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What Are China's Autonomous Regions?
Will There Ever Be a 'Free Tibet'?
At the core of the tension between Dalai Lama and China is the fact that Tibet remains an autonomous region. That was established in 1965, when Chinese authorities forced Tibetan leaders to surrender independence in exchange for guaranteed autonomy. Regardless, Tibet has grown far apart from China ever since. Even the Tibetan language has more in common with neighboring Myanmar than it does with Chinese dialects. There's also been a massive pro-independence movement in Tibet, which has latched onto the Dalai Lama as its spiritual and political leader. Still, China maintains Tibet is within its domain and the struggle over Tibet has even taken on a China vs. the West narrative. Chinese leaders have said any Tibetan independence movements are actually backed by Western imperialism. With the Dalai Lama in exile since 1959, it does not appear the situation will be resolved any time soon.
Communist Party Warns Secret Dalai Lama Followers in Its Ranks (nytimes.com)
"The Chinese Communist Party in central Tibet is aiming to peer into the hearts of its members to hunt down secret worshipers of the Dalai Lama or people who secretly hold religious beliefs."
Dalai Lama: Tibet Wants Autonomy, Not Independence (time.com)
"We Tibetans want modernization. Therefore, in order to develop Tibet materially as a modern nation, Tibet must remain within the People's Republic of China. Provided Chinese give us a full guarantee of preservation of Tibetan culture, Tibetan environment, Tibetan spirituality, then it is of mutual benefit. [Besides] foreign affairs [and] defense [are] all the things which Tibetans can manage by themselves. Tibetans should have the full autonomy."
Tibet profile - Timeline (bbc.com)
"1959 March - Full-scale uprising breaks out in Lhasa. Thousands are said to have died during the suppression of the revolt. The Dalai Lama and most of his ministers flee to northern India, to be followed by some 80,000 other Tibetans."