India had agreed to recognize Tibet as a component of China if Beijing granted Lhasa complete sovereignty, but Beijing has not complied. It is vitally necessary to have a debate in Parliament about the future of Tibet, continuing abuses of human rights, the successor to the Dalai Lama, and Chinese bullying in Ladakh. The moment to move is now, when China’s reputation and military force are at their highest points and it is under world scrutiny. India shouldn’t worry about China’s response.
In flagrant breach of written standards and deals, China invaded Indian land in eastern Ladakh. It published the new Land Border Law on January 1, 2022, turning the border conflict into a matter of authority. It assigned 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh Chinese names the day before, on December 31, 2021, and connected them to the attached passport problem.
India has only responded to China’s provocations by labeling ties between the two countries as “very fragile and quite dangerous,” to which China’s Charge d’Affaires Ma Jia recently responded, “But we do not want a war.”
Arunachal Pradesh is now officially considered to be a part of India after the US Senate approved a joint motion designating the McMahon Line as the boundary between China and that region. Pema Khandu, the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, has asserted that the state’s boundary with Tibet rather than China. This tactical inconsistency will cause Tibet’s position on autonomy to disintegrate.
The Dalai Lama’s great escape in 1959, the Foundation for Non-Violent Alternatives’ (FNVA) ground-breaking paper “Resetting India’s Tibet Policy 2022,” the film “Never Forget Tibet,” lectures by Prof. Robert Linrothe on “Little or Greater Tibet,” research on Tibet by Claude Arpi, and a protest by the Tibetan Youth Congress in front of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi on the 64th anniversary of the National Uprising are just
India should announce at the proper moment that it has changed its mind about Tibet in light of these events. On the condition that Lhasa practiced complete authority, which Beijing has not respected, it had recognized Tibet as a component of China.
A Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) ruling on Tibet’s position, made after talks with it were halted in 2010, could confirm that Tibet is a component of China. When China disbanded the Tibet administration in 1954, the 17-point deal between Tibet and China was revoked.
Dr. Michael Walt, a distinguished historian and lawyer, has clearly demonstrated that China never had jurisdictional authority over Tibet. After a military rule from 1949 to 1951, it asserted its autonomy. Tibet was never a component of China and was de facto and de jure autonomous until 1949. Because the Indian-Tibetan Simla Convention of 1914 and the Asian Relations Conference held in Delhi in 1947 are still in effect, the boundary between India and China is also the border between India and Tibet. It follows that China’s colonization of Tibet is unlawful.
Due to China’s assertion on Tibet’s legal disability, Beijing has forced numerous nations to reiterate their recognition of China’s sovereignty over Tibet. It refers to this as its “One China” policy, which is a mistake because “One China” policy is linked to Taiwan, not Tibet, as it was in the early 1970s when there were ties between the US and Taiwan. Up until 2010, India complied with China’s request to articulate the “One China” policy by doing so. It has steadfastly declined to do so ever since, which was an infant move toward changing its Tibet policy, but it hasn’t gone any further.
In addition to reigniting the Tibet debate, New Delhi should start speaking out about the 14th Dalai Lama’s successor after consulting with him. On March 8, he selected in Dharamsala the Mongolian chief lama’s spirit rather than his own heir. Instead of calling him a “honored guest,” India should refer to him as the “spiritual leader of the Tibetan nation and people.” It is important for New Delhi to be explicit that it will back the CTA and the Dalai Lama’s right to select his replacement in accordance with long-standing traditions.
The fact on the ground indicates that there will be two Dalai Lamas, with China using its extraconstitutional power to nominate one, just as there are two Panchen Lamas. In regards to his successor, the Dalai Lama has remained silent. He might stop drinking from the Dalai Lama’s spiritual well, or he might discover his rebirth in Tibet or Dharamsala.
On September 24, 2011, the 87-year-old Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, released a declaration regarding his rebirth. Since 1642, the Dalai Lama has served as a governmental and spiritual figurehead for 369 years. He warned against a candidate chosen for political purposes by the People’s Republic of China and said, “When I am 90, I will consult the High Lamas of Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public, and other people concerned…who follow Tibetan Buddhism and reveal whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not.” (PRC).
The FNVA has observed that Tibetans may become disillusioned, radicalized, and military if the Dalai Lama does not select his replacement. After the Dalai Lama’s death, the effects will be severe, necessitating the preparation of backup plans, particularly in light of China’s probable responses. Human rights abuses in Tibet and Tibet’s “sinicization” are other topics covered in the FNVA study on which India has notably kept quiet. Recalling India’s 1965 UNGA vote is informative. “As we know, Tibetans have been subject to continuous and unrelenting ruthlessness ever since Tibet came under the stranglehold of China. In the name of introducing democratic norms and fighting a counter-revolution, the Chinese have engaged in the worst kind of genocide and suppression of a minority race.
Take a quick trip to 2003. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister of India, and Hu Jintao, the President of China at the time, held discussions during which New Delhi reaffirmed its acceptance of the Tibetan Autonomous Region as PRC territory. Similar to the previous combined attempt to determine the Line of Actual Control, China obstructed the Agreement on Political Parameters and Framework for a Border Resolution. Therefore, India should stop accepting Tibet as a component of the PRC and start recognizing it as an autonomous nation, as stated in the Simla Convention.
It is essential that a debate on the future of Tibet, continuing abuses of human rights, the successor to the Dalai Lama, and Chinese assault in Ladakh take place in parliament. The moment to move is right now, when China’s reputation and military threats are at their height and it is in international hot water. India shouldn’t worry about China’s response.