Analysis Of The Relationship Between China And Tibet Politics Essay

Many years ago there has been a conflict between China and a region situated in the South East of this country called the Tibet, these two territories have had many disputes through the years and they have become hard to solve now that there are geopolitical, cultural and political problems.

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In this investigation there have been many things to analyze like the different parties participating in the same and the different interests that these have had, through this investigation we were looking to learn much more of the history and all the things that the world has passed through and besides this to show all our classmates the conflict and different perspectives that there can be in the situation that both territories (China and Tibet) still, in the present, living.

The Dalai Lama and the Tibet

General Background: The Tibet is an autonomous region which is located in China and beside Nepal, this region was an independent country in 10th century, but it has suffered many invasions from the Mongol empire until an English invasion. In 1904, a British army gets to the Tibet and in 1906 the Tibet becomes a British protectorate; in 1907 Great Britain and Russia gives sovereignty to China; in 1912, 1931-1933 and in 1949 there are several attempts of Tibet’s independence. The Dalai Lama has been involved in this problem since 1904 when he was exiled in Mongolia, since this date he has been promoting the liberalization of the Tibet.

Since 1949 that China invaded the Tibet there has been a loss of the Tibet’s liberty by the communist ideology of China, since this year China gave the power to the Dalai Lama in terms of internal issues but education and culture is managed by China. China and Tibet have had several disputes through many years because of the want of the Tibet for independence and the want of China of the Tibet as a definite region of China and the Dalai Lama has been affected by this conflict because he is a pacific mediator and has lost his credibility.

The Dalai Lama as a politic figure does not recognize: the social system, the Tibet as a part of a Chinese territory, he insists in making The Tibet an independent republic and take out any person who is not a Tibetan citizen.

This situation is a conflict, not only because it is a long term issue but also because it has involved a lot of persons and it has been difficult to find a solution to the problem. Since the conflict starts, around 1900-1907 with the invasion of the Tibet by United kingdom and China and continue escalation all the XX Century, this conflict has involved a lot of China’s generations and Tibet’s generations, now the kids of both regions not only know the conflict, but also are determined to fight for the specific objectives that each region has. This conflict has a lot of issues that apparently are not able to negotiate: the different cultures of the regions are the protagonist (parties) of the conflict, and like every culture around the world they are trying to protect their believes and values as hard as possible, no one wants to negotiate even a custom.

This issue has faced some of the most important people in the history, Mao Tse Tung and Dalai Lama, both with no congruent objectives what made so difficult a negotiation between them.

The conflict starts not only by a land interest but also cultural affairs en which both sides don’t want to give a step back in order to protect their culture and their sovereignty, unfortunately this has caused a lot of damage in the region, a lot of violent deaths. Human Rights organizations estimate that a many more than 1 million people lost their lives, and also that a lot more than 100,000 people are living in exile in India, Nepal and other countries; frustration in some people who want to protect their family and rancour (Ill feeling).

The above confirms the affirmation that the Tibet’s conflict is a cultural derived problem: as it was told before, the parties are trying to protect their cultural and economic believes, but also each leader has entered the game to protect their own thoughts and culture with which he was raised

There are many perceptions in this conflict; China argues that Tibet is part of china since hundreds of years, because of the dynastic unions between them and the conquerors made by China through history. This contrasts with the argument that gives the Tibet that China has controlled them using the force and has imposed them his traditions also the Tibet views China as a different country with its own traditions. Tibet civilians feel that the China government does not respect them and that they are treated in a different way than the China civilians are treated.

This conflict is intractable now that Tibet and China have had strong discussions and wars, both have suffered many deaths because of this and there still exists a conflict of values and customs between both, in spite of the fact that many countries have gotten its independence either in pacific or horrible ways since the Tibet doesn’t have the support of the strong countries nor NGO’s it is really complicated for it to get to its main objective.

In a future the conflict could be tractable if they start to develop a good international relationship and try to find a way to solve their differences and get to a win-win situation.

This conflict is systemic now that it involves more than two parties, there have been third parties involved such as Great Britain, Nepal, Mongolia and nowadays United States is mediating. Also, there have been several issues such as geographical, resource issues, ideological issues and custom issues.

There are three main sources of the conflict: conflict of interests and values because both have the same interests but here comes the goal conflicts which are different, while China wants the Tibet to be part of his domain, the Tibet wants freedom.

This conflict is presented in an intergroup level of organization now that it is between China as a whole and the Tibet as a whole and having the Dalai Lama as a mediator but more towards defending Tibet. A big problem is that in spite of the fact that there are two distinguished parties; one is inside the other one, because Tibet is located in the south west of China’s territory.


Latent conflict: the conflict started to appear when Great Britain and Russia give the sovereignty over Tibet to China, because since then China has the government of Tibet, controls almost all the factors that influence the region.

Conflict emergence: Dalai Lama had had the government of Tibet for a while and the China’s army made an invasion where Tibet was forced to face the direct loss of life and freedom.

