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How was the 17-Article Agreement signed?

2009-03-17 20:00

How was the 17-Article Agreement signed?

2009-03-17 08:12:39

By Liu Wei   Co-trans: Fang Yinong, Zhang Mingyu

  BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhuanet) -- The Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local government of Tibet on Measures for Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, also known as the 17-Article Agreement, was signed 58 years ago and has passed into history as a law in China.

  However, the Dalai clique, which fled abroad decades ago and has depended on foreign countries for survival, not only fabricates lies and distorts history, disregards the facts or challenges the legality of 17-Article Agreement from time to time, but also attempts to deny the Agreement completely, in order to seek a thread of evidence for separating Tibet from China.

  Let's review the history about how the 17-Article Agreement was signed to realize the truth:

  The 17-Article Agreement was signed following negotiations between the Central Government and the local government of Tibet.

  In late April 1951, the delegation of the local government of Tibet (Gaxag) arrived in Beijing for the peaceful settlement of the Tibet issue. On April 28, then Premier Zhou Enlai met with the members of the delegation and announced the name list of those attending the negotiations. The Central Government delegation, headed by Li Weihan, was composed of five fully empowered representatives: Li Weihan, Zhang Jingwu, Zhang Guohua and Sun Zhiyuan.

  The fully empowered representatives of the local government of Tibet included Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei (chief representative), Kemei Soinam Wangdui, Tubdain Dainda, Tubdain Lemoin and Sangpo Tainzin Toinzhub.

  The Dalai clique often distorts the signing process of the 17-Article Agreement. On May 22, 2001, it claimed: " The signing of the 17-Article Agreement is a tragedy in Tibet's history," "it's illegal and invalid," "during the whole signing process, the Chinese representatives imposed their purpose on the Tibetan representatives by such means as discrimination, abuse and threats," "the Tibetan representatives were forced to sign the Agreement by selling their personal freedom."

  Those who didn't take part in the negotiations made such remarks. But how did those taking part remark?

  Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei, the only representative who is still alive, wrote in an article titled "Return to the warm embrace of the Motherland" published in 1981: "We held earnest and friendly negotiations on the basis of equality and consultation," "and correctly resolved all complicated issues according to the policy of the Chinese Communist Party on resolving issues related to domestic ethnic groups and in line with the special conditions in Tibet."

  Tubdain Dainda, the former monk official representative at that time, recalled in "Tibetan Cultural and Historical Data Anthology" published in 1982: "During the negotiations, we Tibetan representatives accepted 10 articles proposed by the central government. Then we put forward a nine-point proposal. The central government adopted the correct parts and made patient explanations of the irrational parts. As the monk official sent by Yig-tshang (the secretariat of the local government of Tibet), I made proposals mostly concerning the religious belief and revenues of monasteries. Most of my proposals were adopted by the central government."

  Before the negotiations, Zhou Enlai required the central delegation to respect the Tibetan representatives and to do a good job in unity in all areas. Li Weihan also consulted Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei on the negotiation time, venue and methods. The first round of negotiations on April 29 didn't involve substantial contents. The representatives of the two parties just discussed the procedures and steps in connection with the negotiations.

  The negotiations didn't go smoothly. Besides informal talks and communications, six rounds of formal talks were held, concentrating on the following three issues:

  First, the Tibetan delegation acknowledged that Tibet is part of China but refused to allow the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) to march into Tibet. However, the representatives of the Central Government held that the PLA had every reason to garrison Tibet for national defense, that the troops to be stationed in Tibet did not need financing from the local government of Tibet, hence would not increase Tibet's financial burden. After three rounds of negotiations and consultations, the Tibetan delegation accepted the article that "the local government of Tibet shall actively assist the PLA in marching into Tibet, with a view to consolidating national defense."

  Second, the Tibetan representatives were worried that the existing systems in Tibet would be reformed. The representatives of the Central Government elaborated the Chinese Communist Party's (CPC) basic policies on ethnic groups and the practice of regional autonomy in areas inhabited by the people of minority ethnic groups. They also promised not to change the existing systems in Tibet. Even changes had to be made, they were subject to the decision by the local government of Tibet and the Tibetan people.

  Third, when the central representatives proposed writing the Panchen Lama's position and authority into the Agreement, the Tibetan representatives considered it hard to accept because they were not empowered to handle this issue. It was the most controversial issue during the entire process of negotiations, almost resulting in the collapse of the negotiations.

  Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei, now in his 90s, recollected in the documentary film "Fifty Years of Tibet" played on CCTV in May 2001: "…but a few days later, Sun Zhiyuan came to me, saying we both sides ought to resume negotiations. We proposed putting it this way: 'maintain the same status and powers when the 13th Dalai Lama and the 9th Panchen Lama were on good terms.' Will that do? I told him that such wording was acceptable to us. So, our negotiations resumed."

  Phuntsok Wangyal, the former Tibetan-Han language interpreter of the central delegation, also the member of the Tibetan Working Committee of the CPC, mentioned in an article titled " Before and after the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" published in 1991: "The issue of establishing the Tibet Military and Political Committee led to a huge difference between the two parties. Though Li Weihan had talked with Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei on this point before, yet at the meetings other members of the Tibetan delegation expressed opposition. They maintained that this would amount to 'adding a person on the neck of the local government of Tibet. ' Under such circumstances, I was so anxious that I did my best to explain to the Tibetan delegation the central government's real intention to set up this committee…In the end, I told them that it was the Dalai Lama who would be the person to be added on the neck of the local government of Tibet. "

  "Minister Li Weihan stated explicitly that the central government would appoint the Dalai Lama as the chairman of the committee, the Panchen Lama and Zhang Guohua as the vice-chairmen. I asked the Kemei Soinam Wangdui and Tubdain Dainda who held the strongest opposition to this issue 'Can a man override himself?' With patient explanations after the meetings, they came to understand the position, nature and authority of the Tibet Military and Political Committee."

  Gyaincain Puntsok, Ngapoi's aide, also the former vice-chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, witnessed the signing ceremony of 17-Article Agreement. He recalled in the article titled "Fifty Years of Tibet: " Consensus was reached on 15 of the 17 articles. As for the remaining two articles, we telegrammed the Dalai Lama from Beijing to ask for instruction. At that time, I could use numbers to send telegrams. He replied that there was no need to station so many PLA soldiers in Tibet, and it would be enough for the Central Government to send one representative to Tibet."

  A consensus was reached following 25 days of tough negotiations. On May 23, 1951, the representatives of the Central People's Government and the local government of Tibet officially signed the 17-Article Agreement at Qinzheng Hall in Zhongnanhai, the headquarters of China's Central Government.

  The representatives on behalf of the local government of Tibet to attend the signing ceremony were appointed by the Dalai Lama himself.

  However, since he tore up the Agreement and fled abroad in 1959, the Dalai Lama has often claimed in public "the legality of the 17-Article Agreement is worth doubting." He wrote in his autobiography that he had first known the news about the signing ceremony over the radio: "A burst of serious voice read out the 17-Article Agreement on measures for 'peaceful liberation in Tibet' signed between the People's Republic of China and its so-called 'local government of Tibet.' I simply could not believe my own ears."

  Let us look at the facts:

  "In 1951, I sent representatives to Beijing to negotiate with the Central People's Government. Signed on the basis of the principle of unity and fraternity was the Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local government of Tibet on Measures for Peaceful Liberation of Tibet. Since then, the Tibetan people have been freed from the enslavement of imperialism and returned to the big family of the motherland. They have been able to enjoy the same right of equality as other fraternal ethnic groups in China, and begun to embark on the bright road of freedom and happiness. " This speech was delivered by the Dalai Lama on the inaugurating meeting for the Preparatory Committee of Tibet Autonomous Region. In accordance with the Agreement, he served as the chairman of the committee, which was set up on April 22, 1956.

  The five representatives on behalf of the local government of Tibet were sent from Tibet's capital of Lhasa and Yadong. The representatives from Lhasa were Tubdain Laimoin ("Kanqiong" meaning the fourth-rank monk officials next only to "Galoons," Tibetan officials to handle the regional political affairs), Sangpo Tainzin Toinzhub (commander of a regiment of the Tibetan Army). Together with Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei (Galoon), they went to Beijing via Qamdo, Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province. Kemei Soinam Wangdui (the commander of the Tibetan Army) and Tubdain Dainda (a monk official), sent from Yadong, went to Beijing by way of India, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou. Dalai Lama's brother-in-law Yaoxi Phuntsog Tashi went with them as an interpreter.

  Tubdain Dainda wrote in "Tibetan Cultural and Historical Data Anthology" published in 1982: "We met with the Dalai Lama before leaving. Gaxag (the local government of Tibet) issued each representative a certificate with an official stamp, marking the name and identity on the cover. And the content of "acknowledging that Tibet is part of China" was written in it. We were instructed to promise to pay tributes to the Central Government and we were forbidden to make any other promise. Moreover, we were asked to take a letter written by Dalai Lama to Indian Prime Minister Nehru…Soon we met the other three representatives who had arrived in Beijing earlier and delivered the certificates and the Dalai Lama's instructions to them. Then we paid a formal visit to the leaders of the Central Government and submitted the Dalai Lama's letter and gifts." He also wrote: " In order to enable the Dalai Lama to learn about the details in negotiations and accept the agreement, we five representatives always invited Yaoxi Phuntsog Tashi to join our discussions. On May 23, we signed the 17-Article Agreement with the central delegation and made it public to the whole world. Meanwhile, we cabled to the Dalai Lama and Gaxag about the specific terms of the agreement."

  Before the founding of New China in 1949, Beijing, Xinjiang(west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region), Chengdu (capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province), and Kunming(capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province) had been liberated in a peaceful way. Soon afterwards, the central government called for peaceful liberation of Tibet and invited the local government of Tibet to peace negotiations. However, the imperialist-controlled Tibetan local government continued to expand armament and impose barriers, and rejected peace negotiations.

  The former governor of east Tibet's Qamdo Prefecture Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei petitioned to Gaxag for negotiations with the PLA, but he failed to obtain approval. After Qamdo's liberation, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei witnessed how the PLA observed the Three Main Rules of Discipline and Eight Points for Attention. Having talked with the commanders of the PLA Tibet Garrison many times, he came to know the central government's policy on ethnic and religious affairs. He also came to realize that the decision of the Central Government to liberate Tibet peacefully was totally out of consideration of Tibetan people's interests and the state of the former Tibetan local government.

  In October 1950, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei petitioned to Gaxag again for peace talks with the Communist Party of China (CPC). He recalled: "Discussions were held in Qamdo, but the officials in Gaxag, blinded by foreign hostile forces' rumors, were still in the dark about the truth. A total of 40-odd officials signed a letter to Gaxag to petition for peace talks with CPC."

  Jinzhong Gyaincain Puntsok said: " Ngapoin sent Gachong Sanglin and me to deliver a letter to Gaxag. We set out from Qamdo and arrived in Lhasa one week later on October 30. At that time, some Galoons asked us 'how's everything going on in Qamdo after liberation?' 'Who were killed?' ' How many people died?' I told them directly that all the nobles including Governor Ngapoin were all alive, with nobody killed. (The PLA troops) were just stationed outside the suburbs of Qamdo, and did not enter the city or did bad things, showing a high sense of observing discipline."

  Having heard the report from Qamdo, Gaxag convened a session of all high-ranking officials and representatives of the Sera, Prepung and Gandain monasteries. After three days of discussions, they decided to accept the proposal for peaceful liberation of Tibet and agreed to send representatives to peace negotiations.

  Earlier before this time, pro-imperialist Regent Dadrak stepped down on October 8 so that the 16-year-old Dalai Lama came to power. One month later, the Dalai Lama fled to a border town of Yadong via Lhasa, waiting for chances to flee to India or the United States. On the one hand, he contacted the Indian government in probing the possibility of going abroad. On the other hand, he wrote to leaders of the PLA troops stationed in Qamdo.

  On December 17, 1950, the Dalai Lama wrote to Wang Qimei, deputy commander of the 18th Army of the PLA, and Wu Zhongxin, commander of the 52nd division of the PLA: "As for the recent report from Galoon Ngapoi, governor of Qamdo, and his subordinates, we have sent representatives to talk with the PLA. If you return me the occupied monasteries and land in the Kang area, I think the Honorable Mr. Mao Zedong will enjoy a higher reputation around the world, and you will be much appreciated. Please think it over and I am looking forward to your early reply."

  Here Gaxag was divided in opinion: to flee abroad or to negotiate with the CPC.

  On January 18, 1951, the Dalai Lama, trapped in such a dilemma, finally approved Gaxag's decision to negotiate with CPC and he wrote Chinese Ambassador to India Yuan Zhongxian a letter, which was handed to Mao Zedong afterwards. He said: "I have sent a delegation headed by Ngapoi to Beijing as soon as possible. But the distance is so long that they cannot get there in time. So we appointed another two assistants to Ngapoi: Zhasa Suokang Suba and Kamchong. They two will go to Beijing via India and report to you the details about our meetings and people's opinions. May you send this letter to Chairman Mao Zedong in hope of promoting the Tibetan-Han ties."

