What would an Independent Tibet be like

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by herkles, Sep 13, 2019 at 10:31 PM.

  1. herkles Well-Known Member

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    So lets assume that the PRC or the ROC for whatever reason doesn't invade Tibet, perhaps support from the UK or perhaps from india. In either case, Tibet isn't part of china.

    What does that mean for Tibet. What would Tibetan society and government look like? as the leader of an actual sovereign nation what would Tenzin Gyatso be like? All in all what would an independent Tibet be like?
     
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  2. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Hmmm not sure. Depends on the how.

    My idea for how Tibet could be on its own is more basically in a UK-like agreement with China (alongside say Uyghurstan and Manchuria). Granted, this is under a consitutional monarchy.

    Tibet is fairly rural and relies on subsistence farming. They'd very much keep to themselves though they would have to deal with tourism. I could see the economy getting a boost from cyberservices. Like providing services and assistance from computers.
     
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  3. Ariosto Populist Republican

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    Tibet would be very much dominated by India, as they'd be their main defensive partner. There would be heightened tensions between India and China as a result given both the Beijing and Taipei governments would view the situation as an occupation of Chinese Terra Firma (including the direct annexation of Chinese Kashmir), and it isn't unlikely that a war or skirmish would break out at one point or another; that may mean relations between the People's Republic and the Soviet Union worsen earlier, especially if the Soviet Union concludes that the Republic of India could be a more reliable partner strategically. Lhasa would also be under immense pressure to follow Delhi ideologically, primarily the Socialization of its economy and the implementation of some form of Democracy, whilst respecting the Dalai Lama as the Head of State, ceremonial or otherwise.

    Tibet therefore would functionally be a protectorate, though still autonomous, less populous and less economically developed.
     
  4. kholieken Well-Known Member

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    Bigger Nepal ? Struggle between people in highland and lower valley, tension with military hierarchy, domination by rich family, communist struggle by poor and lower caste, continued problem with women, minority and basic human rights, clash with islamic minority, widespread poverty.
     
  5. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    First off, Tibet would be a theocracy. In the early 20th Century until (I think) the 1940s, Tibet was still keeping serfs in a state of slavery and would amputate limbs as punishment for offences. The 13th Dalai Lama attempted to bring Tibet out of the Dark Ages by instituting a secular education system, along with the religious system. The penal system was revised and made uniform throughout the country. Capital punishment was completely abolished and corporal punishment was reduced. Living conditions in jails were also improved, and officials were designated to see that these conditions and rules were maintained. The Dalai Lama also expressed a interest in bringing automobiles, electricity and the telephone to Tibet and in 1931, a hydroelectric system was even installed in Tibet. If the PRC or the ROC left Tibet alone, I think these reforms would continue, but I think the Dalai Lama would still maintain his role as a absolute monarch within the Tibetan government. The Tibetan government only became democratic after it was kicked out of it's own country. (See the Central Tibetan Administration).

    Second, no one in the world recognized Tibet as a independent nation. This was because, for all intents and purposes, Tibet was a renegade Chinese province. In 1912, the 13th Dalai Lama was even promised a place within the Chinese government, but flat out refused. The only reason why Tibet was allowed to exist for 38 years as a independent country was because the rest of China was tearing itself apart in the '20s, 30s and 40s'.

    But, this discussion is academic, since the PRC would never leave Tibet alone. Why? Tibet's mineral wealth of $130 billion (made up of iron, gold, lead, lithium, mercury, uranium, etc) would be far too attractive to ignore and also, because the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers start in Tibet (These are the most important rivers in China). Also, the Himalayas provide a natural defence against invaders from India. That goes for the ROC too, but at least with the ROC taking over Tibet, Tibet's cultural heritage would be respected and you won't be seeing crimes against humanity being carried out against Tibetans.

    If you want a independent Tibet, then I'm afraid post-1912 is too late a POD. If you want a independent Tibet, then Britain has to declare a protectorate over Tibet during the Younghusband expedition in the early 1900s.
     
  6. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    Only way Tibet stays independent is if the Chinese are too busy fighting each other or some outside power.
     
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  7. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't stop the Chinese from invading post-1949.
     
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  8. herkles Well-Known Member

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    I can see these reforms continuing. I imagine as @CountDVB mentioned that tourism would be a major industry.

    I am curious Tenzin Gyatso has stated that he is a socialist: "I am not only a socialist but also a bit leftist, a communist. In terms of social economy theory, I am a Marxist. I think I am farther to the left than the Chinese leaders. [Bursts out laughing.] They are capitalists." However I am not certain if he would had those ideas before he was exiled or not.



    does that mean that Mongolia is a renegade Chinese Province and that no one in the world recognized it as an independent nation? After all it was part of China as well.

    So hypothetically if britain had declared a protectorate over Tibet and it was an independent Nation with the Brits backing, it likely would be necessity have to have good relations with what ever sort of China is in charge.

    My question was also less more on the How is it independent but more in what sort of society and Independent Tibet would have. Particularly the modern era. :)
     
  9. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    Only way stop China to invading Tibet is ruin the country so effectively that it can't do that and Tibet too would need much of international recognition. In OTL China has seen Tibet being its proper already since Ming Dynasty and any nation hasn't ever reconised independent Tibet. Tibet hasn't even tried get that.

    So if China doens't conquer Tibet, the country probably would be quiet much like bigger Bhutan. Just more conservative.
     
  10. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    The British could station a garrison of Nepalese Ghurkas to protect Tibet for them. I would say they could station Indian troops, but they would leave as soon as India got it's independence.

    I doubt the Dalai Lama would have these ideas in a timeline where he wasn't exiled. In such a timeline, he would probably live a sheltered existence, with his Prime Minister doing most of the politicking. It's hard to live a sheltered existence when you're the leader of a government in exile in a modern nation.


    During the 1910s, it was very much a renegade province. In the 1920s, it was snatched by the Soviets. In the Yalta Conference, one of the conditions for the Soviet union's participation in the Pacific War was that Mongolia's 'independence' would be preserved. The Soviets held a bogus independence referendum to seal the deal.
     
  11. martymcfly Well-Known Member

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    An independent Tibet would be a backwater like Mongolia or Bhutan.

    It would be less developed than IOTL due to the lack of infrastructure and economic investment from China.
     
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  12. longsword14 Communism: This time, we will get it right!

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    Won't be enough. Colonial garrisons are not strong enough to stop a determined Chinese invasion.
    An independent India could do that, if it were willing to spend enough money to it, but I see that as unlikely.
     
  13. King Jasper Well-Known Member

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    The PRC isn't going to invade a nation so close in the British sphere of influence. They wouldn't want to risk a larger war.
     
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  14. longsword14 Communism: This time, we will get it right!

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    Remember Korea ? PRC decided to tangle with the US over Korea.
    Britain will be gone by then, it would be just India.

    Most likely future for Tibet if some radical social upheaval does not occur is a larger Bhutan.
     
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  15. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    They wouldn't be able to resupply or send enough troops to stop the Chinese as
    the border is the World's highest mountains.