Government of Tibet in Exile

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Government of Tibet in Exile
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Tibetan Coat of Arms

(In detail) (In detail)
Official language Tibetan
Headquarters Dharamsala
Head of State (Dalai Lama) Tenzin Gyatso
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The Government of Tibet in Exile (or Tibet in Exile for short) is a theocratic government-like entity that describes itself as the rightful and legitimate government of Tibet. Tibet is currently under the control of the People's Republic of China, a situation that Tibet in Exile characterizes as an illegitimate occupation. The Government of Tibet in Exile is headquarted in Dharamsala, India. The head of state for Tibet in Exile is Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

The territorial claims of Tibet in Exile include the entirety of Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai province, as well as parts of the neighboring provinces of Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan -- all of what is termed Historic Tibet by the Chinese government.

The Government of Tibet in Exile is not recognized as a government by any major nation, but it has received a large amount of sympathy in the West, largely from the efforts of the Dalai Lama.

Historical claims on Tibet

The position of the Government of Tibet in Exile is that Tibet is an independent nation with a history of independence stretching to the 7th or 8th centuries C.E., Mongolian invasions notwithstanding, and that the fifth Dalai Lama was recognized as an independent ruler during a diplomatic visit to the Emperor of China in Beijing, thus validating their current claims of uninterrupted statehood. In 1903, the British in India invaded Tibet in order to establish a trade route to China which had been cut off by Tibet in 1792. The British maintained control of Tibet until 1906 when they signed a treaty with China ceding Tibet. Tibetan nationalists fought Chinese control, expelling the regional governor in 1911, retaining their sovereignty until the 1951 Chinese occupation.

The position of the Chinese government is that the events of 1951 were merely a re-occupation of land which had been under the dominion of China since at least the 13th century, if not earlier. Chinese commissioners had been stationed in Lhasa since the early 18th century, and periods of independence since then are claimed by China to be the result of externally incited uprisings, not of a relinquishment of China's claim to sovereignty over the region.

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