Tibet Unconquered: An Epic Struggle for Freedom

Diane Wolff

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0230622739

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A fabled country in the far reaches of the Himalayas, Tibet looms large in the popular imagination. The original home of the Dalai Lama, one of the great spiritual leaders of our time, Tibetan Buddhism inspires millions worldwide with the twin values of wisdom and compassion. Yet the Chinese takeover six decades ago also shows another side of Tibet―that of a passionate symbol of freedom in the face of political oppression.

International sympathy has kept the Dalai Lama's appeals for autonomy on the world's political agenda, but in light of China's political and economic gains there is fear that Tibet is in danger of being forgotten by the world. As the Dalai Lama grows older, and the Chinese threaten to intervene in the selection of Tibet's next spiritual leader, many wonder if there is any hope for the Tibetan way of life, or if it is doomed to become a casualty of globalization.

In Tibet Unconquered East Asia expert Diane Wolff explores the status of Tibet over eight-hundred-years of history. From the Mongol invasion, to the emergence of the Dalai Lama, Wolff investigates the history of political and economic relations between China and Tibet. Looking to the long rule of Chinggis Khan as a model, she argues, that by thinking in regional terms both countries could usher in a new era of prosperity while maintaining their historical and cultural identities.

Wolff creates a forward-thinking blueprint for resolving the China and Tibet problem, grounded in the history of the region and the reality of today's political environment that, will guide both countries to peace.

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era recorded that the Taklimakan had dunes as high as a many-storied building. The whistling sands frightened many an explorer, archaeologist, and missionary. As far back as the thirteenth century even Marco Polo commented on the “singing sands,” reputed to be inhabited by demons. Ghost stories abound in the travel literature. A challenge to man and beast, the Taklimakan was far more dangerous and fearful than the Sahara, the great Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter) desert of Saudi Arabia, or the

he was pleasure-loving in the extreme and too fond of alcohol. The merchants who visited his palace in Khara Khorum said that he was generous to a fault and constantly overpaid by as much as the price again. From his treasury, he gave vast sums to the needy so that his name would live forever in the hearts of men. His reputation increased among the common people to the exact degree that the contents of his treasury decreased. The business of state bored him. Ogodei maintained a harem of

the emperor, recognized the Manchu emperors as the incarnation of Manjusri, the bodhisattva of infinite wisdom. This designation may have lent the emperor political clout when he was dealing with Tibet, since the sacred title gave the emperor the Dalai Lama’s seal of approval. The Dalai Lama also contributed to the relationship by using his influence with the Zunghar Mongols to preserve the peace and contain Mongol expansionism. “From the Chinese records, it is clear that beyond the religious

Imperial Policy in Tibet Part 6 Mid-Twentieth-Century China: The Communists Retain Imperial Policy in Tibet Part 7 Late Twentieth-Century China: Hu Yaobang and the Liberal Policies of the 1980s Part 8 The Twenty-First Century: A New Road Map for Tibet Acknowledgments Online Resources Tibetan Timeline Notes Bibliography Index China and Its Neighbors Ethnic Tibetan Areas of China FOREWORD I am pleased and honored to introduce Diane Wolff’s brilliant work, as she gallops us

culture. The Muslims of Xinjiang, the Buddhists of Tibet, the Mongols of Mongolia, and the Manchus in Manchuria did not see themselves as branches of the Han. This was of no concern to Sun Yatsen or Chiang Kaishek, whose racial and national views became institutionalized as part of China’s school curriculum under the Nationalists. The ideas eventually permeated the population and influenced popular thinking; as such, they formed part of China’s modern consciousness. In the 1980s, while on a trip

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