The attitude of most foreign governments with whom Tibet maintained relations implied their recognition of Tibet’s independent status. The British Government bound itself not to recognise Chinese suzerainty or any other rights over Tibet unless China signed the draft Simla Convention of 1914 with Britain and Tibet, which China never did. Nepal’s recognition was confirmed by the Nepalese Government in 1949, in documents presented to the United Nations in support of that government’s application for membership.
The turning point in Tibet’s history came in 1949, when the People’s Liberation Army of the PRC first crossed into Tibet. After defeating the small Tibetan army, the Chinese Government imposed the so-called “Seventeen-Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet” on the Tibetan Government in May 1951. Because it was signed under duress, the agreement was void under international law. The presence of 40,000 troops in Tibet, the threat of an immediate occupation of Lhasa and the prospect of the total obliteration of the Tibetan state left Tibetans little choice.”