In no way Dalai Lama ha provoked China. Let me highlight some factual background which happened to be reason of Chinese aggression.
China, as our Eastern neighbour, has had relations with Tibet for almost 2000 years. In the early days, Tibet was a very powerful nation. Many times it invaded certain parts of China. Then, when Tibet became weak, the Chinese became stronger, and position was reversed. In the spiritual field, we had stronger ties. During the period that the Mongols were emperors of China, the spiritual relations were genuine. During the Manchu dynasy, again there were spiritual ties. On one occasion, the Manchu emperor genuinely wanted to receive the Dalai Lama as a high lama. But some Chinese advised the emperor not to receive him. This shows that despite some genuine spiritual feelings, there was some kind of political thinking or chauvinism. In the Chinese records, they have deliberately tried to achieve more influence. Because of this, they regard Tibet as a subject of their emperor.
The Tibetan records are different. In certain Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, there is a mention of some very important sacred places in the world. In the south, we believe there is a special place of Avalokiteshvara. In the east, there is a place of Manjushri. There is a belief that the emperor in that place is the reincarnation of Manjushri, who showed respect to Buddhism. The Tibetans had respect for the Chinese emperor. The reason was spiritual. But there was another reason that was sad and unfortunate. Whenever a small nation experiences internal fighting one side always tries to get support from a bigger neighbour. Thus, due to internal fighting in Tibet, one Tibetan side tried to get support from the Chinese emperor.
During the Vth Dalai Lama’s time, I think it was quite evident that we were a separate sovereign nation with no problems. The VIth Dalai Lama was spiritually pre-eminent, but politically he was weak and disinterested. He could not follow the Vth Dalai Lama’s path. This was a great failure. So, then the Chinese influence increased. During, this time the Tibetans showed quite a deal of respect to the Chinese. But even during this time Tibetans never regarded Tibet as a part of China. All the documents were very clear that China, Mongolia and Tibet were all separate countries. Because, the Chinese emperor was powerful and influential, these small nations accepted Chinese power or influence. You cannot use the previous intention as evidence that Tibet belongs to China. In the Tibetan mind regardless of who was in power, whether it was the Manchus, the Mongols or the Chinese, the east of Tibet was easily referred to as China. In the Tibetan mind, India and China were treated the same. Two separate countries.
There is another important reason. I am not criticising them, but, if you look at the history of Chinese, they are always expanding. That is their nature. Before the Chinese Communists took power, during the Kuomintang time, it seems that the Kuomintang on some occasions were to invade Tibet, but they did not succeed. When the Chinese Communists came to power the whole of China was united, and thus then had enough power to invade Tibet. If you look objectively, there is clear sign that the two are separate countries. In the Chinese’ case, they had a very belief that the whole working class of the worlds should unite and destroy the imperialist or Capitalist. Therefore, when the Chinese reached Lhasa, one Chinese general explained that the liberation of Tibet was not only for the Tibetans but for the neighbouing nations as well. They also believed in the power of the gun. So Tibet was strategically important to them. I think that these are the reasons.
Published at indiaopines blog