Tibet Autonomous Region

From Academic Kids

Tibetan: བོད་རང་སྐྱོང་ལྗོངས་
P Rangyongjong
Xīzng Zzhqū
Abbreviation: 藏 (pinyin: Zng)
Missing image
Tibet Autonomous Region is highlighted on this map

Origin of Name 西 xī - west
藏 zng - Tibetan
"Tibet in the west"
Administration Type Autonomous region
Capital and
Largest City
CPC Tibet Committee Secretary Yang Chuantang
Chairman Jampa Phuntsok
Area 1,228,400 km² (2nd)
Population (2002)
 - Density
2,670,000 (31st)
2.2/km² (31st)
GDP (2003)
 - per capita
18.45 billion (31st)
6046 (22nd)
Major Nationalities (2000) Tibetan - 93%
Han - 6%
Hui - 0.3%
Monpa - 0.3%
Prefecture-level divisions 7
County-level divisions 73
Township-level divisions 692
ISO 3166-2 CN-54

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) (Tibetan: བོད་རང་སྐྱོང་ལྗོངས་, P Rangyongjong; Template:Zh-stp), is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Within the PRC the TAR is identified with Tibet, a characterization hotly disputed by many Tibetan exile groups, particularly the Government of Tibet in Exile, which define the terms "Tibet" or "historic Tibet" to include not just the TAR, but also the traditional province of Amdo, today encorporated in Qinghai province and southwestern of Gansu province, and the traditional province of Kham (eastern half), today in western Sichuan province and northwestern Yunnan province. The TAR includes about half of historic Tibet, including the traditional provinces of U-Tsang and Kham (western half). Its borders coincide roughly with the actual zone of control of the government of Tibet before 1959.

There is also a debate surrounding the extent of actual autonomy in the TAR. The opinion of the PRC is that the TAR has ample autonomy, as guaranteed under Articles 111-122 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China as well as the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy of the People's Republic of China. For example, the chairman of the TAR must be ethnic Tibetan, by law. However, independence advocates are of the opinion that the TAR has little or no autonomy. For over a decade, the 14th Dalai Lama has publicly stated that he seeks to negotiate "genuine self-government" or "genuine self-rule" for Tibet within the context of the Chinese state, indicating that he is of the opinion that the current state the TAR does not give the Tibetans genuine self-rule.



See History of Tibet for the history of the area before 1959.

Before 1959, the present extent of the TAR, comprising U-Tsang and western Kham, was governed by the government of Tibet headed by the Dalai Lama, which the Government of Tibet in Exile characterizes as a sovereign independent nation, and the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China as a self-governing Region within China. Other parts of historic Tibet (eastern Kham and Amdo) were not under the administration of the Tibetan government during the 20th century; today they are distributed among the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan.

Following Soviet practice, there is a convention that the governor of the TAR is an ethnic Tibetan from the TAR while the general secretary of the local Communist Party committee is an outsider, usually Han Chinese. Notable general secretaries of the TAR Party committee include Hu Jintao who served in the 1980s.

See also:


The TAR is located on the Tibetan Plateau, the highest region on Earth. Most of the Himalaya mountain range lies within Xizang; Mount Everest is on Xizang's border with Nepal.

The TAR is bounded on the north and east by Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Sichuan, on the west by Kashmir and on the south by Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. TAR also borders on Bhutan, India, and Pakistan.

Map of the Tibet Autonomous Region

Administrative divisions

Tibet Autonomous Region is divided into 1 prefecture-level city (Lhasa) and 6 prefectures (Nagqu Prefecture, Qamdo Prefecture, Nyinchi Prefecture, Shannan Prefecture, Xigaz Prefecture, Ngari Prefecture). All of these are in turn divided into 1 district (Chengguan District, Lhasa), 1 county-level city (Xigaz), and 71 counties.


The TAR has the lowest population density among all of the province-level administrative regions in China, mainly due to its mountainous and harsh geographical features.

Most of the population comprises the ethnic Tibetans, who mainly adhere to Tibetan Buddhism and Bn. A sizeable population comprises the Han Chinese, who are recent immigrants from other parts of China. Intermarriages between the Han Chinese and Tibetans do exist, although they have proved to be unpopular.

Smaller tribal groups such as the Monpa and Lhoba, who follow a combination of Lamaism and spirit worship, are found mainly in the southeastern parts of the region.


The Tibetans traditionally depended upon agriculture for survival. However since the 1980's, with the arrival of modernism from China, other jobs such as taxi-driving and hotel retail work have become available. In 2003, its GDP of 2.2 billion USD is the smallest in all of the PRC's provinces and regions -- contributing to just 0.1% of the entire country's economy.


Ever since China opened its doors to tourists in the 1980s, many people from all over the world have came to visit and explore Tibet. The main attraction is the Potala Palace.

Further reading

  • Sorrel Wilby, Journey Across Tibet: A Young Woman's 1900-Mile Trek Across the Rooftop of the World, Contemporary Books (1988), hardcover, 236 pages, ISBN 0809246082

External links




For "Historic Tibet", see Tibet. The location of this article does not imply any official position by Wikipedia on whether "Tibet" corresponds to Historic Tibet or Tibet Autonomous Region.

Province-level divisions administered by the People's Republic of China Missing image
Flag of the People's Republic of China

Provinces¹: Anhui | Fujian | Gansu | Guangdong | Guizhou | Hainan | Hebei | Heilongjiang | Henan | Hubei | Hunan | Jiangsu | Jiangxi | Jilin | Liaoning | Qinghai | Shaanxi | Shandong | Shanxi | Sichuan | Yunnan | Zhejiang
Autonomous Regions: Guangxi | Inner Mongolia | Ningxia | Tibet | Xinjiang
Municipalities: Beijing | Chongqing | Shanghai | Tianjin
Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong | Macau
¹ See also: Political status of Taiwan

de:Tibet et:Tiibeti autonoomne piirkond ja:チベット自治区 pl:Tybetański Region Autonomiczny fi:Tiibetin autonominen alue uk:Тибетський автономний район zh:西藏自治区


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