x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Timeline: Tibet

A chronology of relations between China and Tibet.

October 1950 Chinese People's Liberation Army marches into Tibet, one year after Mao Zedong wins civil war and establishes People's Republic of China.

September 1954 Chairman Mao meets Dalai Lama.

March 1959 Tibetans stage abortive uprising in which thousands are killed after reforms are introduced to end centuries of feudalism. The Dalai Lama flees to India with an estimated 80,000 followers. He establishes a "government-in-exile" in Dharamsala but no country recognises it.

1965 Tibet Autonomous Region formally established.

1966 China's Cultural Revolution begins. Tibetan Red Guards close monasteries in Tibet, smash Buddhist statues and force monks and nuns to return to secular life.

1972 The US president Richard Nixon's visit to China ends programme in which Central Intelligence Agency trained Tibetans who fought guerrilla war in Tibet.

1979 Rapprochement begins with Dalai Lama's brother, Gyalo Thondup, visiting China.

March 1989 Martial law imposed in Lhasa after days of rioting sparked by January death of the 10th Panchen Lama, the most senior figure in Tibetan Buddhism after Dalai Lama.

October 1989 Dalai Lama is awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

May 1990 Lhasa lifts martial law. Government-in-exile disbands to pave way for democracy, announcing elections for 1991.

August 1993 Dalai Lama says he is fighting for Tibet's political autonomy, not independence.

1994 Dalai Lama suspends dialogue with China.

May 1995 Dalai Lama declares six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as reincarnation of late 10th Panchen Lama.

December 1995 India-based Tibetans protest Beijing's choice of six-year-old boy Gyaincain Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama.

June 1996 Dalai Lama swears in new Tibetan government-in-exile following elections.

December 1998 Dalai Lama says that he is open for talks with China "without any precondition, anytime, anywhere".

January 1999 Tibet's third-ranked monk, the 14-year-old Karmapa Lama, flees China to India and meets the Dalai Lama.

March 1999 China says its doors are open to the Dalai Lama, provided he abandons his calls for Tibetan independence and makes a statement recognising Tibet as an inseparable part of China.

December 1999 Dalai Lama says Tibetans would be satisfied with self-rule but accuses the Chinese of cultural genocide.

July 2006 China opens Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world's highest railway, saying it will help modernise and develop Tibet.

March 2008 Up to 80 people are killed in anti-China riots in Lhasa, the government-in-exile says. But Tibet's top government official puts death toll at 13 and says they were Han Chinese civilians killed by Tibetan mobs. Unrest spreads to nearby Chinese provinces. International protests condemn violence five months before Beijing hosts the Olympic Games.