Escalation: Dalai Lama was ruling in parallel with Chinese government but when Tibetan territory was considered a Chinese province, there was developed a rebellion against China. China’s army killed a lot of Tibetans so Dalai Lama had to escape to India.

This conflict reached an escalated form because several characteristics, among them are the constant search for independence from Tibet, the disrespect of human rights for Tibetans, coalition of ideologies (Tibetans are against communist ideology or social system) and the principal is that China is not willing to lose Tibet because that land is very rich in minerals. In general there are a lot of issues in terms of politics, the nature of society, law, human rights, religion, culture, the identity of people, the economy, and the state of the natural environment.

The condition that most encouraged this escalation was that China killed a lot of people and it’s trying to impose communism, and by the other side, China sees Tibetan religion as a big threat to the communist party so they don’t let Tibetans to act against their principles and Tibetans don’t want to accept them because their unique leader is Dalai Lama and rightness is what Buddhism establishes.

This escalation is considered a rational action because there have been simultaneous activities that have encouraged this conflict, Dalai Lama and Tibetans are defending their culture, religion and territory, and China is reacting to Tibet rejection to its ideologies and is not willing to lose this land.

Both parties tend to use distributive strategies because they look for keeping the same territory and their own ideologies so their motivations and interests are incompatible, where a win-lose situation takes place, for example, Tibetans ideal situation is having freedom, being directed by Dalai Lama and the right to develop their own religion and culture not the ones that Chinese government is imposing them, so they use strategies like claiming for peaceful negotiation and agreements to get to a deal where they can get the so called “Tibetan independence”, but instead, China uses stronger strategies like invasion and imposition.

This conflict is being managed in the way that there have been some temporal agreements that are good for both and help maintaining peace but sometimes they have been disrupted by one of the two parties. Nowadays, Dalai Lama has a government in exile, he’s directing Tibet from the outside but Tibetans and he will fight until he can get back to his motherland and reach independence.

The conflict is mainly of competitive nature since both territories are fighting over the domain of the Tibet. They are trying to earn international trust and support from other countries to each one of them get to its goals and interests. This is why it is a continuous competition.

Is there any trust within the parties? To answer this question we have to say the types of trust that we know: The identification based trust, and the calculus based trust.

So the first one is inexistent in the conflict, because this kind of trust is based on the identification with the other since you have the same goals, interests, meetings, activities and other things (in common), and it is evidential that the Chinese government and the Tibetan population have different interests, goals and activities, for example: the Goal of the Chinese government is to control The Tibet, and the goal of the Tibetan is to control herself.

So according to the latest, there is one trust yet, the “calculus based trust”, this one is the one in which you analyze the possible rewards or punishment that you will have if you trust the other. As well as the Identification based trust, the calculus based trust is inexistent too, why?, it is because of the continuous attacks made by the Chinese and Tibetan , government and population respectively, so both motivated by the past have a perception in which they won`t trust each other, because they have been punished in the past.

We think that they in the future can trust each other, but the first step to do it is by the calculus based trust, they have to be concern that they are causing problems to both sides so they have to create this calculus based trust by no attacking the other, by accomplishing what they say and finally negotiate about this conflict in a problem solving way, and maybe in a far future they can have an identification based trust.

If a specific tactic is scheduled as unethical, it will depend of the ethical approach: for example, it could be said that the military massacre that occurred in 1959 by the hands of China is ethical if we analyze the issue in an “End result” way, but if we analyze it in “Social contract” way (Point of view of the countries outside the conflict) it will be said that is totally unethical. Based and the Social Contract analysis, it has been unethical tactics for both parties: China has invaded and killed in the Tibet area, also China has tried to create a bad reputation of the Dalai Lama. By the Tibet side, it can be said that some militia has used the force, and there are some comments about the manipulation that Dalai Lama could do through culture and regional feelings (emotional manipulation).

The conflict had some negotiations, for example in 1950, China -commanded by Mao Tse Tung- entered to the Tibet with 40000 soldiers, this attack impose to the Tibetan leaders to accept a an alliance called “Agree of 17 points”, in which the communist leaders of China and the leaders of the Tibet, agreed in the restoration of the China`s sovereignty in Tibet, this alliance was signed in May of 1951. According to this we can conclude that the Chinese government had negotiated, and in this negotiation the Chinese government put his interests over the Tibetan population using his power to dominate them, so is a domination style.


The conflict between China and the Tibet comes since hundreds of years, across the history the Tibet has done revolutions to be free and China has made campaigns to dominate the Tibet , and fewer times that China has negotiated, China has used a dominated style (win-lose situation), the winner has been China, who is the owner of Tibet. The Dalai Lama, “leader” of the Tibet is hidden on India, he had been attacked by China with a bad-image campaign, and the China government is discriminating the Tibetans population, China puts his interests over the Tibet interests. China has some interests on the Tibet like the geopolitical strategy -The Tibet has a lot of natural resources that China is interested in-, the power, the cultural issues and the imposition of socialism.