  Yuan replied to him on February 1: "Chairman Mao asked me to represent him to congratulate you on your enthronement. I've submitted your opinion to the Central People's Government, which instructed that you are always welcome to send representatives to Beijing for the peace negotiations. We have wired the PLA troops stationed in Qamdo to treat the representatives well upon their arrival and escort Ngangpo and the other two representatives to Beijing as soon as possible."

  Although the Dalai Lama had approved the sending of representatives to the peace negotiations, he set five conditions. The most important was that the PLA troops could not enter Tibet and those already stationed in Ngari and Qamdo should withdraw to inland areas. Ngapoi Nagwang Jigmei wrote in "Great Progress in Tibet's Development" published on December 26, 1990: "Considering the significance of the peace negotiations and yet Gaxag's conditions are so far from the Central People's Government's principle as to be barriers to the peace negotiations, I decided to write to the Dalai Lama to express my view frankly before departure. I said that I would rather sacrifice my life for ideal under the circumstances. For this trip to the Han area, I would try my best to negotiate with the Central Government. As for the wording 'Tibet is part of China', I put it in this way that the five major ethnic groups in China are all equal and live in unity and on friendly terms. 'Marching into Tibet for national defense' does not mean in the least interfering in Tibet's internal affairs. The reason why PLA troops should be stationed in Tibet is that the current world situation is turbulent and unstable. If we refuse to make our commitments on the above two points, there will be nothing to talk about between the Han people and Tibetan people."

  On the next day after signing the 17-Article Agreement, the Central People's Government gave a dinner to celebrate the signing of the Afgreement. Mao Zedong made a speech on the feast: "For hundreds of years the various ethnic groups in China had not been in unity. Particularly, the Han and Tibetan people had been in disunity. Disunity also existed within each ethnic group. This was the result of the rule of the reactionary Qing government and the Chiang kai-shek's government, as well as the result of sowing of dissension by imperialists. "

  "Now, the force led by the Dalai Lama and the force led by the Panchen Erdeni have become united together with the Central People's Government. This was achieved only after the Chinese people overthrew the Imperialist and the domestic reactionary forces. This unity is the outcome of the concerted efforts of people from all walks of life. From now on, based on such unity, all ethnic groups around the country will achieve progress and develop in all areas such as political affairs, economy and culture."

  Two Supplements to the 17-Article Agreement

  The author learned about something about the supplements to the 17 Article-Agreement from Ngapoi Nagwang Jigmei in Lhasa as early as July 31, 1989. That day, Ngapoi made a long speech at the 2nd Session of the 5th Regional People's Congress of Tibet. He emphasized: "Only by following the socialist road, can Tibet have a bright future… The Central Government always keeps the door to talks open to Dalai as long as he abandons the stand of 'Tibet Independence'. The Central Government has never recognized the Gaxag government of Tibet in exile abroad, but to talk only with the Dalai Lama himself and his private representatives."

  When recalling the negotiation on PLA's entry into Tibet, Ngapoi said: "What if the Agreement didn't comply with the Dalai Lama's wish and he fled abroad under the pretext of his disapproval of the PLA's garrison in Tibet? We requested the Central Government to add on article in the Agreement: it would be the best if the Dalai Lama and Gaxag accepted the Agreement; if the Dalai Lama didn't recognize it and fled abroad, we should allow him to stay there for one year until he returns to Tibet after witnessing favorable changes and development in this region; till then, the Central Government should guarantee to maintain his existing status and powers. The Central Government had approved our request, but decided that since the 17-Article agreement had to be announced in the whole world, should this article be written into the Agreement, there would possibly be plenty of comments around the world. I t proposed writing the Article into a supplement. We agreed." His speech was included in the book titled "700 years of Tibet."

  There are two supplements to the 17-Article Agreement. One is "Provisions on Matters related to the PLA's Garrison in Tibet ", which stipulated that the Central Government would send one army to garrison Tibet and shall be responsible for all financing and materials of the PLA troops and the reorganization of Tibetan army. The other is "Statement of the Tibet's Local Government on Implementing the 17-Article Agreement." The main contents cover the fact that in the first year of implementing the Agreement, the Dalai Lama could choose his residence on his own and that during this period his status and powers would remain unchanged if he returns to his post.

