights Journal 14 (2001): 233–275.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Environmental human rights violations in Tibet are analyzed with reference to specific areas, such as the nuclear weapons development program and Chinese agricultural development projects. The report concludes that these abuses are aggravated by denial of the right of self-determination of the Tibetan people.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Peace Proposals and Sino-Tibetan Negotiations

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Attempts have been made to solve the Tibetan controversy through direct negotiations between representatives of the Tibetan government in exile and the Beijing government. These contacts began in 1979 and specific peace proposals have been put forward for the territory’s future status (Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration 1996). Initially, former Chinese premier Deng Xiao Ping considered that all matters were up for negotiation save for outright independence. Political efforts by the US Department of State (Office of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, US Department of State 2009) and the European Parliament (Resolutions 6 July 2000 and 13 October 2003) have failed to produce results despite the legal proposals put forward, including establishing a peace zone, implementing the “one country, two systems” concept applied to Hong Kong and Macao, or granting genuine autonomy under the People’s Republic of China, as analyzed in Mingxu 1998. But the fact remains that the Chinese side, analyzed in Zi 2003, still believes that the real goal of the Dalai Lama is complete separation. For their part, the Tibetans in exile do not believe Beijing is serious in trying to reach a consensus, especially when the representative at the contacts is the United Front Work Department, which has very limited authority within China’s political setup. Interested academics have followed these negotiations. Norbu 1991 examines the attempts at dialogue and the approaches adopted after Mao’s death. Sautman 2002 highlights the importance of possible actors who are external to the controversy, such as the United States, and Rabgey and Sharlho 2004 carries out a detailed historical review of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue in which the authors are pessimistic about a solution to the conflict. Lastly, van Walt van Praag 2012 describes all interactions between the two sides since the 1951 agreement and evaluates the current positions of China and Tibet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration. Dharamsala and Beijing: Initiatives and Correspondence, 1981–1993. Dharamsala, India: Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    A compilation of the most important official documents exchanged between the Chinese and Tibetan authorities regarding negotiations on the question of Tibet, including the Dalai Lama’s peace proposals, namely the Five Point Peace Plan and the Strasbourg Proposal.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mingxu, Xu. “Complete Autonomy: The Best Approach to Peaceful Resolution of the Tibet Problem.” Journal of Contemporary China 7.18 (1998): 369–378.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/10670569808724320Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The author believes that a peaceful solution of the conflict could be reached by implementing the proposals for Tibet that include genuine autonomy or even the “one country, two systems” model; the author rejects these ideas being applied to the provinces bordering the Tibet Autonomous Region.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Norbu, Dawa. “China’s Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, 1978–1990: Pre-negotiation or Dead-End?” Pacific Affairs 64.3 (1991): 351–372.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        This article covers the first phase of negotiations, which the author believes were conditioned by two clear ideological trends in Beijing. Although consensus existed regarding China’s indisputable sovereignty over Tibet, the Communist Party’s hard-line view asserted itself.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Office of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, US Department of State. Report on Tibet Negotiations as Required by Section 611, Foreign Relations Authorization Act 2003. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          An official document describing the discussions between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and the People’s Republic of China, and the US government’s role in encouraging negotiations. The report is pessimistic about concrete results emerging from the Sino-Tibetan talks, especially after the 2008 uprisings.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Rabgey, Tashi, and Tseten Wangchuk Sharlho. Sino-Tibetan Dialogue in the Post-Mao Era: Lessons and Prospects. Policy Studies 12. Washington, DC: East-West Center, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            A review of Sino-Tibetan contacts since 1979, including the various fact-finding missions by Tibetan exiles. After describing the various phases of the talks, the authors conclude that the possibilities of success are limited.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sautman, Barry. “Resolving the Tibet Question: Problems and Prospects.” Journal of Contemporary China 11.30 (2002): 77–107.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/10670560120091156Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The author examines the factors preventing a negotiated peace. Although he believes both parties are gradually relaxing their positions, he highlights the importance of external elements, such as US pressure for negotiation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • van Walt van Praag, M. C. “On Solutions to the Sino-Tibetan Conflict.” In Globalization, Technologies and Legal Revolution: The Impact of Global Changes on Territorial and Cultural Diversities, on Supranational Integration and Constitutional Theory. Edited by Francesco Palermo, Giovanni Poggeschi, Günther Rautz, and Jens Woelk, 451–499. Bolzano, Italy: EURAC Research, 2012.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.5771/9783845243474Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                A detailed article describing and analyzing clearly the current Chinese and Tibetan positions regarding the issue of Tibet’s status. The article also reviews how the perspectives of the parties interact, from the so-called Agreement on the Peaceful Liberation and Hu Yaobang’s attempts at talks to the peace proposals put forward by the Dalai Lama.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Zi, Hua. Negotiating with the 14th Dalai Lama and the Issue of Regional Autonomy. New Delhi: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in India, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author subscribes to Beijing’s official thesis, believing that the Dalai Lama’s real objective is Tibetan independence, a view shared by the official reports of the Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Fifty Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2009), which accuse the “Tibetan government-in-exile” of “never ceasing their separatist activities to sabotage Tibet’s steady development” (p. 16).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  International Crimes and the Tibet Universal Jurisdiction Cases

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The seemingly intractable controversy can be extrapolated when analyzing whether certain actions committed in Tibet can be classified as international crimes. Once again, the official Chinese view is one that adamantly denies any genocide having been committed in Tibet (Zhang 1988). In any case, the first time that states leveled a charge of genocide against the people of Tibet by China was before the United Nations General Assembly in 1959. Indeed, as a result of a report of the International Commission of Jurists (International Commission of Jurists 1960), debate was opened in this forum after it was decided that religious genocide was being committed against the Tibetan people. More recently, Tribunal Permanent des Peuples 1992 recommends an investigation into birth control practices in Tibet. Esteve Moltó 2004 affirms that the crime of genocide had been committed in Tibet, and Herzer and Levin 1996 considers that birth control practices in Tibet could violate the Convention on Genocide. These authors argue that various repressive acts that continue to be committed in Tibet can be considered international crimes, including torture, according to the Special Rapporteur’s Report on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Manfred Nowak on his last mission to China (E/CN.4/2006/6/Add.6) and the Committee against Torture (CAT/C/CHN/CO/4 2008). Furthermore, these acts have been denounced in the Spanish courts under the principle of universal jurisdiction. When presented with the two cases, the Spanish judges of the Audiencia Nacional did not hesitate to issue a writ accepting both lawsuits, calling them acts of genocide (Spanish National Court 2006) and crimes against humanity (Order of 5 August 2008, Preliminary Proceedings 242/2008–2010 of the Spanish National Court); judicial decisions that have led to great juridical and political controversy and resulted in Spain revising its law on universal jurisdiction to drastically limit its application with respect to the latter. While Esteve Moltó 2006 analyzes the preliminary proceedings of the Tibet judicial case and Chinese political reactions to it, Bakker 2006 denies the importance of the case, pointing out that Spain forbids trials in absentia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bakker, A. E. Christine. “Universal Jurisdiction of Spanish Courts over Genocide in Tibet: Can It Work?” Journal of International Criminal Justice 4 (2006): 595–601.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/jicj/mql021Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The author criticizes the fact that as Spanish law prohibits trials in absentia, this legal initiative cannot result in the accused being condemned. However, initiating the pre-trial stage is an “audacious step” by the Spanish judges in obeying the “international obligation of states to prosecute authors of genocide” (p. 561).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Esteve Moltó, J. E. El Tíbet: La frustración de un estado. Valencia, Spain: El genocidio de un pueblo, Tirant Lo Blanch, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      After analyzing Tibet’s legal status, this senior lecturer on public international law at Valencia University analyzes the subjective and objective elements of the Convention on Genocide in the case of Tibet; this legal investigation formed the basis for drafting lawsuits in the Spanish courts based on the principle of universal jurisdiction.