Important dates in Tibet’s recent history


Beijing : The question of Tibet’s autonomy has been a bone of contention for decades. The following are important dates in modern Tibetan history:

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1912 – Chinese troops expelled from Lhasa after the fall of the Qing Dynasty in Beijing. The 13th Dalai Lama declares independence from China. Tibet rules itself until 1950.

1935 – Fourteenth Dalai Lama born July 6.

1949 – The People’s Republic of China founded by Mao Zedong after the Chinese Civil War.

1950 – Chinese People’s Liberation Army invades Tibet in October.

– Fourteenth Dalai Lama enthroned in November.

1951 – Tibet’s representatives in May agree under pressure to a 17-point agreement, in which they give up independence but are promised autonomy from China.

– People’s Liberation Army enters Lhasa in September.

1954 – Dalai Lama visits Beijing.

1959 – Uprising against Chinese occupation begins in Lhasa March 10.

– Dalai Lama flees to India March 17. Large-scale destruction of monasteries and temples follows.

1965 – China creates the Tibet Autonomous Region, which includes about half of Tibet’s historical settlement area. The rest is incorporated into neighbouring Chinese provinces.

1966 – China’s Cultural Revolution – which includes further destruction of cultural heritage, temples and monasteries – begins. Farming organised into collectives.

1976 – Mao dies, and Cultural Revolution ends.

1979 – Slow liberalisation and opening of Tibet begins.

1980 – Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang visits Tibet.

1985 – Tibet opened to mass tourism.

1987 – Unrest breaks out in Lhasa and Shigatse.

1989 – Protests in Tibet violently crushed under current Chinese president and party leader, Hu Jintao.

2002 – Chinese government opens dialogue with the Dalai Lama. The talks have reached no agreement to date.

2008 – Protests spread to other Tibetan-settled regions March 14 after anti-Chinese riots in Lhasa. China puts down the uprising, many Tibetans are arrested and Tibet is declared off-limits to foreign journalists.