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The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region, often shortened to Tibet or Xizang, is a
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gen ...
-level
autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country sub ...
of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billion ...
in
Southwest China Southwest China () is a region in the south of the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most popul ...

Southwest China
. It was overlayed on the traditional
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang, Qiang people, Qiang, S ...

Tibet
an regions of
Ü-Tsang Ü-Tsang or Tsang-Ü is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo in the north-east, Kham in the east. Ngari (including former Guge kingdom) in the north-west was incorporated into Ü-Tsang. Geographically Ü-Tsang co ...
and
Kham Kham (; ) or Do Kham, is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo in the north-east, and U-Tsang in central tibet and Ngari in the west. Kham covers a land area largely divided between five regions in present-day Ch ...

Kham
. It was formally established in 1965 to replace the Tibet Area, the former
administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular, ...
of the People's Republic of China (PRC) established after the
annexation of Tibet The annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China, called the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" by the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese government, and the "Chinese invasion of Tibet" by the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan pe ...
. The establishment was about five years after the
1959 Tibetan uprising The 1959 Tibetan uprising or the 1959 Tibetan rebellion () began on 10 March 1959, when a revolt erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is th ...
and the dismissal of the
Kashag The Kashag (; ), was the governing council of Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such ...
, and about 13 years after the original annexation. The current borders of the Tibet Autonomous Region were generally established in the 18th century and include about half of historic Tibet, or the
ethno-cultural Tibet
ethno-cultural Tibet
. The Tibet Autonomous Region spans over and is the second-largest province-level division of China by area, after
Xinjiang Xinjiang, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; alternately romanized as Sinkiang; officially Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomo ...

Xinjiang
. Due to its harsh and rugged terrain, it is lightly populated at just over 3.5 million people.


History

Yarlung kings founded the
Tibetan Empire The Tibetan Empire (, ; ) was an empire centered on the Tibetan Plateau, formed as a result of imperial expansion under the Yarlung dynasty heralded by its 33rd king, Songsten Gampo in the 7th century. The empire further expanded under the 38th ...

Tibetan Empire
in 618. By the end of the 8th century, the empire reached its greatest extent. After a civil war, the empire broke up in 842. The royal lineage
fragmented
fragmented
and ruled over small kingdoms such as
Guge 200px, A brass alloy statue of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, Guge, c. 1050 CE. Guge () was an ancient kingdom in Western Tibet. The kingdom was centered in present-day Zanda County, Ngari Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region. At various point ...
,
Maryul Maryul of Ngari (''Mar-yul'' of ''mNgah-ris'', meaning the "lowland of Ngari Ngari Prefecture (; ) is a prefecture of China's Tibet Autonomous Region The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region, called Tibet or Xizang f ...
and Nyingma. The Mongol Empire conquered Tibet in 1244 but the region was granted a degree of political autonomy.
Kublai Khan Kublai (; also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; mn, Хубилай, Khubilai ; ; 23 September  1215 – 18 February 1294), also known by his temple name as Emperor Shizu of Yuan, was the fifth khagan-Emperor of China, emperor of the Mongol Empire ...

Kublai Khan
later incorporated the region into his Yuan empire. The
Sakya :''This article concerns the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. For information on the ancient Śākya tribe, see'' Shakya. The Sakya (, "pale earth") school is one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism (also Indo-Tibetan ...
lama
Drogön Chögyal Phagpa patriarchs, first Imperial Preceptor The Imperial Preceptor, or Dishi (, lit. "Teacher of the Emperor") was a high title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an ...
became religious teacher to Kublai, and was made the head of the region. From 1354 to 1642, Central Tibet (
Ü-Tsang Ü-Tsang or Tsang-Ü is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo in the north-east, Kham in the east. Ngari (including former Guge kingdom) in the north-west was incorporated into Ü-Tsang. Geographically Ü-Tsang co ...
) was ruled by a succession of dynasties from Nêdong,
Shigatse Shigatse, officially known as Xigazê (; , is a prefecture-level city of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, with an area of . It is located within the historical Ü-Tsang, Tsang province of Tibet. Overview The admini ...

Shigatse
and
Lhasa Lhasa (; Lhasa dialect: ; bo, text=ལྷ་ས, translation=Place of Gods) is the urban center of the prefecture-level city, prefecture-level Lhasa (prefecture-level city), Lhasa City and the administrative capital of Tibet. The inner urban ...

