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Origin of the title of 'Dalai Lama' and its related backgrounder
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On May 23, 1951, representatives of the Central Government and local government of Tibet signed the Agreement Between the Central Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Method for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet (also known as The 17-Article Agreement) in the hall of Qingzhengdian, in Zhongnanhai, in Beijing. On the following day, Chairman Mao Zedong gave a banquet in honor of the representatives of both sides in the hall of Huairentan, in Zhongnanhai, to celebrate the signing of the agreement regarding the peaceful liberation of Tibet.

Chairman Mao said happily, "Now, the forces led by the Dalai Lama and those led by the 10th Panchen Erdeni and the Central Government have become united. This has been achieved after the Chinese people overthrew the imperialist and domestic reactionary rule." The People's Daily carried the full text of the agreement.

After the 17-Article Agreement was signed, the 14th Dalai, who was in Yadong, a small town in south Tibet, ready to flee to a foreign country at any time, cabled Chairman Mao:

Chairman Mao of the Central Government:

Galoon Ngapoi and another four officials as the plenipotentiary representatives of the Tibetan government arrived in Beijing in late April, 1951 and held talks on Tibet's peaceful liberation with the plenipotentiary representatives designated by the Central Government. The two sides signed, on a friendly basis, the agreement regarding the peaceful liberation of Tibet on May 23, 1951. The agreement enjoys the full support of the Local Government of Tibet, Tibetan monks and lay people. They will, under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Central Government, actively assist the People's Liberation Army troops in marching into Tibet, with the aim of consolidating national defense, driving imperialist forces out of Tibet and safeguarding the motherland's territorial and sovereignty integrity.

With best regards;

The Dalai Lama of the Local Government of Tibet

Oct. 24, 1951 of the Solar Calendar

Chairman Mao cabled Dalai Lama:

Mr. Dalai Lama, I have received your letter dating on Oct. 24, 1951. I would like to thank you for your efforts to sign the agreement concerning the peaceful liberation of Tibet and would also like to extend my sincere congratulations to you.

Mao Zedong

Oct. 26, 1951.


Photo from the State Archives Administration of the People's Republic of China shows the cable the 14th Dalai Lama wrote to Chairman Mao Zedong, expressing his support for the agreement regarding the peaceful liberation of Tibet. It states clearly in the cable that the Dalai Lama would advocate the Agreement Between the Central Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Methods for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet and safeguard China's territorial and sovereignty integrity "under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Central Government." (Xinhua file Photo) 

At the First National People's Congress, the 14th Dalai Lama was elected a vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, thus becoming a young leader of New China.


 The 14th Dalai Lama and the 10th Panchen Erdeni vote on a draft resolution on the Constitution in this file photo. The 14th Dalai Lama and the 10th Panchen Erdeni together attended the First National People's Congress in 1954.(Xinhua file Photo)

Chairman Mao gave (sent) the 14th Dalai Lama 12 letters and cables from 1951 to 1957, with seven letters written personally by himself. Zhang Jingwu, representative of the Central Government in Tibet, delivered the first letter to Dalai from India to Yadong, a small town in southern Tibet. He also advised Dalai to return to Lhasa. The last letter was written on Aug. 18, 1957, in which Chairman Mao praised Dalai for returning to Tibet from India.

From the letter and cables we can see that Chairman Mao had pinned great hopes on young Dalai and that he hoped that the 17-Article Agreement would be implemented with Dalai's efforts. With regard to the reform that did not involve the political power of old Tibet and that would maintain the original political and religious status, young Dalai always got things done with a great enthusiasm. Nevertheless, if the reform was designed to grant farmers and herdsmen greater rights and interests, he then became very inactive. In particular, on the issue regarding China's unification, Dalai usually took a wait-and-see attitude and agreed with it overtly but opposed it covertly.

After a rebellion took place in Tibet on March 10 in 1959, Mao Zedong once spoke of the Dalai Lama's fleeing abroad at the 16th supreme state conference.

The leader said, "If he is willing to return home and is able to get rid the reactionaries, then we hope he will do. However, in fact it seems impossible for him to return home. Is it possible for him to change his own world outlook? Perhaps he will do so in 60 years, maybe it will not take 60 years. But as the matter stands now, it is unrealistic to expect him to return within a very short time. If he wants to return, he can do so tomorrow. "

In a talk with the 10th Panchen Erdeni and Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme in Beijing on May 7, 1959, Chairman Mao said: "As for the Dalai Lama, one possibility is that he will return and the other is that he will not come back. Messages carried by Indian newspapers show that he is planning to return. But the two statements he made thoroughly oppose the Central Government and the big family of the motherland, and advocate Tibet independence. As a result, he has blocked his own way back home."

Mao added, "Even so, we still leave leeway for him and elected him vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Furthermore, the position of the chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the Founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region is still kept for him. By leaving leeway for him, we' have taken the initiative in our hands."

In this way, the Central Government waited patiently for the Dalai Lama to change his attitude toward splitting the motherland. His post of NPC Standing Committee vice chairman was retained until 1964.

Since fleeing abroad in 1959, the Dalai Lama has never stopped activities to split the motherland in both words and deeds. Before the 1970s, the Dalai Lama and his clique remained in the state of silence. However, ever since the 1970s, especially since 1989, the Dalai Lama became quite active in the international arena, with the support of Western anti-China forces.

He has visited 64 countries and regions and visited Taiwan twice. He visited nine countries for at least ten times. For instance, he had visited Norway ten times, Austria, 12 times, Japan, 13 times, Britain, 16 times, Switzerland, 19 times, France, 20 times, Italy, 22 times, Germany, 32 times, and the U.S., 36 times.

In all the countries and regions the Dalai Lama visited, he was received by local principal politicians. However, As a matter of fact, the leaders of the Western countries are clear that they met him not because Dalai had a great personal charm or had a high international status, but because they wanted to use his political value to divert China's attention and impede its development and rise. It's not hard to tell which country supports him most strongly just from the number of his visits to the countries.

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