China Protests Dalai Lama Meeting U.S. Officials
The meeting between the Dalai Lama and representatives of the “Central Tibetan Administration” (CTA) and visiting American official Uzra Zeya was denounced as an attempt to “interfere” in China’s “internal affairs” by China on Monday. The Dalai Lama, who arrived in Delhi on Saturday, stated that Tibetans did not seek “independence” and that he was open to negotiations with the Chinese government, which he claimed had sent feelers to him before they met with Ms Zeya.
Background of the events :
- Seventeen-Point Agreement :
- The Seventeen Point Agreement was signed by officials of the Tibetan Government and the People’s Republic of China in 1951 on behalf of the 14th Dalai Lama.
- The agreement recognised China’s control over Tibet while providing Tibet with some autonomy in exchange for the protection of Tibetan culture and religious freedom.
- Rejection of the Agreement:
- The Dalai Lama later declared that he had signed the Seventeen Point Agreement under duress and without the backing of the Tibetan people.
- The relationship between the Tibetan Government and the Chinese authorities was strained by the Dalai Lama’s rejection of the accord.
- Worldwide Recognition Efforts:
- To assert Tibet’s independence or win substantial autonomy, the Tibetan government worked to gain worldwide support for its cause.
- However, the majority of countries now recognise Tibet as a part of China, making these efforts mostly ineffective.
- Modernization and Military Conflict:
- To bolster its position, the Tibetan Government began modernization initiatives, including the modernization of its military.
- When Chinese forces pushed into Tibet in October 1950, a military confrontation erupted in the western Kham region’s Chamdo region.
- The Tibetan army was defeated in the battle, and Chinese forces took control of the area.
- Peaceful Liberation vs Chinese Invasion :
- The Chinese government referred to their efforts in Tibet as the “Peaceful Liberation of Tibet,” highlighting the historical ties between Tibet and China and presenting their actions as a method of reintegrating Tibet into China.
- The Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan diaspora, on the other hand, frequently refer to the incidents as the “Chinese invasion of Tibet,” considering China’s activities to constitute an occupation and a suppression of Tibetan freedom.
- Tibetan Rebellion and Exile:
- In 1959, Tibetans protested the deterioration of their cultural and religious liberties by launching a broad rebellion against Chinese control in Tibet.
- Military repression was used as a response by the Chinese government.
- The Tibetan Government-in-Exile was founded in Dharamshala after the Dalai Lama and many other Tibetans fled into exile in India.
- The Chinese authorities disbanded the Tibetan authorities after the uprising and made measures that had a profound effect on Tibetan social structures and culture.
Who is Dalai Lama and Why did he go into exile?
- Identity and Recognizability:
- The 14th Dalai Lama’s spiritual name is Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, and his birth name is Lhamo Thondup.
- He is regarded as a living Bodhisattva and is thought to be Avalokitevara (Chenrezig in Tibetan) in a new body.
- He practises Tibetan Buddhism and is a member of the Gelug school, which is the newest school.
- In 1937, it was determined that the Dalai Lama was the tulku (reincarnate) of the 13th Dalai Lama, and in 1939, he was publicly recognised as the 14th Dalai Lama.
- Early Life and Enthronement :
- His early years were spent in a farming family in Taktser (Hongya Village), in the Amdo region of Tibet (now in the province of Qinghai, China).
- His appointment as the Dalai Lama did not follow the customary Golden Urn selection procedure.
- He was a little boy when his enthronement ritual took place in Lhasa on February 22, 1940.
- Chinese Occupation and Temporal (Political) Duties:
- In 1950, at the age of 15, the Dalai Lama took full temporal responsibility after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet.
- The Ü-Tsang, Kham, and Amdo territories were under the control of the Tibetan administration, also known as the Ganden Phodrang.
- However, the Dalai Lama escaped to India and created the Tibetan government in exile as a result of the 1959 uprising in Tibet against Chinese control.
- Exile and Exile Government:
- The Dalai Lama founded the autonomous Tibetan government in exile in Mussoorie after arriving in India in 1959. Later, it was moved to Dharamshala, where he now lives.
- In 2011, he stepped down from his position as the political leader and assisted with the establishment of the Central Tibetan Administration, a democratic administration.
- Teachings and Advocacy:
- The Dalai Lama has championed the Middle Way Approach, which aims for a peaceful conclusion with China, and has argued for the well-being of Tibetans.
- He instructs Tibetan Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism all over the world, drawing sizable crowds. His initiations and Kalachakra teachings are important occasions.
- The Dalai Lama participates in numerous conferences and gatherings where he speaks on a variety of subjects, including religion and science, environmental concerns, economics, women’s rights, nonviolence, interfaith dialogue, physics, astronomy, and more.
- Awards and Recognitions:
- In 1989, the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign to liberate Tibet from Chinese tyranny.
- He was awarded the US Congressional Gold Medal in 2006 for his services to human rights, nonviolence, and world peace.
- He has been named by Time magazine as one of Mahatma Gandhi’s “Children of Gandhi” and as Gandhi’s spiritual heir to nonviolence.
Why were Dalai Lama and CTA in the news recently?
- The spiritual head of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, met with Uzra Zeya, a representative of the United States, in New Delhi, India. Zeya is the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights.
- China vigorously objected to this gathering because it saw it as meddling in its internal affairs. Tibet is regarded as a domestic matter of China, and no outside forces are permitted to interfere
- China opposes all interactions between what it refers to as “Tibetan independence” groups and representatives of other nations. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), which is situated in Dharamshala, has been branded by China as a “separatist political group” that is not recognised by any other nation.
- China has previously objected to American engagement in issues relating to Tibet. Before his trip to Dharamshala in May 2022 and the creation of the position of U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues by the Biden administration in 2021, Uzra Zeya received complaints from China.
- The spokesperson for the Chinese embassy urged the US to uphold its promise to recognise Tibet as a part of China, to refrain from interfering in China’s internal affairs under the guise of Tibet-related issues, and to refrain from supporting what China views as the “anti-China separatist activities” of the Dalai Lama’s group.
- The Dalai Lama said that Tibet is a part of China before departing Dharamshala, despite protestations from China. He also disclosed that he had been approached for talks by the Chinese government both formally and informally.