First, creating a legal administrative area of Tibet. While dividing the national administrative areas, the Qing central authorities defined, by legal regulations, the boundaries between the administrative areas of Tibet and Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai and Xinjiang. The administrative area of Tibet (then called U-Tsang) was equivalent to that of the present Tibet Autonomous Region.
Second, deciding on Tibet's political and administrative management systems, and the organizational form of local political power. The Ordnance for the More Effective Governance of Tibet promulgated in 1793 by the Qing court and the Legal Code of the Qing Dynasty stipulated that, in Tibet, the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Erdeni were respectively in charge of the religious affairs in the Lhasa (front Tibet) and Xigaze (rear Tibet) areas, and part of the government affairs. They were not under each other. But, the high commissioners the Qing court stationed in Tibet took the overall control over the area.
Third, conferring official titles on the religious leaders in Tibet. In 1653, the central administration conferred on the Fifth Dalai Lama the official title "All-Knowing, Vajra-Holding Dalai Lama." In 1713, it conferred on the Fifth Panchen the official title of Panchen Erdeni. Thereafter, it became an established practice for all Dalai Lamas and Panchen Erdenis to have their titles conferred on them by the central authorities.
Fourth, in order to prevent the religious leaders from seeking personal gain by abusing their position and authority, or expanding their forces, the central authorities, in 1793, introduced a new system of determining the reincarnation of a deceased Living Buddha, the Dalai or Panchen by drawing lots from a gold urn. This then became the only permissible system for choosing a successor to the Dalai Lama, Panchen Erdeni or the Grand Lama. Under the new system, names of the reincarnation candidates were written on lots that were put into the gold urn. One lot was drawn under the supervision of the High Commissioner, and the chosen one was the designated soul boy--the successor to the Dalai Lama, Panchen Erdeni or Grand Lama. The selected successor could not become the legal heir until formally approved by the central administration. This became a key measure for the Qing central government to strengthen administration over religious affairs in Tibet, and fully embodied the central authorities' sovereignty over Tibet.
Republic of China (1912-1949)
China experienced great historic changes after the Revolution of 1911, which brought down the Qing Dynasty and led to the founding of the Republic of China in 1912. During the Republic of China, which brought together the Han, Manchu, Mongolian, Hui and Tibetan ethnic groups, the central power changed hands frequently, but its policies related to Tibet remained unchanged in terms of upholding the national unity, state sovereignty and territorial integrity.
First, maintaining state sovereignty over Tibet by enacting laws and issuing official documents. Article 3 of the General Outline of the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China, enacted under the auspices of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Interim President, stipulated that Tibet was one of the 22 provinces of the Republic of China. This legalized the rule of the Government of the Republic of China over Tibet. Stipulations concerning Tibet in the Constitution of the Republic of China promulgated later all stressed that Tibet is an inseparable part of Chinese territory, and the Central Government of China exercises sovereignty in Tibet.