I use the name Tibet on this site when referring to the part of China formerly known as Tibet, not just the TAR, or Tibet Autonomous Region, recognized by China since 1965. The name Tibet has historical significance, and since much of my interest in the region lies in its 14th-17th century history, this makes the most sense to me.
In the 1950’s China began military incursions into Tibet eventually claiming control over the wide area of the Himalayan plateau once known by that name. China redrew borders for its internal regions and gave them Chinese names. Tibet became little more than western China, though the establishment of the TAR was instituted to distinguish a Tibetan region, at least on paper. Still today, ethnic Tibetans refer to the borders and regional names ascribed by Tibet long ago, and for the same reason given above that is typically what I will do.
I’m sure at times I will use the Chinese names, which you can see in the map to the left. Since I will refer to the Tibetan names I will point out that Qinghai is largely the joining of two Tibetan regions known as Kham (to the west and south) and Amdo (to the east and north). Amdo is home to the source (two lakes) of the Huang (Yellow) River, and Kham, to the source of the Yangtse River.
That said, I do not have a specific political agenda as far as Tibet’s relationship with China is concerned. I have opinions about granting human rights despite the challenges it may pose to maintaining status quo. I have opinions against the keeping of political prisoners. I have opinions that environmental and cultural diversity must be protected and even uplifted. I do not, however, think I know the best solution to the problems ethnic Tibetan’s face today. The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso has tremendous spiritual gifts that I hope will be utilized in reaching a non-violent solution.
Tibet, like all countries, has a history that makes it imperfect. This fact is not often acknowledged or perhaps seen as significant in modern, popular discussions of Tibet. I do hope to change that. Not everything is as it seems.