Lhasa
. In 1642, the
Ganden Phodrang The Ganden Phodrang or Ganden Podrang (; ) was the Tibetan government-in-exile, Tibetan government that was established by the 5th Dalai Lama with the help of the Güshi Khan of the Khoshut in 1642. Lhasa became the capital of Tibet in the beginn ...
court of the
5th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso (; ; 1617–1682) was the 5th Dalai Lama and the first Dalai Lama to wield effective temporal and spiritual power over all Tibet. He is often referred to simply as the Great Fifth, being a key religious and temporal leader o ...

5th Dalai Lama
was established by Güshi Khan of the
Khoshut Khanate The Khoshut Khanate was an Oirat khanate based in the Tibetan Plateau The Tibetan Plateau (), also known in China as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau ...

Khoshut Khanate
, who was enthroned as King (chogyal) of Tibet. The Khoshuts ruled until 1717 when they were overthrown by the
Dzungar Khanate The Dzungar Khanate, also written as the Zunghar Khanate, was an Inner Asian khanate of Oirat Mongol origin. At its greatest extent, it covered an area from southern Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, ...
. The Dzungar forces were in turn expelled by the Manchu expedition to Tibet during the
Dzungar–Qing Wars The Dzungar–Qing Wars ( mn, Зүүнгар-Чин улсын дайн, ) were a decades-long series of conflicts that pitted the Dzungar Khanate against the Qing dynasty of China and their Mongolian vassals. Fighting took place over a wide swa ...
. This began the Qing rule over Tibet and marked the first time that Tibet was controlled by the central Chinese government. Despite some politically charged historical debate on the exact nature of Sino-Tibetan relations, most historians agree that Tibet under the Ganden Phodrang was an independent state, albeit under different foreign suzerainties, for most of its history and including the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; ) are an East Asian ethnic group nativ ...

Ming dynasty
period (1368–1644). From 1912 to 1950, the State of Tibet became ''de facto'' independent after the fall of the Qing dynasty. The
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and No ...
that succeeded the Qing, was too preoccupied with fractious
warlordism A warlord is a strong leader able to exercise military, economic, and political control over a subnational territory within a sovereign state because of their ability to mobilize loyal armed forces. These armed forces, usually considered militia ...
(1916–1928),
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
(1927–1949) and Japanese invasion to have been able to assert any authority in Tibet. Other smaller kingdoms of ethno-cultural Tibet in eastern
Kham Kham (; ) or Do Kham, is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo in the north-east, and U-Tsang in central tibet and Ngari in the west. Kham covers a land area largely divided between five regions in present-day Ch ...

Kham
and
Amdo Amdo ( am˥˥.to˥˥ ) is one of the three traditional regions of Tibet, the others being U-Tsang in the west, Kham in the east. Ngari (including former Guge kingdom) in the north-west was incorporated into Ü-Tsang. Amdo is also the birthplac ...
had been under ''de jure'' administration of the Chinese dynastic government since the mid-18th century; today they are distributed among the provinces of
Qinghai Qinghai (; alternately romanized as Tsinghai, Ch'inghai), also known Kokonor, is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provinci ...

Qinghai
,
Gansu Gansu (, ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southeast part of the province. The seventh-largest administ ...

Gansu
,
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administr ...

Sichuan
and
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Kun ...

Yunnan
. (See also:
Xikang Province
Xikang Province
) In 1950, the
People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the regular army, regular armed forces of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) and the armed wing of the PRC's founding and ruling political party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Besides the Ce ...
marched into Tibet and defeated the Tibetan local army in a
battle A battle is an occurrence of combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or devic ...
fought near the city of
Chamdo Chamdo (officially Qamdo, and known in Chinese as Changdu) is a prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful disti ...
. In 1951, the Tibetan representatives signed a 17-point agreement with the
Central People's Government The State Council, constitutionally synonymous with the Central People's Government since 1954 (particularly in relation to local governments), is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China China, officia ...
affirming China's
sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate au ...
over Tibet and the incorporation of Tibet. The agreement was ratified in Lhasa a few months later. Although the 17-point agreement had provided for an autonomous administration led by the
Dalai Lama , coatofarms = , coatofarms_article = , coatofarms_link = , incumbent = 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama , incumbentsince = 22 February 1940 , image = Dalailama1 20121014 4639.jpg , caption = 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyats ...
, a "Preparatory Committee for the Autonomous Region of Tibet" (PCART) was established in 1955 to exclude the Dalai Lama's government and create a system of administration along Communist lines. Under threat of his life from Chinese forces the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 and renounced the 17-point agreement. Tibet Autonomous Region was established in 1965, thus making Tibet a provincial-level division of China.


