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Tibet General Information - Facts and Tibet History

Tibet has always maintained a distinct cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic identity. Situated on the remote Tibetan plateau at the centre of Asia, Tibetans possess a strong sense of independent history that is linked to this distinct identity and particularly its relationship with Tibetan Buddhism.
Tibet possessed all the conditions of statehood under international law but due to its isolationist policy it did not develop formalised international relations, though it did maintain bilateral relations with its neighbours. At no time was Tibet an integral part of China. Neighbouring countries, particularly British India, recognised Tibet as being de-facto independent through the first half of the twentieth century. In 1949, in an act of unprovoked aggression China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invaded Tibet. Despite Tibetan attempts to work with the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese promises of autonomy in the Seventeen Point Agreement between the Tibetan government and the Chinese in 1959 the young fourteenth Dalai Lama fled into exile in India. What followed was a brutal clamp down of the Tibetan independence movement by the Chinese forces. Instead, of liberation, China’s occupation of Tibet has been characterised by political and economic suppression, with Tibetan’s being denied the right to decide their destiny. China has consistently denied Tibetans their basic human rights. Not only are Tibetans prevented from practicing their traditional way of life and culture, but political protest is brutally crushed with protestors subjected to torture. They are. Many Tibetans have escaped the oppression in Tibet by risking their lives climbing over the Himalayas into India and Nepal. China’s occupation of Tibet provides China with (something) square miles of strategically important territory as well as access to key natural resources including water and minerals. Though the PLA claimed to be liberating Tibet, in almost six decades of occupation Tibetans have gained little from Chinese presence, suffering not just from human rights abuses but also poverty and meagre access to education and healthcare.

Tibet Map

Tibet Map

Also, China’s exploitation of Tibet’s unique economic resources is often to the detriment of Tibet’s unique environment. Not only are Tibetans subject to economic discrimination and the destruction of their traditional way of life but they must also compete against growing numbers of Chinese immigrants for employment and resources. Independent research puts the number of Chinese in the TAR at 5.5 million versus 4.5 million Tibetans; in Kham and Amdo, Chinese outnumber Tibetans many times over. Tibetans are now a minority in their own country. Since the construction of the railway the threat to Tibet and its people has risen even higher. Not only does easier access into Tibet allowed China to strengthen its control over Tibet, but also it facilitates increased levels of ethnic Chinese migration into Tibet and eases Chinese extraction of Tibet’s valuable mineral resources. The threat to Tibetan’s political culture, economy and environment is high and this is why imperative that something is done.Free Tibet Campaign uses the term 'Tibet' to refer to the three original provinces of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo (sometimes called Greater Tibet). When the Chinese refer to Tibet, they invariably mean the Tibet Autonomous Region or TAR, which includes only U-Tsang. Amdo and Kham were re-named by the Chinese as the province of Qinghai and as parts of Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan provinces, respectively.

All The Text Article Source from http://www.freetibet.org/about/Introduction-to-tibet

Land Size: 2.5 million square kilometres, which includes U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo provinces. "Tibet Autonomous Region", consisting of U-Tsang and a small portion of Kham, consists of 1.2 million square kilometres. The bulk of Tibet lies outside the "TAR".

 

Political Status: Occupied country and without United Nations' representation.

 

Average Altitude: 4,000 metres or 13,000 feet above sea level.

 

Administration: Under Chinese rule, Tibet is divided into the following administrative units: a) Tibet Autonomous Region, b) Qinghai Province, c) Tianzu Tibetan Autonomous County and Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province, d) Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Mili Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province, e) Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province.

 

Population: The total Tibetan population in Tibet is 6 million. Of them, 2.09 million live in the "TAR" and the rest in the Tibetan areas outside the "TAR".

 

Major Rivers: Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra in India), Machu (Yellow River in China), Drichu (Yangtse in China), Senge Khabab (Indus in India), Phungchu (Arun in India), Gyalmo Ngulchu (Salween in Burma) and Zachu (Mekong in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos).

 

Native Wildlife: Tibetan antelope, wild yak, wild ass and Tibetan argali, blue sheep, black-necked crane, Tibetan gazelle, giant panda, red panda, golden monkey.


Economy: Agriculture and animal husbandry.


Literacy Rate: Approximately 25 per cent.

 

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