|About 600|| King Namri Songtsan of Yarlung, the territory south of the
Tsangpo River, begins the unification of Tibet's many kingdoms.|
|About 627|| Songtsan Gampo succeeds his father and continues to
consolidate Tibet under his rule.|
|641|| Songtsan Gampo introduces Buddhism to Tibet. Having already married
three Tibetans princesses and a Nepalese princess, Brikuthi, he takes a Chinese
princess, Wen-Ch'eng, as his bride, thus creating alliances with the countries
to the west and east.|
|670|| Warfare breaks out between Tibet and the T'ang dynasty of China.
Tibet gains influence along trade route through central Asia.|
|754|| Tritsong Detsan takes the throne.|
|About 779|| Samye, first Buddhist monastic university, fifty miles south
of Lhasa, founded by Padmasambhava. The Sanskrit Buddhist sutras and
tantras--the Tripitaka--translated into Tibetan; establishment of the tantric
|821-22|| Treaty between Tibet and China commemorated by an inscription
carved on a monument that stands in front of the Potala Palace.|
|About 836|| Langdarma succeeds Tritsug Detsan and, under pressure from Bon
priests, begins to suppress Buddhism in central Tibet, burning monasteries and
driving out monks.|
|842 ||Assassination of Langdarma by Buddhist monk. Succession contested.
Kingdom dissolves, leaving Tibet in a state of political upheaval.|
|1207|| Tibetan leaders quietly submit to Genghis Khan.|
|1260|| Kublai Khan, as emperor of China's Yuan dynasty, bestows title
Ti-shi ("Imperial Preceptor") upon Phakpa, making Sakyapa order most powerful
|1270|| Kublai Khan converted to Tibetan Buddhism.|
|1368|| Fall of Yuan dynasty frees Tibet from dependence on China.
Factions begin to struggle for control over Tibet.|
|1391|| First Dalai Lama, Gedun Drubpa, born (title conferred posthumously,
when third Dalai Lama receives title in 1578).|
|1447|| Tashilhunpo monastery, future seat of Panchen Lamas, founded by the
first Dalai Lama.|
|1474|| Second Dalai Lama, Gedun Gyatsho, born.|
|1543|| Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatsho, born.|
|1570 ||First Panchen Lama, Lozang Chokyi Gyalthen, the teacher of the
fifth Dalai Lama, born. Title "Panchen" ("The Great Scholar") conferred by the
fifth Dalai Lama. The Panchen Lamas became the second most important religious
leaders in Tibet.|
|1578 ||Sonam Gyatsho receives title of Dalai Lama ("Ocean of Wisdom") from
Mongol ruler Altan Khan.|
|1589|| Fourth Dalai Lama, Yontan Gyatsho, born (great-grandson of Altan
|1617|| Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lozang Gyatsho, born in southern Tibet.