  In the process of negotiations in Beijing, interpreters of both parties were Tibetan: Phuntsok Wanggyai of the Central Government and Phuntsog Tashi (Han-Tibetan language) and Sangdu Renqing (English-Tibetan language) of Tibet's local government. Phuntsok Wanggyai, who was a commissioner of the Tibetan Working Committee of CPC at that time, wrote in an article carried in "Study of Tibet" in 1991: "Because of consequences of the intervention by various kinds of reactionary forces at home and abroad, some questions could not be explained explicitly in a few words in a cable. Moreover, poor communication conditions made it impossible for us to ask Gaxag for instructions on every matter. Under these special circumstances, we Tibetan representatives had to be responsible for history, perform our duties by making necessary decisions, including the supplements to the Agreement."

  Tubdain Dainda recalled in an article published in 1982 that after signing the Agreement, the representatives of Tibet's local government sent the full text to Yadong and then were asked to cable the supplements as well. At that time, we had to cable from Beijing to Yadong via India, which took a long time to get a reply. Thus we replied: "The supplements are top state secrets and hence cannot be cabled. That is why we will bring them back." However, the Dalai Lama and Gaxag insisted on obtaining the full texts of the documents before expressing their stand.

  In June 1951, entrusted by the central government, the central representative Zhang Jingwu sent Mao Zedong's letter to the Dalai Lama. He went together with Kemo Soinam Wangdui, Tudain Dainda, Tubdain Laimoin, Sangpo Toinzin Toinzhol and Yaoxi Phuntsog Tashi, and it took them one month to get to Yadong by way of Hong Kong and India. "The Central Representative in Tibet" by Zhao Shenying reads: "Upon Zhang Jingwu's arrival in his chamber, the Dalai Lama stood up from the chair, came forward to welcome him and asked him to take a seat. Zhang said: 'Chairman Mao was very delighted that you sent representatives to talk with the central government in Beijing, with the result that the 17-Article Agreement on peaceful liberation of Tibet was signed. He praised highly on your patriotic attitude.' Then he handed over Mao's letter, a copy of the Agreement and the two supplements. "

  In the letter, Mao said: "Since you came to power, the local government of Tibet has changed its past attitude and answered the call of the Central Government for peaceful liberation of Tibet by sending a delegation headed by Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei for peace talks in Beijing. This measure of yours is entirely correct… I hope that you and the local government under your leadership will earnestly implement The Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local government of Tibet on Measures for Peaceful Liberation of Tibet and do everything possible to assist the People's Liberation Army in marching into Tibet peacefully."

  Finally, the Dalai Lama came back to Lhasa after the persuasion by Zhang Jingwu and some Gaxag officials.

  For years, the Dalai clique has mentioned the supplements to the 17-Article Agreement when distorting the Agreement. The Dalai Lama and his so-called "government in exile" said in the statement against the Agreement: "By now, the Chinese Communist Party has not made public the supplementary seven articles to the 17-Article Agreement. Another three articles also have been kept in secret because the persons concerned forgot, suffered from amnesia or faced external pressure."

  Why the supplements to the 17-Article Agreement were not published? The reason is that the supplement stipulated the scale of the PLA troops to be stationed in Tibet and the plan on reorganizing the Tibetan troops. The two points were then considered top military secrets. And the other one was set on the precondition that if the Dalai Lama does not accept the Agreement and goes abroad, the Central Government will allow him to stay abroad for one year and if the Dalai Lama comes back, the Central Government will still acknowledge his status and powers. Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama didn't go abroad; instead, he returned to Lhasa via Yadong, approved the Agreement and cabled to Chairman Mao Zedong to express support to the Agreement and willingness to carry it out. That is why it was not necessary to make the two supplements public.

  On October 20, Gaxag held a meeting of 300 monk and lay officials in the Potala Palace, at which the representatives taking part in the negotiation explained in detail the whole process of the signing of the Agreement and answered questions from the officials. Some of them doubted that the representatives had been bribed by the Central Government, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigmei replied: "At that time, the Central Government gave me a portrait of Chairman Mao, a roll of yellow satin and a box of black tea. That's all. Other representatives got less than me. Do you think I could be bribed by such a small amount of things?Please think it over."