Geography

The Tibet Autonomous Region is located on the
Tibetan Plateau The Tibetan Plateau (), also known in China as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau in South Asia, Central Asia and East Asia, covering most of the Tibet Auton ...
, the highest region on earth. In northern Tibet elevations reach an average of over .
Mount Everest Mount Everest (Chinese characters, Chinese: ''Zhūmùlǎngmǎ''; ; Tibetic languages, Tibetan: ''Chomolungma'' ) is List of highest mountains on Earth, Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range ...

Mount Everest
is located on Tibet's border with
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
. China's provincial-level areas of
Xinjiang Xinjiang, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; alternately romanized as Sinkiang; officially Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomo ...

Xinjiang
,
Qinghai Qinghai (; alternately romanized as Tsinghai, Ch'inghai), also known Kokonor, is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provinci ...

Qinghai
and
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administr ...

Sichuan
lie to the north, northeast and east, respectively, of the Tibet AR. There is also a short border with
Yunnan Province Yunnan () is a landlocked province in the southwest of the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's ...

Yunnan Province
to the southeast. The countries to the south and southwest are
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
,
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Ch ...
, and
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
. China claims
Arunachal Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh (, literally "land of dawn-lit mountains") is a state in Northeast India Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (H ...
administered by India as part of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It also claims several areas adjoining the Chumbi Valley that are recognised as Bhutan's territory. China administers several border areas of
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constitutes a part of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu a ...

Ladakh
claimed by India. Physically, the Tibet AR may be divided into two parts: the lakes region in the west and north-west and the river region, which spreads out on three sides of the former on the east, south and west. Both regions receive limited amounts of rainfall as they lie in the
rain shadow A rain shadow is a dry area on the leeward side of a mountainous area (away from the wind). The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems and cast a "shadow" of dryness behind them. Wind and moist air are drawn by the prevaili ...

rain shadow
of the
Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Ind ...

Himalayas
; however, the region names are useful in contrasting their
hydrological Hydrology (from Greek: ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning "water" and λόγος, "lógos" meaning "study") is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and management of water on Earth and other planets, including the water cycle, water re ...
structures, and also in contrasting their different cultural uses:
nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, Nomadic pastoralism, pastoral nomads (owning lives ...

nomad
ic in the lake region and
agricultural Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generat ...
in the river region. On the south the Tibet AR is bounded by the Himalayas, and on the north by a broad mountain system. The system at no point narrows to a single range; generally there are three or four across its breadth. As a whole the system forms the watershed between rivers flowing to the Indian Ocean — the
Indus#REDIRECT Indus River
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from miscapitalisation {{R unprintworthy ...

Indus
,
Brahmaputra The Brahmaputra (), called Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, Siang/Dihang River in Arunachal Pradesh and Luit, Dilao in Assam, is a trans-boundary river which flows through Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tib ...
and
Salween . , name_native_lang = , name_other = Burmese: , ''Thanlwin'' ( th, แม่น้ำสาละวิน, ''Mae Nam Salawin'' ( , name_etymology = , image = Sunset Salween River.jpg , image_size = , ...

Salween
and its tributaries — and the streams flowing into the undrained salt lakes to the north. The lake region extends from the
Pangong Tso Lake
Pangong Tso Lake
in
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constitutes a part of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu a ...

Ladakh
,
Lake Rakshastal Lake Rakshastal (; ) is a lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, apart from any river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or ...
,
Yamdrok Lake Yamdrok Lake (also known as Yamdrok Yumtso or Yamzho Yumco; ; ) is a freshwater lake in Tibet, it is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is over long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous smal ...

Yamdrok Lake
and
Lake Manasarovar Lake Manasarovar (Sanskrit: मानसरोवर), also called mTsho Mapham () or mTsho Ma-dros-pa locally, is a high altitude freshwater lake fed by the Kailash Glaciers near Mount Kailash in Burang County, Ngari Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous R ...

Lake Manasarovar
near the source of the
Indus River The Indus ( ) is a transboundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rivers, including tw ...