One of the greatest Dalai Lamas, he later reestablishes Tibet's independence
and extends his authority to outermost Tibetan territories, reopens trade with
India, and visits China.|
|1642|| Gushri Khan, ruler of Khoshot Mongols, defeats Karnma Tankyong and
installs fifth Dalai Lama as ruler of Tibet.|
|1683|| Sixth Dalai Lama, Tshangyang Gyatsho, born.|
|1708|| Capuchin missionaries found mission to Lhasa. Seventh Dalai Lama,
Kalzang Gyatsho, born.|
|1720|| Ch'ing dynasty emperor, K'ang Hsi, establishes his mission in
|1723|| Chinese withdraw from Tibet.|
|1728|| Pholhawa, as one of a council of ministers who govern Tibet after
defeat of the Dzungars, forces out Tibetan nationalist rivals and governs Tibet
with Chinese support.|
|1740|| Pholhawa crowned king of Tibet by Chinese emperor.|
|1758|| Eighth Dalai Lama, Jampal Gyatsho, born.|
|1792|| Peace agreement with Gurkhas reached, but power of Chinese
representatives (Ambans) in Tibetan government increases.|
1806 Ninth Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatsho, born.
|1816|| Tenth Dalai Lama, Lungtok Gyatsho, born.|
|1836|| Eleventh Dalai Lama, Khedrub Gyatsho, born.|
|1856|| Twelfth Dalai Lama, Trinley Gyatsho, born. Gurkha army invades
|1876|| Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatsho, born (d. 1933).|
|1903-04 ||Colonel Francis Younghusband marches with 3,000 British troops
to Gyaum. The 13th Dalai Lama flees from the approaching army and shelters in
Mongolia and in China. The British withdraw after signing the Anglo-Tibetan
Convention which allows them to have Trade Agents at Gyantse and at Gartok in
|1906|| British accept a vaguely defined Chinese suzerainty over Tibet
after invasion of eastern Tibet by Chinese troops.|
|1909 ||The Dalai Lama returns from exile. Chinese troops occupy parts of
Kham (Eastern Tibet) and the Dalai Lama appeals to Great Britain for
|1910 ||The Chinese Army, with 2,000 troops led by Zhao Erfeng (Chao
Erh-Feng), invades Tibet and enters Lhasa. The Dalai Lama flees to India.
Tibetans continue to fight Chinese until they are expelled.|
|1911|| Ch'ing dynasty falls. In Beijing the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty is
overthrown and the Republic of China is established under Yuan Shikai (Yuan
Shih-Kai), who declares Tibet, Xinjiang (East Turkestan) and Mongolia to be
provinces of China.|
|1912|| Tibet expels the Chinese. Thirteenth Dalai Lama returns to Tibet.
Throughout the country Tibetans rise up against the Chinese. 12th August: the
Chinese sign a Surrender Agreement with the Tibetans, and are obliged to return
to China via India.|
|1913|| Thirteenth Dalai Lama proclaims Tibetan independence. Conference
at Simla, India, among the British, Chinese and Tibetans divides Tibet into two
parts: Inner Tibet, far eastern provinces to be controlled by China; and Outer
Tibet, to remain "autonomous." Chinese expelled from central Tibet but do not
sign agreement. Britain and Tibet sign, canceling pro-Chinese provisions.|
|1914 ||Tibet, Great Britain and China attend the Simla Convention as equal
powers and initial an agreement to settle the Sino-Tibetan border dispute.|
|1918 ||Tibetan troops advance to the East and defeat the Chinese. |
|1920|| Sir Charles Bell is sent to Lhasa as British representative to
reassure the Tibetans of British support for its self-rule and self-defence.|
|1923 ||The Panchen Lama, long distrusted for his close relations with the
Chinese, disputes his tax liability to the Tibetan Government and flees to
|1935|| Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatsho, born.|
|1940 ||Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is enthroned at Lhasa.|
|1941-44 ||Tibet remains neutral during the Second World War and refuses
permission for the Americans or the Chinese nationalists to transport military
supplies through Tibetan territory.|
|1947|| Tibet sends a Delegation to discuss trade and to open formal
relations abroad, to India, China, Britain and the USA.|
|1949 ||In China the People's Liberation Army overcome the Nationalists
(KMT) and, on October 1st, Mao Zedong proclaims the People's Republic of China.
The 10th Panchen Lama, then 11 years old, telegrams Mao Tsetung asking him to
"unify the motherland" . The PLA announces its intention to "liberate Tibet
from foreign imperialists".|
|1950 ||The 14th Dalai Lama, then 15 years old, takes over the running of
October 7th: the Chinese cross the Yangtse into Central Tibet and destroy the
small garrison force at Chando, claiming Tibet had always been Chinese
territory. India objects. Tibet files protest with United Nations. Security
Council approves British proposal to let the parties negotiate among
|1951 ||May 23rd: The Tibetans, led by Ngapo Ngawang Jigme, sign the
17-Point Agreement, promising cultural and political autonomy but relinquishing
independence and making Tibet a "national autonomous region" of China. |
October 24th: the agreement is ratified by the Dalai Lama and the National
|1954|| April 29th: India and China signs a treaty enunciating the 'Five
Principles of Peaceful Co-existence", and recognising China's claim to Tibet.
