As Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire expanded toward Europe in the west and China in the east in the 13th century, the Tibetan leaders of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism concluded an agreement with the Mongol rulers in order to avoid the otherwise inevitable conquest of Tibet. They promised political allegiance and religious blessings and teachings in exchange for patronage and protection. The religious relationship became so important that when Kublai Khan conquered China and established the Yuan Dynasty, he invited the Sakya Lama to become the Imperial Preceptor and supreme pontiff of his empire. The relationship that developed and still exists today between the Mongols and Tibetans is a reflection of the close racial, cultural and especially religious affinity between the two Central Asian peoples. To claim that Tibet became a part of China because both countries were independently subjected to varying degrees of Mongol control, as the PRC does, is absurd. The Mongol Empire was a world empire; no evidence exists to indicate that the Mongols integrated the administration of China and Tibet or appended Tibet to China in any manner. It is like claiming that France should belong to England because both came under Roman domination, or that Burma became a part of India when the British Empire extended its authority over both territories.
This relatively brief period of foreign domination over Tibet occurred 700 years ago. Tibet broke away from the Yuan emperor before China regained its independence from the Mongols with the establishment of the native Ming Dynasty. Not until the 18th century did Tibet once again come under a degree of foreign influence.”