Nine Point Communiqué from Tibet to China (1946)

To President Chiang-Kai-Shek, and the leaders of the Nationalist Government, including the Chairmen of the five committees:

On the occasion of the great victory achieved this year by the Chinese Government over Japan, after many years of war between the two countries, and upon the termination of war and establishment of world peace and security for mankind, the Government of Tibet is sending a special delegation to China and the Allied Governments of the United States and Great Britain to offer congratulations on the victory.  The members of the delegation are: Kucar Dzasa Thupten Samphel of the Lada Treasury, Dzasa Khempa, head of the Tea and Salt Department, and the three new members of the Tibetan Bureau (in Nanking).

His Holiness Taktra Pandita, the Regent, advised the National Assembly through the Kashag [Cabinet] to discuss how the delegation might explore the ways of improving the patron-preceptor relationship -- which has been good -- between China and Tibet.

Even through this relationship remains special, it has during the past decades deteriorated to the point of hostility.  During the reign of the Emperor Kuang Hsu (Shon thong) a large military force led by General Liu Chung of Szechuan was dispatched to Tibet and perpetrated heinous crimes by arresting and killing many people of high and low origin in various regions of Tibet.  Invading forces from Soiling, Szechuan attacked the East, South, and North of the Kham region.  Many monasteries including Chamdo and Traya monasteries, and villages were destroyed or burned.  Finally, in the earth-serpent year (1927), President Chiang-Kai-Shek, through the abbot of Yunggün monastery (in Peking), Dzasa Köncho Chugnay, sent to H.H. the 13th Dalai Lama a good communiqué for improving Sino-Tibetan relations.  The President emphasized the need to eliminate past differences and to create a long-lasting diplomatic relationship.  He (the abbot) presented a detailed account, and His Holiness -- concerned with reconciliation between China and Tibet -- sent a series of formal replies.  Hoping that the Chinese Government, in keeping with such consideration and intention, would treat this relationship with utmost seriousness.  We, the representatives of the three great monasteries of Sera, Drepung, and Ganden, and of the ecclesiastical and secular members of the Tibetan Government, wish to make this statement with good will and sincerity for the benefit of both our countries:

Point 1:  the successive Dalai Lamas have exercised temporal and spiritual power in the Snowy Land of Tibet and have been functioning on this earth as the masters of the complete Buddhist tradition.  This fact is clearly documented in a series of old and detailed records.  At the present time the 14th Dalai Lama, while still a minor, is devoting himself to the (Buddhist) studies, mastering the ocean-wide doctrinal treatises.  Until the time when His Holiness will assume the temporal and spiritual power, the Regent Taktra Pandita, who was installed as the unanimous choice of the Tibetan religious and secular communities, continues to run temporal and spiritual affairs, and we will maintain this good tradition.
 
We urge the Government of China to seek an unstrained relationship which has its precedent in the patron-preceptor relationship.  The Tibetan Government, for its part, shall endeavour to maintain such a relationship with China, as clearly intended by the religious and secular communities of Tibet.
 
Point 2: Tibet remains the special fountainhead of precious teachings of Buddha.  China and all those who share this sacred tradition and who value it more than life itself should endeavour to promote and expand it.  As an independent nation with a dual system of temporal and spiritual rule, Tibet will continue to function independently, maintaining and protecting (this system) and not introducing any new systems which would be harmful.
 
Point 3:  Tibet and Greater Tibet -- consisting of the Western Highlands (Tö), i.e. the three provinces of three subdivisions each, the Four Central Provinces in Ü and Tsang, and the Lower (Eastern and Northern) Regions of Kham, the Land of the Four Rivers and Six Ranges -- has been a territory unmistakably under the control and protection of the Dalai Lama, the living Bodhisattva of Compassion.  There is plenty of evidence to support this fact.
 
We shall continue to maintain the independence of Tibet as a nation ruled by successive Dalai Lamas through an authentic religious-political rule.
 
Point 4: The peace and security of the borders rests on the stable and unstrained relations between China and Tibet.  At various times Chinese leaders in the border provinces have seized by force territories which were definitely Tibetan, both linguistically and culturally.  This has caused serious disrputions in the maintenance of religious institutions.  The territories (so seized) were Batang, Litang, Derge, Nyarong, the five Hor areas, Cagla, Tachienlu, Jun, Gyethang, Mili, Gyarong, the 25 Dimchi areas, Golok, Tongkor, the three Banag areas and Tsadam.
 
Moreover, the annexation by force of small nations and territories by big ones is against well-known international rules.  We urge you to instruct the individual (leaders) to reinstate these territories to us.
 
The Buddhist monasteries of various sizes in these provinces of China are apparently suffering a great deal from lack of support.  The speedy restoration of the endowments and estates seized from them will foster credibility of the Chinese Government in the minds of the Tibetan religious and secular communities.  This will chase away the coulds hanging over Sino-Tibetan relations.  The well-being and safety of citizens in these border states will be secured by reducing the size of security forces on either side of the Sino-Tibetan borders.
 
Tibet, for its part, will devote itself to religious endeavors and services aimed at assuring the prosperity and stability of the Chinese system of government as well.
 