Revolt grows in Eastern Tibet when the Chinese begin destroying monasteries and
imposing collectivisation. Birth of the Tibetan resistance movement and of the
Voluntary National Defence Army. |
|1955|| Preparatory Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region is set up with
the Dalai Lama as Chairman and Panchen Lama and Zhang Guohua as deputy
|1956 ||Dalai Lama goes to India for the Buddha Jayanfi and tells Nehru he
wants to stay; Zhou Enlai and Mao promise that there will be no forced reforms
and he returns to Lhasa.|
|1959 ||10th March: thousands of Tibetans take to the streets in Lhasa.
March 17th: The Dalai Lama flees to India; 80,000 other Tibetans follow him.
March 19th: Tibetan troops join the uprising against the Chinese.
March 23rd: Uprising suppressed. The Chinese dissolve the Tibetan local
Government and impose military Government, fronted by the Panchen Lama, and in
April begin "democratic reforms'. Thousands of Tibetans are executed,
imprisoned, or sent to labor camps. Destruction of monasteries begins.
|1959-1961|| The Great Leap Forward leads to widespread famine, with up to
30 million believed to have died in China and many thousands in Tibet.|
|1962|| October 20th: War between China and India over disputed border
claims in Tibet.|
|1965|| September 9th: The Tibet Autonomous Region is formally established.
The Cultural Revolution begins, destroying 90% of the remaining monasteries and
outlawing most Tibetan cultural customs and religion. The UN passes a
resolution supporting the Tibetan people's right to self-determination.|
|1967|| During Chinese Cultural Revolution, Tibetan temples, monasteries,
libraries, and scared monuments destroyed or made into state museums.|
|1976|| The Cultural Revolution ends with the death of Mao. The Chinese
acknowledge "past mistakes in Tibet", blaming them on the Cultural Revolution
and on the ultra-leftist policies of the Gang of Four.|
|1979|| Deng Xiaoping initiates a policy of opening up to the outside
world. They invite the Dalai Lama to return from exile, on condition he
remains in Beijing. He is allowed to send a fact-finding mission to Tibet.
The delegates are greeted by demonstrations calling for independence and the
return of the Dalai Lama; many demonstrators are imprisoned.|
|1980 || Party Secretary Hu Yaobang visits Tibet and initiates
liberalisations allowing some private trade, outward display of religious
activities, and the recall of several thousand Chinese cadres.|
|1983 || Dalai Lama sends negotiating team to Beijing, but talk collapses
|1987 ||The Dalai Lama proposes the Five Point Peace Plan during a visit to
the US Congress in Washington.|
September 27th: pro-independeuce demonstration led by 21 monks in Lhasa
October 1st: Police open fire on crowd of 2-3,000 demonstrators, killing at
least 9. Foreign journalists and tourists expelled.
|1988 ||March 5th: Major demonstration on last day of Monlam Festival in
Lhasa; hundreds of arrests follow. Chinese policeman and several Tibetans
June: Dalai Lama puts forward the Strasbourg Proposal, offering the Chinese
control of Tibetan foreign policy and defence in return for full internal
autonomy. The Chinese promise to negotiate with him.
|1989 ||January 29th: Panchen Lama dies whilst visiting Shigatse|
March 5th: police open fire on a small group of demonstrators in Lhasa. The
demonstrations spread involving over 10,000 people. Up to 200 people are
believed killed by security forces before martial law is declared in Lhasa on
March 7th. At least 400 are arrested. The PLA takes over the city and all
foreign tourists, journalists and diplomats are expelled.
October 5th: Dalai Lama wins Nobel Peace Prize.
|1990 ||April: expulsion of politically suspect monks and nuns from
May 1st: martial law is lifted. Varying-restrictions on foreign visitors and
journalists remain in force. Small demonstrations continue in the capital but
most are dealt with rapidly by increased presence of armed police.
July: Chinese Party Secretary and President Jiang Zemin visits Tibet, calls for
dual policy of "security and development", ushers in "active" or low-profile
policing. He is accompanied by Chi Haotian, chief of Defence Staff, suggesting
that the visit has military objectives.
October: first foreign official allowed to visit a Tibetan prison.