Indus River
, to the sources of the
Salween . , name_native_lang = , name_other = Burmese: , ''Thanlwin'' ( th, แม่น้ำสาละวิน, ''Mae Nam Salawin'' ( , name_etymology = , image = Sunset Salween River.jpg , image_size = , ...
, the
Mekong The Mekong, or Mekong River, is a trans-boundary river in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and North ...

Mekong
and the
Yangtze along the Yangtze River. in Hubei Hubei (; Postal romanization, alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of the provinc ...
. Other lakes include Dagze Co,
Namtso Namtso or Lake Nam (officially: Nam Co; mn, Tenger nuur; “Heavenly Lake”; in European literature: Tengri Nor, ) is a mountain lake on the border between Damxung County of Lhasa prefecture-level city and Baingoin County of Nagqu Prefecture ...

Namtso
, and
Pagsum Co Dragsum Tsho (, Pagsum Co (), literally meaning “three rocks” in Tibetan,; The name is sometimes confused with Basum (''Basong Xiang'' / ''dba’ gsum'' ) in Tingri County Tingri County or ''Dhringgri County'' (; ), is a county under the admi ...
. The lake region is a wind-swept Alpine grassland. This region is called the Chang Tang (Byang sang) or 'Northern Plateau' by the people of Tibet. It is broad and covers an area about equal to that of France. Due to its great distance from the ocean it is extremely arid and possesses no river outlet. The mountain ranges are spread out, rounded, disconnected, and separated by relatively flat valleys. The Tibet AR is dotted over with large and small lakes, generally salt or
alkaline In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they ...

alkaline
, and intersected by streams. Due to the presence of discontinuous permafrost over the Chang Tang, the soil is boggy and covered with tussocks of grass, thus resembling the Siberian
tundra In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the ...

tundra
. Salt and fresh-water lakes are intermingled. The lakes are generally without outlet, or have only a small
effluent Effluent is an outflowing of water or gas to a natural body of water, from a structure such as a wastewater treatment plant, sewer pipe, or industrial outfall. Effluent, in engineering, is the stream exiting a chemical reactor A chemical reactor ...
. The deposits consist of
soda
soda
,
potash Potash () includes various mined and manufactured salts In chemistry, a salt is a chemical compound consisting of an ionic assembly of cations and anions. Salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively electric charge, charged ...
,
borax Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron chemical substance, compound, a mineral, and a salt (chemistry), salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless cr ...

borax
and common
salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its natural form as a crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Sa ...

salt
. The lake region is noted for a vast number of
hot spring A hot spring, hydrothermal spring, or geothermal spring is a Spring (hydrology), spring produced by the emergence of Geothermal (geology), geothermally heated groundwater that rises from the Earth's crust. While some of these springs contain wate ...
s, which are widely distributed between the Himalaya and 34° N, but are most numerous to the west of Tengri Nor (north-west of Lhasa). So intense is the cold in this part of Tibet that these springs are sometimes represented by columns of ice, the nearly boiling water having frozen in the act of ejection. The river region is characterized by fertile mountain valleys and includes the
Yarlung Tsangpo RiverYarlung can refer to: *Yarlung Kingdom, see also: Tibetan empire The Tibetan Empire (, ) existed from the 7th to 9th centuries AD when Tibet was unified as a large and powerful empire, and ruled an area considerably larger than the Tibetan Plate ...
(the upper courses of the
Brahmaputra The Brahmaputra (), called Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, Siang/Dihang River in Arunachal Pradesh and Luit, Dilao in Assam, is a trans-boundary river which flows through Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tib ...
) and its major tributary, the
Nyang RiverNyang may refer to: *Korean yang, also spelled nyang, the currency of Korea between 1892 and 1902 *Nyang languages, a group of Southern Bantoid languages spoken in Southwest Cameroon Places *Nyang River, a major river in south-west Tibet *Nyang St ...

Nyang River
, the
Salween . , name_native_lang = , name_other = Burmese: , ''Thanlwin'' ( th, แม่น้ำสาละวิน, ''Mae Nam Salawin'' ( , name_etymology = , image = Sunset Salween River.jpg , image_size = , ...
, the
Yangtze along the Yangtze River. in Hubei Hubei (; Postal romanization, alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of the provinc ...
, the
Mekong The Mekong, or Mekong River, is a trans-boundary river in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and North ...

Mekong
, and the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, after the Yangtze River, and the List of rivers by length, sixth-longest river system in ...
. The Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon, formed by a horseshoe bend in the river where it flows around
Namcha Barwa Namcha Barwa or Namchabarwa (; Chinese: 南迦巴瓦峰, Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, Taiwan (ROC), and Sin ...

