History of Tibet : British Expedition | Military Stories

History of Tibet


In 1890, British and Chinese signed a trade treaty to do trade via Sikkim-Tibet border. The treat did not include the Tibetans, The Tibetans became upset and decided to protest. They destroyed the set up by the Britishers. The Tibetans were upset that a trade treaty could not be signed by British and China to do trade via Tibet without the Tibetans involved.

The British and Chinese did not pay any importance to demand of the Tibetans. In 1893, the British and Chinese now signed a convention to do trade via Chumbi Valley, This again upset the Tibetans as Tibetan were again not involved. The then Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso now began to realise that Tibet will need third party support. Thubten Gyatso's advisor was Agvan Dorzhiev Dorzhiev was a Khori-Buryar mongol of a teacher of Gyatso also. He guided Gyatso to seek help of Russia. 


From 1898 to 1901, Thubten and his men regularly visited Russia and Dorzhiev acted as a mediator. In 1899, Lord Curzon became the next viceroy and replaced Lord Elgin Curzon had hatred for Russians. Lord Curzon sent mission to Lhasa. He wanted to inform through the mission to the Dalai Lama to respect the 1893 convention. The mission was led by Younghusband. The mission of Young husband reached Lhasa in 1904. The moment the mission reached there. Thubten and Dorzhiev fled to Lhasa and Tibet again came under the control of Ambans. As Ambans controlled Tibet again, China again became supreme in Tibet. Younghusband mis directly dealt with the Ambans.
A new treaty was concluded between British and China on Tibet.
As per the treaty:

• Tibet will no longer enter into third party treaties including with China without permission of British.
• British will get access to all trading posts in the region. • A British agent will be station in South Tibet.

The British concluded the treaty with Ambans. As visible in the treaty, the British did not make Tibet a British protectorate nor fully established their presence in Tibet but allowed China to continue a low-level administrative presence in Tibet through Ambans. Thus, the 1904 Lhasa convention ensure that the Tibet becomes a buffer between China and British India. Taking advantage of 1904 Lhasa convention, the Chinese proposed that there be a new convention. In 1906, China proposed the new convention asserting that British accept that neither would they interfere in Tibet nor will they annex Tibet. The British agreed. This was now followed in 1907 Anglo Russian convention where both Britain and Russia agreed not to negotiate with the Tibet without the presence of China. In 1909  Dalai Lama tried to come back to Tibet but at China had already taken over the control of the Tibet, Dalai Lama fled to India in 1909.

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