In exile Dalai Lama is officially received by Swedish, Dutch, and French
Governments, and privately by Czech and German Presidents.
|1991|| May 23rd: Chinese organise obligatory celebrations throughout Tibet
of the 40th Anniversary of the "Peaceful Liberation", choosing the 1951 signing
of the 17 Point Agreement as the representative moment to remember, rather than
Tibet declared "open" to foreign investment, although this appears to focus on
investment from inland China and overseas Chinese.
|1992 ||March: Deng Xiaoping's "spring tide" or call for high speed
implementation of economic reforms to introduce the "socialist market economy"
reaches Tibet and by June waverers have been out- maneuvered by the pro-fast
From April: reportedly migration of Chinese entrepreneurs and petty traders
|1993|| May 13th: Tourist guide and human rights activist Gendun Rinchen
arrested to prevent contact with high level EC Ambassadors fact-finding visit
to Tibet. The visit dissolves into confusion as Chinese first deny the arrest
and then refuse to release the tourist guide|
May 24th: Major demonstration by about 1,000 Tibetans in Lhasa over price rises
becomes a pro-independence protest, largest since 1989; police use tear gas not
firearms to disperse crowd, with some injuries.
July: For first time since 1984 exile Tibetan official is allowed to join a
delegation to discuss negotiations with Beijing, accompanied by the Dalai
Lama's brother. Delegation asked to request the Dalai Lama for help with the
Panchen Lama search.
September: relations between the Dalai Lama and Beijing abruptly come to an
end, and the Dalai Lama publishes his correspondence with Deng Xiaoping
|1994 ||January: Gendun Rinchen released in apparent concession to
international pressure |
April: Wei Jingsheng, China's leading dissident, re-arrested in Beijing during
visit by US Secretary of State
May 26th: Clinton announces dropping of all human rights conditions attached to
July: Chinese leaders hold the "Third National Work Conference on Tibet" in
Beijing to rubber stamp implementation of even faster economic development for
the "three rivers" area around Lhasa and to impose restrictions on spread of
August 9th: Chinese stage celebrations to mark the re-opening of the Potala
after 5 years of renovations
November 26th: UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance arrives in Lhasa,
the first UN human rights visit to China. He meets Yulu and issues highly
critical report, calling on China to change its constitution and release all
monks and nuns in prison. On the same day official statements orders ban on
unauthorised construction of monasteries and on more people becoming monks or
|1995 ||January to March: 16 demonstrations in Lhasa calling for
independence, and over 100 arrests of political activists, more than in the
whole of the previous year.|
January 30th: polemical denunciation campaign initiated against the personal
standing of "the Dalai"
March: Over 60 monks expelled from Nalaridra monastery north of Lhasa after
officials are sent to "reorganise" the monastery.
May 17th: Chinese arrest Chadrel Rinpocile, abbot of Tashilhunpo who headed
the search team for the child Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima. The child
and his family are removed under escort from their home, apparently to a
holding place in Beijing. A reported 5,000 troops moved to Shigatse
July 13th: Up to 30 monks arrested from Tashilhunpo monastery after protesting
against the denunciation of Chadrel Rinpoche. All foreign tourists expelled
September lst: Chinese hold celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the
founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region amid tight security and without any
foreigners present. November 11th: Chinese press announce that leading lamas
at a closed meeting in Beijing have agreed to reject Gendun Choekyi Nyima as
the Panchen Lama and to select a different child as the reincarnation of the
December: The Chinese install 5-year old Gyaltsen Norbu as the Panchen Lama.
Gendun Choekyi Nyima, who was sanctioned by the Dalai Lama as the Panchen
Lama, is condemned by China's official press for having once drowned a dog.
His whereabouts is unknown.
|1996|| January 18th: bomb explodes at the house of Sengchen Lobsang
Gyaltsen, main supporter of the Chinese in the Panchen Lama succession
|1997|| Gendun Choeki Nyima is held under house arrest in Beijing.|
November: President Jiang Zemin of China arrives in the U.S. for his first
official state visit. Many demonstrations are planned by groups protesting
human rights abuses by China, in particular, the repression of religion and
other freedoms in Tibet.