Namcha Barwa
, is the deepest and possibly longest canyon in the world. Among the mountains there are many narrow valleys. The valleys of
Lhasa Lhasa (; Lhasa dialect: ; bo, text=ལྷ་ས, translation=Place of Gods) is the urban center of the prefecture-level city, prefecture-level Lhasa (prefecture-level city), Lhasa City and the administrative capital of Tibet. The inner urban ...
, Xigazê,
Gyantse Gyantse, officially Gyangzê Town (also spelled Gyangtse; ; ), is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary consid ...

Gyantse
and the Brahmaputra are free from permafrost, covered with good soil and groves of trees, well irrigated, and richly cultivated. The South Tibet Valley is formed by the Yarlung Tsangpo River during its middle reaches, where it travels from west to east. The valley is approximately long and wide. The valley descends from above sea level to . The mountains on either side of the valley are usually around high. Lakes here include Lake Paiku and Lake Puma Yumco.


Government

The Tibet Autonomous Region is a province-level entity of the People's Republic of China. Chinese law nominally guarantees some autonomy in the areas of education and language policy. Like other subdivisions of China, routine administration is carried out by a People's Government, headed by a Chairman, who has been an ethnic Tibetan except for an interregnum during the Cultural Revolution. As with other Chinese provinces, the Chairman carries out work under the direction of the regional secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. The regional provincial party standing committee, standing committee of the Communist Party serves as the top rung of political power in the region. The current Chairman is Che Dalha and the current party secretary is Wu Yingjie.


Administrative divisions

The Autonomous Region is divided into seven Administrative divisions of China#Prefectural level, prefecture-level divisions: six Prefecture-level city, prefecture-level cities and one Prefectures of the People's Republic of China, prefecture. These in turn are subdivided into a total of 66 County (People's Republic of China), counties and 8 District of China, districts (Chengguan District, Lhasa, Chengguan, Doilungdêqên District, Doilungdêqên, Dagzê District, Dagzê, Samzhubzê District, Samzhubzê, Karub District, Karub, Bayi District, Bayi, Nêdong District, Nêdong, and Seni District, Seni).


Urban areas


Demographics

With an average of only two people per square kilometer, Tibet has the lowest population density among any of the Chinese province-level administrative regions, mostly due to its harsh and rugged terrain.China Economy @ China Perspective
Thechinaperspective.com. Retrieved on 18 July 2013.
In 2011 the Tibetan population was three million. The ethnic Tibetan people, Tibetans, comprising 90.48% of the population, mainly adhere to Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, although there is an Tibetan Muslims, ethnic Tibetan Muslim community. Other Muslim ethnic groups such as the Hui people, Hui and the Salar people, Salar have inhabited the region. There is also a tiny Tibetan Christians, Christian community in eastern Tibet. Smaller tribal groups such as the Monpa people, Monpa and Lhoba, who follow a combination of Tibetan Buddhism and spirit worship, are found mainly in the southeastern parts of the region. Historically, the population of Tibet consisted of primarily ethnic Tibetan people, Tibetans. According to tradition the original ancestors of the Tibetan people, as represented by the six red bands in the Tibetan flag, are: the Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra. Other traditional ethnic groups with significant population or with the majority of the ethnic group reside in Tibet include Bai people, Blang people, Blang, Bonans, Bonan, Dongxiang people, Dongxiang, Han Chinese, Han, Hui people, Lhoba, Lisu people, Miao people, Miao, Mongols, Monguor people, Monguor (Tu people), Monpa people, Menba (Monpa), Mosuo, Nakhi, Qiang people, Qiang, Nu people, Pumi people, Pumi, Salar people, Salar, and Yi people. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition published between 1910 and 1911, the total population of the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, including the lamas in the city and vicinity, was about 30,000, and the permanent population also included Chinese families (about 2,000). Most Han Chinese, Han people in the TAR (8.17% of the total population) are recent migrants, because all of the Han were population transfer, expelled from "Outer Tibet" (Ü-Tsang, Central Tibet) following the British invasion of Tibet, British invasion until the establishment of the PRC. Only 8% of Han Chinese, Han people have Hukou system, household registration in TAR, others keep their Hukou system, household registration in place of origin. Tibetan scholars and exiles claim that, with the 2006 completion of the Qingzang Railway connecting the TAR to Qinghai Province, there has been an "acceleration" of Han migration into the region. The Central Tibetan Administration, Tibetan government-in-exile based in northern India asserts that the PRC is promoting the migration of Han workers and soldiers to Tibet to marginalize and assimilate the locals.