  Having learned about the signing process, Gaxag decided to accept the 17-Article Agreement.

  Later,the Dalai Lama wired to Beijing to express his support to the 17-Article Agreement. Following is the full text:

  Oct. 24, 1951

  Aug. 24 of Tibetan lunar year of Iron Rabbit

  Chairman Mao of the Central People's Government:

  This year the local government of Tibet has sent five representatives with full authority headed by Galoon Ngapoi, who arrived in Beijing in late April 1951 for peace negotiations with fully-powered representatives appointed by the Central People's Government.

  On the basis of friendship, representatives of both sides signed the Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet on May 23, 1951.

  The local government of Tibet as well as the Tibetan monks and laymen unanimously support this agreement, and under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Central People's Government, will actively assist the People's Liberation Army troops in marching into Tibet, in order to consolidate national defense, drive imperialist forces out of Tibet and safeguard the territorial and sovereignty integrity of the motherland. I hereby send this cable to inform you.

  The Dalai Lama of the local government of Tibet

  Mao Zedong's reply to the Dalai Lama is as follows:

  Oct. 26, 1951

  I have received your cable dating on October 24, 1951 .I appreciate your efforts to carry out the Agreement on Measures for Peaceful Liberation of Tibet. I hereby send my since congratulations to you.

  Mao Zedong

  With regard to the Dalai clique's accusation of the 17-Article Agreement's legality, Canadian scholar A. Tom Grunfeld pointed out in the book titled "The Making of Modern Tibet": "If this accusation is true, why didn't the Dalai Lama mention it in the letter? And, if this Agreement was imposed on Tibetans, why did the Dalai Lama and almost all the Tibetan nobles return to Lhasa and work with the Han people together?"

  He added: "The Dalai Lama argues the reason why he didn't express his dissatisfaction was that in those days the Tibetan people were on good terms with the Han people. So, there's no need to make such things known to the public. These words of his are unbelievable. Anyway, the fact is that the Dalai Lama and his officials were all back to Lhasa and they had worked together with the Han people, which itself has proved the legality of the 17-Article Agreement."

Full Text of the 17-Article Agreement

The Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet

(Beijing, 23 May 1951)

  The Tibetan ethnic group is one of the ethnic groups with a long history within the territory of China and, like many other ethnic groups, it has performed its glorious duty in the course of the creation and development of our great motherland. But over the last 100 years or more, imperialist forces invaded China, and thus also invided the Tibetan region and carried out all kinds of deceptions and provocations. Like previous reactionary governments, the Kuomintang reactionary government continued to carry out a policy of oppressing and sowing dissension among various ethnic groups, causing division and disunity among the Tibetan people. And the local government of Tibet did not oppose the imperialist deceptions and provocations, and adopted an unpatriotic attitude towards our great motherland. Under such conditions, the Tibetan ethnic group and people were plunged into the depths of enslavement and suffering.

  In 1949, victory was won nationwide in the Chinese People's War of Liberation; the common domestic enemy of all ethnic groups-the Kuomintang reactionary government-was overthrown; and the common foreign enemy of all the ethnic groups--the aggressive imperialist forces-was driven out. On this basis, the founding of the People's Republic of China and of the Central People's Government was announced. In accordance with the Common Program passed by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the Central people's Government declared that all ethnic groups within the territory of the People's Republic of China are equal, and that they shall forge unity and mutual help and oppose imperialism and their own commmon enemies, so that the People's Republic of China will become a big fraternal and cooperative family, composed of all of its ethnic groups; that within the big family of all ethnic groups of the People's Republic of China, national regional autonomy shall be exercised in areas where national minorities are concentrated, and all national minorities shall have freedom to develop and preserve their spoken and written languages or People's Government shall assist all ethnic minorities in their political, economic, cultural and educational development. From then on, all ethnic groups within the country, with the exception of those in the areas of Tibet and Taiwan, won liberation. Under the unified leadership of the Central People's Government and the direct leadership of higher People's Governments, all ethnic minorities have been fully enjoying the right to national equality and have practiced, or are practicing, regional autonomy.

  In order to eliminate the influence of aggressive imperialist forces in Tibet, and realize the unification of the territory and sovereignty of the People's Republic of China, and consolidate national defense; in order to emancipate the Tibetan ethnic group and people and enable them to return to the big family of the People's Republic of China so as to enjoy the same equal rights as all the other ethnic groups in the country and to develop their political, economic, cultural and educational undertakings, the Central People's Government, while ordering the People's Liberation Army troops to march into Tibet, notified the local government of Tibet of sending representatives to Beijin for negotitions on the conclusion of an agreement concerning the measures for the peaceful liberation of Tibet.

