Argument: China bases its historical claim to Tibet on illegitimated Chinese documents

Issue Report: Tibet independence

Supporting quotes

  • Michael C. van Walt, an international legal scholar and a board member of the International Campaign for Tibet. “Tibet File No.18: The Legal Status of Tibet”. Cultural Survival Quarterly (Vol. 12, 1988) – “In many cases, such as the present one, it is necessary to examine a country’s history in order to determine its status. Such a historical study should logically be based primarily on the country’s own historical sources, rather than on interpretations contained in official sources of a foreign state, especially one claiming rights over the country in question. This may seem self-evident to most. When studying the history of France we examine French rather than German or Russian source materials. I am making the point, however, precisely because China’s claim to sovereignty over Tibet is based almost exclusively on self-serving Chinese official histories. Chinese sources portrayed most countries with whom the emperor of China had relations, not only Tibet, as vassals of the emperor. When studying Tibet’s history, Tibetan sources should be given primary importance; foreign sources, including Chinese ones, should only be given secondary weight.”