The agreement was signed by Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, who campaigned for China`s Tibetan tolerance, and was sealed in Beijing on May 23, 1951, and confirmed by the government in Tibet a few months later. [12] In addition, the Dalai Lama publicly announced that he would ratify the agreement, and its adoption was also sent to Beijing on October 24 [4] in the form of a telegram: May 23, 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the “Seventeen Point Agreement of the Central People`s Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.” This agreement legitimized the People`s Republic of China`s (PRC) claims to Tibet and retroactively justified the military invasion of eastern Tibet by the People`s Liberation Army (PLA) the previous year. The agreement, imposed on Tibetans in 1951, is an admission that Tibet was never part of China The signing of the Seventeen Point Agreement was later challenged as invalid in the Tibetan community in exile, which accused Tibetan delegates of signing under duress and that the Chinese allegedly used false seals of the Tibetan government. The exiled community and its supporters continue to claim that Tibetan representatives have not been allowed to propose changes and that the Chinese government has not allowed Tibetan representatives to communicate with Lhasa. [10] The agreement was born out of Tibet`s political status. Analysts have described the deal as a model of the PRC`s current “one country, two systems” formula applied to Hong Kong. The Chinese made new seals for the Tibetans, but they were only personal seals on which the name of each delegate was engraved. Otherwise, there were no false government seals. Some of the confusion stems from the fact that Ngabo had the seal of the governor of eastern Tibet in his possession, but did not use it.

However, this seal was not the official seal of the Tibetan government, so non-use did not diminish the validity of the agreement. In his autobiography, the Dalai Lama notes that Tibetan delegates claimed they were forced to sign the agreement “under duress.” Their sense of coercion stems from China`s general threat to resume the use of military force in central Tibet if no agreement is reached. However, under international law, this does not entail the nullity of an agreement. As long as there is no physical violence against the signatories, an agreement is valid. However, the validity of the agreement rests on the full power of the signatories to conclude an agreement and, as we have seen, this was clearly not the case. In this sense, the Dalai Lama actually had reason to deny it. [17] “Of the 55 ethnic minority regions in China, Tibet is the only one with which the Chinese government has reached such an agreement. And we have to keep in mind that this makes Tibet unique and incomparable,” Tsering said. The trial was directed against Tibet: the agreement was drafted by China, Tibetan representatives were not allowed to negotiate changes or even communicate with the Tibetan government in Lhasa.

Under duress and knowledge of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government, the delegation signed the agreement using seals provided to them by Beijing. Much to the chagrin of Communist China, the 17-point agreement of 1951 remains an important document to prove that Tibet was an independent nation before the Chinese invasion. However, since Tibetans are not now seeking to secede from China, the document can play a crucial role in finding common ground based on the approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan administration in exile. The three fundamental approaches of Tibet and China could be the Possible Zone of Understanding (ZOPA), in which a solution to the Tibet issue could be found. A strong will and sincere efforts on the part of China`s leaders to look into the ZOPA sphere would be more beneficial for both sides than insisting on the immoral victory they achieved through the 17-point deal. In his essay Hidden Tibet: History of Independence and Occupation, published by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, S.L. Kuzmin writes that the agreement had critical flaws. [21] The use of newly manufactured personal seals instead of official government seals was not legal.

Tibetan delegates overstepped their authority by signing the agreement without the consent of the Dalai Lama and kashag. The preamble to the agreement contained ideological clichés that do not correspond to reality. The Chinese government ordered People`s Liberation Army soldiers entering Tibet to order the “local” government to send their people to negotiations with the center (i.e. the central government); the parties acknowledged this in the preamble and in point 2, so that the agreement was signed under military threat. The agreement was drafted in such a way that a number of terms were ambiguous and allowed for different interpretations by the Chinese and Tibetans. It also contains some internal contradictions. [21] Tibetan nationality is one of the nationalities with a long history within the borders of China and, like many other nationalities, fulfilled its glorious duty during the establishment and development of the great homeland. But in the last hundred years and more, imperialist forces have invaded China and then invaded the Tibetan region, committing all kinds of deceptions and provocations. Like previous reactionary governments, the reactionary KMT government continued to pursue a policy of oppression and sow discord among nationalities, leading to division and disunity among the Tibetan people. .