Religion

The main religion in Tibet has been Buddhism since its outspread in the 8th century AD. Before the arrival of Buddhism, the main religion among Tibetans was an indigenous shamanism, shamanic and animism, animistic religion, Bon, which now comprises a sizeable minority and influenced the formation of Tibetan Buddhism. According to estimates from the International Religious Freedom Report of 2012, most of Tibetans (who comprise 91% of the population of the Tibet Autonomous Region) are adherents of Tibetan Buddhism, while a minority of 400,000 people (12.5% of the total population of the TAR) are followers the native Bon or folk religions which share the image of Confucius (Tibetic languages, Tibetan: ''Kongtse Trulgyi Gyalpo'') with Chinese folk religion, though in a different light. According to some reports, the government of China has been promoting the Bon religion, linking it with Confucianism. Most of the Han Chinese who reside in Tibet practice their native Chinese folk religion (). There is a Guandi Temple of Lhasa () where the Chinese god of war Guan Yu, Guandi is identified with the cross-ethnic Chinese, Tibetan, Mongol and Manchu deity Gesar. The temple is built according to both Chinese and Tibetan architecture. It was first erected in 1792 under the Qing dynasty and renovated around 2013 after decades of disrepair. Built or rebuilt between 2014 and 2015 is the Guandi Temple of Qomolangma (
Mount Everest Mount Everest (Chinese characters, Chinese: ''Zhūmùlǎngmǎ''; ; Tibetic languages, Tibetan: ''Chomolungma'' ) is List of highest mountains on Earth, Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range ...

Mount Everest
), on Ganggar Mount, in Tingri County. There are four mosques in the Tibet Autonomous Region with approximately 4,000 to 5,000 Islam, Muslim adherents, although a 2010 Chinese survey found a higher proportion of 0.4%. There is Catholic Church of Yerkalo, a Catholic church with 700 parishioners, which is located in the traditionally Catholic community of Yanjing in the east of the region.


Human rights

Before the annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China in 1951, Tibet was ruled by a theocracy and had a caste-like social hierarchy. Human rights in Tibet prior to its Incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China, incorporation into the People's Republic of China differed considerably from those in the modern era. Due to tight control of Media of the People's Republic of China, press in mainland China, including the Tibet Autonomous Region,Regions and territories: Tibet bbc http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/country_profiles/4152353.stm it is difficult to accurately determine the scope of human rights abuses.US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor,
2008 Human Rights Report: China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)
', February 25, 2009
Critics of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) say the CCP's official aim to eliminate "the three evils of separatism, terrorism and religious extremism" is used as a pretext for human rights abuses. A 1992 Amnesty International report stated that judicial standards in the TAR were not up to "international standards". The report charged the CCPAmnesty International
Amnesty International: "China – Amnesty International's concerns in Tibet"
, Secretary-General's Report: Situation in Tibet, E/CN.4/1992/37
government with keeping political prisoners and prisoners of conscience; ill-treatment of detainees, including torture, and inaction in the face of ill-treatment; the use of the death penalty; Extrajudicial killing, extrajudicial executions; and forced abortion and sterilization.


Towns and villages in Tibet


Comfortable Housing Program

Beginning in 2006, 280,000 Tibetans who lived in traditional villages and as nomadic herdsmen have been forcefully relocated into villages and towns. In those areas, new housing was built and existing houses were remodelled to serve a total of 2 million people. Those living in substandard housing were required to dismantle their houses and remodel them to government standards. Much of the expense was borne by the residents themselves, often through bank loans. The population transfer program, which was first implemented in
Qinghai Qinghai (; alternately romanized as Tsinghai, Ch'inghai), also known Kokonor, is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provinci ...

Qinghai
where 300,000 nomads were resettled, is called "Comfortable Housing", which is part of the "Build a New Socialist Countryside" program. Its effect on Tibetan culture has been criticized by exiles and human rights groups. Finding employment is difficult for relocated persons who have only agrarian skills. Income shortfalls are offset by government support programs. It was announced that in 2011 that 20,000 Cadre system of the Chinese Communist Party, Communist Party cadres will be placed in the new towns.


