Sperling starts the discussion by first looking at the modern day arguments presented by both parties. At the heart of the prevailing Chinese position is the contention that Tibet has been an integral and inseparatable part of China since the early 13th Century Yuan dynasty. Modern day Chinese writers often present the issue as a patently obvious fact based on the historical record, however Sperling points out that this oversimplification of the issue lacks roots going back to the historical record and additionally ignores certain inalienable facts such as complete differences between the two languages, culture and religion.
The modern-day Tibetan position while based on historical fact is much more ambiguous. Tibetans claim that their country's relationship to the Yuan, Ming and continuing with the Qing dynasty was one of a "priest-patron" association. This type of reciprocal affiliation is quite unique and extremely... [continues]
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