Dr. Sun Yat-sen's blue print for Tibet
www.chinaview.cn 2009-05-18 11:06:05   Print

Sun Yat-sen, a pioneer in China's democratic revolution. (File Photo)
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    BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Sun Yat-sen, a pioneer in China's democratic revolution, urged that the ultimate way to solve the Tibet issue was to establish a united community of all ethnic groups of China, in a bid to resist imperialist aggression.

    He also drew up a plan to develop the regional economy in Tibet, such as building railways, developing mineral resources and reclaiming wastelands, as well as expanding agriculture and animal husbandry.

    In modern times, as Tibet was subjected to imperialist powers' invasion, Sun thought it was vital to build railways in China in the first place, in order to consolidate frontier defense and develop Tibet's economy as well.

    On Dec. 22,1899, Sun published "the Current Map of China," in which he proposed building a railway from East China's Shanghai to Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, before extending it westward by way of Sichuan Province to Tibet.

    However, the corrupt and impotent Qing Dynasty Government, surrendered China's sovereignty under humiliating terms, resulting in the country's frontier crisis.

Photo taken on Sep. 6, 2005 shows the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. (Xinhua Photo0
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    After the government of the Republic of China was proclaimed in 1911, Sun emphasized that the military strength was a necessary precondition to solving the Tibet issue: "If China's military strength had been high enough to defense the national frontiers, the British imperialists would not have dared to invade Tibet."

    In his view, China had enough military forces to defend Tibet, but failed to dispatch troops to Tibet promptly as a result of transportation inaccessibility. "Should China have convenient transport facilities like railways, it would have been able to transport troops from inland to frontier areas such as Mongolia and Tibet, which were subjected to invasion because of the country's weak military forces there resulting from inconvenient transportation," he said.

    In 1912, Sun indicated that the government of ROC would strive to build a total railway of 100,000 km nationwide in ten years. Considering the crisis cropping up in the Tibetan and Mongolian affairs, he proposed building a railway from Tibet's capital of Lhasa to Sechen Khanate "Chechen" of Outer Mongolia, via Xinjiang and building a side line from Lhasa to Chengdu, so as to connect railways in southwest China's Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.

    "Without the completion of these railways, our railways in Mongolia will undoubtedly be seized by Russians and those in Tibet will be snatched by the British imperialists°≠ With the national railways occupied by foreign imperialist forces, how can China avoid being carved up?" Sun added.

Photo taken on Nov. 4 2007 shows a distant view of Yulong Copper Mine Base, eastern Tibet's Qamdo Prefecture. (Source: Tibet Daily)
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    Meanwhile, Sun attached great importance to people's livelihood. In his Plan for Industrial Development, he intended to develop Tibet's minerals and move people there for land reclamation with the construction of a plateau railway network.

    "Tibet boasts rich mineral resources such as gold and copper to the benefit of the national economy once exploited. In terms of the harsh plateau climatic conditions, Tibet will not start to build its railway until railways are completed in other parts of China. Hence, we can leave mineral resources in Tibet for last development after all conditions are ready."

    In order to reclaim wastelands, Sun also wrote in the plan that "conducting migration into three northeastern provinces, Mongolia, Xinjiang, Qinghai and Tibet in a scientific and systematic way°≠ When the number of migrates reaches a certain ratio in a region, it should be granted autonomous rights."

    Sun's plan to develop Tibet enjoyed popularity among people from all walks of life.

    In January 1929, the 9th Panchen Lama's Beijing Office declared: "Tibet, Kham Tibetan area and Qinghai are vast areas but sparsely populated with abundant natural resources. If those areas progress as projected by Dr. Sun Yat-sen's plan for industrial development, it will be greatly conducive to the national economy and people's livelihood. "

    Moreover, Sun stressed that education is essential to national prosperity. He appealed for helping those needy areas with educational development.

Photo taken on June 9, 2005 shows a teacher Dawa teaching with Tibetan sign language in a special school of Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua Photo)
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    On April 1, 1912, the Educational Department of the Nanjing Provisional Government of the ROC stated: "Since the Republic of China embodies an integration of the Han, Man, Mongolian, Hui and Tibetan ethnic groups, each group shall have the equal right to receive education. As the Mongolian, Hui and Tibetan Chinese differ from one another, efforts should be made first to boost faculty building for these ethnic groups."

    The later Northern Warlords Government of China and the Nationalist Government of Nanjing also pursued this policy of establishing schools for Mongolians and Tibetans.

    Sun came to understand in his late years that only by realizing national independence and unification, would it be impossible to achieve a fundamental guarantee for the stability in Tibet and all-round development of economy, culture, education and other sectors in Tibet. Facts today have proved that his idea about achieving equality and unity among all ethnic groups, developing Tibet's economy and culture, building a railway to Tibet and enhancing Tibetans' self-governing capability have been turning into a reality, thanks to the concerted effort of the entire Chinese people.

    China Ethnic News contributed to the story.    

Editor: Zhang Mingyu
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