Economy

The Tibetans traditionally depended upon agriculture for survival. Since the 1980s, however, other jobs such as taxi-driving and hotel retail work have become available in the wake of Chinese economic reform. In 2011, Tibet's nominal Gross Domestic Product, GDP topped 60.5 billion yuan (US$9.60 billion), nearly more than seven times as big as the 11.78 billion yuan (US$1.47 billion) in 2000. Economic growth since the beginning of the 21st century has averaged over 10 percent a year. By 2020 the GDP of the region surpassed 190 billion yuan (US$29.2 billion). While traditional agriculture and animal husbandry continue to lead the area's economy, in 2005 the tertiary sector contributed more than half of its GDP growth, the first time it surpassed the area's primary industry. Rich reserves of natural resources and raw materials have yet to lead to the creation of a strong secondary sector, due in large part to the province's inhospitable terrain, low population density, an underdeveloped infrastructure and the high cost of extraction. The collection of Cordyceps sinensis, caterpillar fungus (''Cordyceps sinensis'', known in Tibetan as ''Yartsa Gunbu'') in late spring / early summer is in many areas the most important source of cash for rural households. It contributes an average of 40% to rural cash income and 8.5% to the TAR's GDP. The re-opening of the Nathu La pass (on southern Tibet's border with India) should facilitate Sino-Indian border trade and boost Tibet's economy. In 2008, Chinese news media reported that the per capita disposable incomes of urban and rural residents in Tibet averaged 12,482 yuan (US$1,798) and 3,176 yuan (US$457) respectively. The China Western Development policy was adopted in 2000 by the central government to boost economic development in western China, including the Tibet Autonomous Region. * Lhasa Economic and Technological Development Zone


Tourism

Foreign tourists were first permitted to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region in the 1980s. While the main attraction is the Potala Palace in
Lhasa Lhasa (; Lhasa dialect: ; bo, text=ལྷ་ས, translation=Place of Gods) is the urban center of the prefecture-level city, prefecture-level Lhasa (prefecture-level city), Lhasa City and the administrative capital of Tibet. The inner urban ...
, there are many other popular tourist destinations including the Jokhang, Jokhang Temple, Namtso, Namtso Lake, and Tashilhunpo, Tashilhunpo Monastery. Nonetheless, tourism in Tibet is still restricted for non-Chinese passport holders and Republic of China citizens, and currently foreigners must apply for a Tibet Entry Permit.


Transportation


Airports

The civil airports in Tibet are Lhasa Gonggar Airport, Qamdo Bangda Airport, Nyingchi Airport, and the Gunsa Airport. Gunsa Airport in Ngari Prefecture began operations on 1 July 2010, to become the fourth civil airport in China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The Peace Airport for Xigazê was opened for civilian use on 30 October 2010. Announced in 2010, Nagqu Dagring Airport was expected to become the world's highest altitude airport, at 4,436 meters above sea level. However, in 2015 it was reported that construction of the airport has been delayed due to the necessity to develop higher technological standards.


Railway

The Qinghai–Tibet Railway from Golmud to Lhasa was completed on 12 October 2005. It opened to regular trial service on 1 July 2006. Five pairs of passenger trains run between Golmud and Lhasa, with connections onward to Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xining and Lanzhou. The line includes the Tanggula Pass, which, at 5,072 m (16,640 ft) above sea level, is the world's highest railway. The Lhasa–Xigazê Railway branch from Lhasa to Xigazê was completed in 2014. It opened to regular service on 15 August 2014. The planned China–Nepal railway will connect Xigazê to Kathmandu, capital of
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
, and is expected to be completed around 2027. The construction of the Sichuan–Tibet Railway began in 2015. The line is expected to be completed around 2025.


See also

* China Tibetology Research Center * Annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China * History of Tibet (1950–present) * Kazara * List of prisons in the Tibet Autonomous Region * List of universities and colleges in Tibet * Tibet Area (administrative division) * Tibetan independence movement * Sinicization of Tibet * Shigatse Photovoltaic Power Plant


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

*


Further reading

* , travelogue from Tibet – by a woman who's been travelling around Tibet for over a decade, * , hardcover, 236 pages. *


External links


Tibet Autonomous Region official website


at Hong Kong Trade Development Council, HKTDC
Population Structure and Changes in the Tibet Autonomous Region
{{Authority control Tibet Autonomous Region, Autonomous regions of China Tibetan autonomous areas Tibet, ~ Western China 1965 establishments in China States and territories established in 1965 Tibetan Plateau