A recent New York Times headline screamed, China Opposed to Obama-Dalai Lama Meeting. “China maintains that Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans say the region was functionally independent for much of its history.”
Since Tibetan separatists have claimed that China “never” ruled over Tibet prior to Mao’s reoccupation in 1950, every time the Dali Lama wins another award for humanitarianism or meets a world leader, it is a slap in the face for most Chinese—not just their government. The Chinese are proud of their history, and they don’t like foreigners believing lies about their country.
Tibet was first occupied by China during the Yuan Dynasty (1277-1367), and it was a Mongol emperor or king who made a Dalai Lama the spiritual leader for Tibet. Before that, the Tibetans were a warlike race and were a plague on a peaceful China. Warlike Tibetans, not exactly the image the Western media paints, raided China for centuries from their mountain fortresses.
When the Ming Dynasty drove the Mongols from China in 1368, the emperor sent an army to Tibet. For the next six hundred years, the Tibetans were never easy to rule. Sir Robert Hart, considered the godfather of China’s modernization, said the same thing. He wrote in 1888, “China will regard England as an ally and helper in reducing trouble-some tributaries (meaning Tibet) to a proper sense of position!”
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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