  In late April 1951, the representatives fully entrusted by the local government of Tibet arrived in Beijing. The Central People's Government appointed representatives with full powers to hold negotiations on a friendly basis with the representatives of the local government of Tibet. As a result of these negotiations, both parties agreed to conclude this agreement and guarantee that it shall come into force.

  1. The Tibetan people shall become united and drive out imperialist aggressive forces from Tibet; the Tibetan people shall return to the big family of the motherland-the People's Republic of China.

  2. The local government of Tibet shall positively assist the People's Liberation Army troops in marching into Tibet and consolidate national defense.

  3.In accordance with the policy on ethnic groups spelt out in the Common Program of the CPPCC, the Tibetan people have the right to exercising regional autonomy under the unified leadership of the Central People's Government.

  4. The Central Government shall not change the existing political system in Tibet. The Central Government shall not change the established status and powers of the Dalai Lama. Officials of various ranks shall continue to perform their duties as in the past.

  5. The established status and powers of the Panchen Erdeni shall be maintained.

  6. By the established status and powers of the Dalai Lama and of the Panchen Erdeni mean the status abd powers of the 13th Dalai Lama and of the 9th Panchen Erdeni when they were on friendly terms with each other.

  7. The policy on the freedom in religious beliefs laid down in the Common Program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference(CPPCC) shall be carried out. The religious beliefs, customs and habits of the Tibetan people shall be respected, and lamaseries shall be protected. The Central Government shall not change the income of the lamaseries.

  8. The Tibetan troops shall be reorganized step by step into the People's Liberation Army, and become a part of the national defense forces of the People's Republic of China.

  9. The spoken and written languages and school education of the Tibetan ethnic group shall be developed step by step in accordance with the specific conditions in Tibet.

  10. Tibetan agriculture, livestock breeding, industry and commerce shall be developed step by step, and the people's livelihood shall be improved gradually in accordance with the actual conditions in Tibet.

  11. In matters related to various reforms in Tibet, there will be no compulsion on the part of the Central Government. The local government of Tibet should implement reforms of its own accord, and when the people pose demand for reform, they shall be settled by means of consulting with the leading personnel of Tibet.

  12. As long as former pro-imperialist and pro-Kuomintang officials resolutely sever relations with imperialism and the Kuomintang and do not engage in sabotage or resistance, they may continue to hold office regardless of their past.

  13. The People's Liberation Army troops marching into Tibet shall abide by all the above-mentioned policies and shall also be fair in all buying and selling and shall not arbitrarily take a single needle or thread from the people.

  14. The Central People's Government shall conduct the centralized handling of all external affairs of the region of Tibet; and there will be peaceful co-existence with neighboring countries and establishment and development of fair commercial and trading relations with them on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect for territory and sovereignty.

  15. In order to ensure the implementation of this Agreement, the Central People's Government shall set up the Military and Administrative Committee and the headquarters in military area of Tibet; and apart from the personnel sent there by the Central People's Government, it is imperative to encourage as many local Tibetan personnel as possible to take part in the work.

  Local Tibetan personnel taking part in the Military and Administrative Committee may include patriotic people from the local government of Tibet, various districts and chief monasteries. The namelist shall be drawn up after consultation between the representatives designated by the Central People's Government and various quarters concerned, and shall be submitted to the Central People's Government for appointment.

  16. Financing needed by the Military and Aadministrative Committee, the headquarters of the military area of Tibet and the People's Liberation Army troops marching into Tibet shall be provided by the Central People's Government. The local government of Tibet shall assist the People's Liberation Army troops in purchasing and transporting foods, fodder and other daily necessities.

  17. This agreement shall come into force immediately after signatures and seals are affixed to it.

  Signed and sealed by:

Representatives with full powers of the Central People's Government:

Representatives with full powers of the local government of Tibet:

Chief Representative:

Li Weihan


Zhang Jingwu

Zhang Guohua

Sun Zhiyuan 

Chief Representative:

Galoon Ngapoi Ngwang Jigmei


Kemey Soinam Wangdui

Tubdain Dainda

Tubdain LemoinSangpo

Tainzin Toinzhub 

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