Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors


The Tibet Autonomous Region, often shortened to Tibet, is a province-level autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China in southwest China. It was formally established in 1965 to replace the Tibet Area, the former administrative division of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) established after the annexation of Tibet. The establishment was about five years after the 1959 Tibetan uprising and the dismissal of the Kashag, 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. The Tibet Autonomous Region spans over 1,200,000 square kilometers (460,000 sq mi) and is the second-largest province-level division of China by area, after Xinjiang. Due to its harsh and rugged terrain, it is sparsely populated at just over 3.6 million people with a population density of 3 inhabitants per square kilometer (7.8 per sq mi).

History of Tibet

The Yarlung kings founded the 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 Mongol Empire later conquered Tibet in 1244 but granted the region a degree of political autonomy. Kublai Khan later incorporated Tibetans into his Yuan empire (1271–1368). The Sakya lama Drogön Chögyal Phagpa became religious teacher to Kublai in the 1250s, and was made the head of the Tibetan region administration c.  1264.

From 1912 to 1950, the State of Tibet became de facto independent after the fall of the Qing dynasty, like many other regions of the successor Republic of China. The Republic of China régime, preoccupied with fractious warlordism (1916–1928), civil war (1927–1949) and Japanese invasion (1937–1945), failed to assert its authority in Tibet. Other smaller kingdoms of ethno-cultural Tibet in eastern Kham and Amdo had been under de jure administration of the Chinese dynastic government since the mid-18th century; as of 2022 they variously form parts of the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan.

In 1950, after the 1949 establishment of the People’s Republic of China, the People’s Liberation Army entered Tibet and defeated the Tibetan local army in a battle fought near the city of Chamdo. In 1951, Tibetan representatives signed a 17-point agreement with the Central People’s Government affirming China’s sovereignty over Tibet and the annexation of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China. The 14th Dalai Lama ratified the agreement in October 1951. After a failed violent uprising, the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 and renounced the 17-point agreement. The establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region in 1965 made Tibet a provincial-level division of China.

Tourism in Tibet

Foreign tourists were first permitted to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region in the 1980s. While the main attraction is the Potala Palace (former palace of Dalai Lama) in Lhasa, there are many other popular tourist destinations including the Jokhang Temple, Namtso Lake, and Tashilhunpo Monastery. Nonetheless, tourism in Tibet is still restricted for non-Chinese passport holders (including citizens of the Republic of China from Taiwan), and foreigners must apply for a Tibet Entry Permit to enter the region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *