17-Article Agreement

The 17-article agreement is the shortened version of the Agreement between the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.

It was signed in Beijing on May 23, 1951. The signing of the historic agreement marked the peaceful liberation of Tibet.

In April 1951, the Tibetan local government sent a five-member delegation to Beijing, with Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme as chief delegate, to talk with the central people's government on matters regarding the peaceful liberation of Tibet.

The delegation arrived in Beijing April 26. The Central People' s Government assigned Li Weihan as chief delegate. As the central people's government gave full consideration to the national policy and took the opinions of Tibetan delegates, the negotiations were carried out smoothly, culminating in the signing of an agreement on the peaceful liberation of Tibet on May 23.

Main contents of the 17-article agreement are as follows: The Tibetan people shall unite and drive out imperialist aggressive forces. The local government of Tibet shall actively assist the PLA to enter Tibet and consolidate the national defense. The Tibetan people have the right of exercising national regional autonomy under the unified leadership of the Central People's Government. Funds needed by the military and administrative committee, the military area headquarters and the People's Liberation Army entering Tibet shall be provided by the Central People's Government. Tibetan people will enjoy freedom of religious belief. The revenue of lamaseries will remain unchanged.

After signing the agreement, Zhang Jingwu was appointed as the representative of the Central People's Government to Tibet. Meanwhile, the Chinese People's Liberation Army marched into Tibet from four directions and entered Lhasa in October.

(Xinhua 05/22/2001)

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