Point 5: Tibet has been an independent state, managing its own domestic and foreign, civil and military affairs.  It continues to maintain its political and spiritual authority in its own way.  Following the tradition established by previous incarnations, the present Dalai Lama as supreme master of the complete Buddhist tradition will exercise His power over the recognition of reincarnate Lamas of high and low ranks belonging to the great and small monasteries of the various orders, over the appointment of the functionaries, and over the reformation of traditions.  Neither the Chinese nor any other government should interfere in this.
 
Point 6: It is in accord with common practice for all residents -- native and foreign -- to respect the law of the land.  Tibet expects them to do the same.  Resident Chinese traders (in Tibet), confident of the support of Chinese officials, are creating tensions and disputes over petty matters with callous disregard for Tibetan law.  They are thus straining relations between our two countries.  Such events have been taking place ever since the Chinese MIssion arrived in Lhasa in the Wood-Dog year (1934) for the purported reason of negotiating matters of mutual interest.  The Mission was set up by Mr. Huang Mu-sung, leader of the Chinese condolence delegation sent to Lhasa to participate in this nation's religious services held for the deceased (13th) Dalai Lama and in appreciation of the patron-preceptor relationship (between the two countries).
 
However, since Mr. Shen Tsung has arrived, he has carefully and prudently concerned himself with the maintenance of good relations between China and Tibet.  He has, moreover, shown much respect for the Buddhist religion.  (Mr. Shen Tsung Lin) is a rarity among Chinese diplomats in Tibet.  He now returns home.  We urge the Chinese Government to honor him in an appropriate way.
 
The continued presence of Chines diplomats causes other nations to compete with one another by seeking to station similar diplomatic missions (in Lhasa).  It is not certain how many more will want similar Missions in Tibet.  We would like the Chinese Government to have diplomatic discussions channelled through the resident Tibetan Mission in Nanking and by wireless.
 
Following the 13th Dalai Lama's eight-point relay to President Chiang Kai-Shek, the two governments agreed to have a Tibetan Mission in Nanking, Peking, and Tachienlu.  The missions in Nanking and Peking have been established.  If the Tibetan Mission in Tachienlu were allowed to be established, it would help facilitate efficient communications.  This should be allowed to take place soon.
 
Point 7:  In case the need arises to dispatch Tibetan envoys to Chine we shall do so by issuing them Tibetan government passports.  We expext the Chinese Government to recognize only those with authentic official documents.  We ask for assurance from your government that it will not recognize any exiled Tibetan monks or laymen who do not carry Tibetan passports issued by our government.
 
Point 8:  The entry into Tibet of any foreign nationals has been strictly controlled in the various border areas.  In order to maintain friendly relations between the two countries, Chinese traders and others of various status should apply to the Tibetan government through the Chinese government for entry visas.  The Tibetan government will consider the merits of the applications and will issue the visas.  (The applicants) will then be allowed to enter without harassment by the local officials.  Tibetan traders will apply through the Tibetan government to the Chinese government for entry visas.  They should then be allowed to enter China without delay.
 
Point 9: There are many great nations on this earty who have achieved unprecedented wealth and might, but there is only one nation which is dedicated to the well-being of humanity in the world and that is the religious land of Tibet which cherishes a joint spiritual and temporal system.  If the adversaries leave Tibet unhampered and in peace and [do] not continue to hold those formerly seized territories, the nations of the world may not suffer disasters of war, famine and so on by the power of the (three) Supreme Jewels and the guardians of the Buddhist faith.  This is of crucial importance for the individual and collective peace and well-being.  As you know, this will have great bearing on the stability of the Chinese political system and will also render unnecessary the need for both China and Tibet to station large security forces along their respective borders. 
 
The Tibetan government will endeavour to maintain friendly relations with China in accordance with the deep concern of the 13th Dalai Lama, the Protector and Master, who knew the events of the past, present and future.  We shall continue to preserve and protect our joint spiritual and temporal system and our territories as we have done hitherto.  We shall continue to negotiate and settle the border disputes with the concerned foreign governments.
 
If, however, any foreign governments -- with utter disregars for international standards of behaviour -- send invading forces across our borders, taking advantage of their superior military might in order to seize our territories, we shall in such an event ask the Chinese government for its support in the interest of the ancient patron-preceptor relationship between our two countries.  We urge the Chinese government to provide such support should the occassion arise.
 
This straightforward statement has been made without hesitation in the interest of Sino-Tibetan friendship and of eilimination [of] the hardship for people on either side of the border, as well as for our mutual benefit, especially of Tibet which remains a strategic defence barrier between (Asian) nations. 
 
Since the Chinese Government appreciates the Buddhist faith and endeavors to maintain its own security -- as do other members of the Allied Governments -- we urge the Chinese Government to accept these points and to make a definite commitment by signing an agreement between our two countries.
 
Signed by the monastic and government official representatives of the Tibetan National Assembly.
Wood-Dog [sic: Wood-Bird] Year, 11th Month, 15th Day of the 16th Tibetan Cycle
 
Source: Goldstein, Melvyn; A History of Modern Tibet: 1913-1951; University of California Press; 1989; pp. 538-543.
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