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Esteve Moltó, J. E. “El auto de admisión a trámite de 10 de enero de 2006 de la Audiencia Nacional: la aplicación de la jurisdicción universal al caso del genocidio del Tíbet.” Anuario español de derecho internacional 22 (2006): 579–607.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The author analyzes the legal basis of, and the terms of, the lawsuit and writ of admission of said lawsuit lodged in Spain’s Audiencia Nacional by the Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet and a Tibetan victim with Spanish nationality; includes a description of the Chinese government’s reactions to the launch of the judicial investigation against the former president and prime minister of China.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Herzer, Eva, and Sara B. Levin. “China’s Denial of Tibetan Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom.” Michigan Journal of Gender and Law 3.2 (1996): 551–568.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The authors assert that China not only controls the population in Tibet, but also openly wishes to improve the “quality” of the Tibetan population through eugenic laws. This birth control policy in Tibet is “a form of ethnic cleansing” and constitutes a violation of the Convention on Genocide.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • International Commission of Jurists. Tibet and the Chinese People’s Republic, a Report to the International Commission of Jurists by Its Legal Inquiry Committee on Tibet. Geneva, Switzerland: International Commission of Jurists, 1960.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A detailed review of all the acts that constitute genocide and its intent, according to the Convention on Genocide applicable to the case of Tibet. The report concludes that religious genocide is being committed against the Tibetan people.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Spanish National Court, Fourth Division of the Criminal Court. Order of 10 January 2006, Appeal Proceedings 196/05, Preliminary Proceedings 237/05.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The significance of this decision lies in the fact that, on the first opportunity this court had to deliver a judgment on universal jurisdiction following the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the Guatemalan genocide case, the balance tipped in favor of an absolute interpretation supporting justice for the victims. The legal ruling stated clearly that the facts as presented constituted overwhelming evidence of genocide.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Zhang, Tianlu. “Tibet population develops.” In Tibet: Myth vs. Reality. Edited by Yannian Dai, 20–23. China in Focus 31. Beijing, China: Beijing Review, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Professor Zhang Tianlu from Beijing’s Economic Institute not only denies the Dalai Lama’s accusation that genocide was being committed in Tibet, but declares that, on the contrary, according to the 1982 census Tibet’s population had grown 51.2 percent in eighteen years. The State Council agreed with his findings in the white paper, Tibet: Its Ownership and Human Rights Situation, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Tribunal Permanent des Peuples. Session sur le Tibet: Sentence. Strasbourg, France: Tribunal Permanent des Peuples, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Founded by the Lelio Basso Foundation and presided over by the international jurist François Rigaux, this court met in November 2002 to issue a verdict on the case of Tibet. The court urges the UN secretary general to order a special investigation into the forced sterilizations of Tibetan women.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  International Resolutions on Tibet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Several compilations have been drawn up of the various international resolutions passed regarding the Tibetan question, which should be consulted as an aid in analyzing the evolving positions of international organizations and states regarding the controversy. Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration 1997 constitutes a detailed compilation of the resolutions of states and international organizations up to that date. This compilation is updated by Tibet Justice Center 2010. Likewise, Stringham 1999 provides a broad view of this type of resolution, together with extensive bibliographical documentation. Whatever the case, special attention should be given to the resolutions of the international players that can most actively and decisively influence the debate, such as the positions of the United States (described in Dumbaugh 2009), the resolutions of the European Parliament (Tibet Intergroup in the European Parliament), or the most recent contribution of the British government, which in a declaration by the secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs, has abandoned its “outdated concept of suzerainty” in favor of acknowledging Chinese sovereignty over Tibet (Miliband 2008).

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