Tibet under Chinese jurisdiction since Yuan Dynasty: archives

Tibet has been a part of China and officially under central government's jurisdiction since the Yuan Dynasty, confirmed by archives, according to the Archives Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region, which has recently completed the salvage protection work of some Mongolian and Manchu archive.

Lobsang Namgyal, director of the bureau, said that the archives are mainly made up of materials from China's Qing Dynasty up until modern times, and the content consists of three main parts: edicts and correspondence that the Qing central government passed on to the Tibetan local government; communication and documents between Tibetan religious circles and Mongolian aristocracy; and lists of gifts and letters sent to Tibetan monks by the Mongolian and Manchu people for blessing.

Amongst the collated archives, some dates back to as early as the year 1304, including documents between the central government of the Yuan Dynasty and the local Tibetan government.

"From this batch of archives you can clearly see the historical context, which further confirms that Tibet has been a part of China and officially under the jurisdiction of the central government since the Yuan Dynasty," Lobsand Namgyal said, "The archives are different from others in that it is written down in black and white, and can be served as direct historical data and evidence."

These historical materials show that, in order to maintain the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism and put an end to the struggles and false phenomena in the reincarnation of the Living Buddha, the central government of the Qing Dynasty issued the Authorized Regulations for the Better Governing of Tibet in 1793. The regulations stipulated that official succession of the living Buddha must take place by drawing lots from the golden urn and must have government's approval. Even if lots aren't drawn, it must be reported to the central government for approval. For more than 200 years this has been a Tibetan Buddhist ritual and historical custom.

Up to now, experts at the regional archives bureau have already completed the translation work on 1,462 Mongolian and Manchu archives. The next step is to further collate them and make sure they're published in time.