The following BBC Tibet timeline is a chronology of key events in the history of Tibet. The Tibetan plateau has had a long, peaceful and mysterious history. Images of great lamas, meditators, flowers and yaks come to mind of the ancient Tibet. More recently since the invasion by China, Tibet's history becomes turbulent and filled with frustration and suffering.
A chronology of key events: Courtesy of the BBC
7th-9th century - Namri Songzen and descendants begin to unify Tibetan-inhabited areas and conquer neighbouring territories, in competition with China.
822 - Peace treaty with China delineates borders.
1244 - Mongols conquer Tibet. Tibet enjoys considerable autonomy under Yuan Dynasty.
1598 - Mongol Altan Khan makes high lama Sonam Gyatso first Dalai Lama.
1630s-1717 - Tibet involved in power struggles between Manchu and Mongol factions in China.
1624 - First European contact as Tibetans allow Portuguese missionaries to open church. Expelled at lama's insistence in 1745.
1717 - Dzungar (Oirot) Mongols conquer Tibet and sack Lhasa. Chinese Emperor Kangxi eventually ousts them in 1720, and re-establishes rule of Dalai Lama.
1724 - Chinese Manchu (Qing) dynasty appoints resident commissioner to run Tibet, annexes parts of historic Kham and Amdo provinces.
1750 - Rebellion against Chinese commissioners quelled by Chinese army, which keeps 2,000-strong garrison in Lhasa. Dalai Lama government appointed to run daily administration under supervision of commissioner.
1774 - British East India Company agent George Bogle visits to assess trade possibilities.
1788 and 1791 - China sends troops to expel Nepalese invaders.
1793 - China decrees its commissioners in Lhasa to supervise selection of Dalai and other senior lamas.
Tibet Timeline - Foreigners banned
1850s - Russian and British rivalry for control of Central Asia prompts Tibetan government to ban all foreigners and shut borders.
1865 - Britain starts discreetly mapping Tibet.
1904 - Dalai Lama flees British military expedition under Colonel Francis Younghusband. Britain forces Tibet to sign trading agreement in order to forestall any Russian overtures.
1906 - British-Chinese Convention of 1906 confirms 1904 agreement, pledges Britain not to annex or interfere in Tibet in return for indemnity from Chinese government.
1907 - Britain and Russia acknowledge Chinese suzerainty over Tibet.
1908-09 - China restores Dalai Lama, who flees to India as China sends in army to control his government.
1912 April - Chinese garrison surrenders to Tibetan authorities after Chinese Republic declared.
Tibet Timeline - Independence declared
1912 - 13th Dalai Lama returns from India, Chinese troops leave.
1913 - Tibet reasserts independence after decades of rebuffing attempts by Britain and China to establish control.
1935 - The man who will later become the 14th Dalai Lama is born to a peasant family in a small village in north-eastern Tibet. Two years later, Buddhist officials declare him to be the reincarnation of the 13 previous Dalai Lamas.
1949 - Mao Zedong proclaims the founding of the People's Republic of China and threatens Tibet with "liberation".
1950 - China enforces a long-held claim to Tibet. The Dalai Lama, now aged 15, officially becomes head of state.
1951 - Tibetan leaders are forced to sign a treaty dictated by China. The treaty, known as the "Seventeen Point Agreement", professes to guarantee Tibetan autonomy and to respect the Buddhist religion, but also allows the establishment of Chinese civil and military headquarters at Lhasa.
Mid-1950s - Mounting resentment against Chinese rule leads to outbreaks of armed resistance.
1954 - The Dalai Lama visits Beijing for talks with Mao, but China still fails to honour the Seventeen Point Agreement.
Tibet Timeline - Revolt
1959 March - Full-scale uprising breaks out in Lhasa. Thousands are said to have died during the suppression of the revolt. The Dalai Lama and most of his ministers flee to northern India, to be followed by some 80,000 other Tibetans.
1963 - Foreign visitors are banned from Tibet.
1965 - Chinese government establishes Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR).
1966 - The Cultural Revolution reaches Tibet and results in the destruction of a large number of monasteries and cultural artefacts.
1971 - Foreign visitors are again allowed to enter the country.
Late 1970s - End of Cultural Revolution leads to some easing of repression, though large-scale relocation of Han Chinese into Tibet continues.
1980s - China introduces "Open Door" reforms and boosts investment while resisting any move towards greater autonomy for Tibet.
1987 - The Dalai Lama calls for the establishment of Tibet as a zone of peace and continues to seek dialogue with China, with the aim of achieving genuine self-rule for Tibet within China.
1988 - China imposes martial law after riots break out.
1989 - The Dalai Lama is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
1993 - Talks between China and the Dalai Lama break down.
1995 - The Dalai Lama names a six-year-old boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, as the true reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, the second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese authorities place the boy under house arrest and designate another six-year-old boy, Gyancain Norbu, as their officially sanctioned Panchen Lama.
2002 - Contacts between the Dalai Lama and Beijing are resumed.
Tibet Timeline - Rail link
2006 July - A new railway linking Lhasa and the Chinese city of Golmud is opened. The Chinese authorities hail it as a feat of engineering, but critics say it will significantly increase Han Chinese traffic to Tibet and accelerate the undermining of traditional Tibetan culture.
2007 November - The current Dalai Lama hints at a break with the centuries-old tradition of selecting his successor, saying the Tibetan people should have a role.
2007 December - The number of tourists travelling to Tibet hits a record high, up 64% year on year at just over four million, Chinese state media say.
2008 March - Anti-China protests escalate into the worst violence Tibet has seen in 20 years, five months before Beijing hosts the Olympic Games.
Pro-Tibet activists in several countries focus world attention on the region by disrupting progress of the Olympic torch relay.
2008 October - The Dalai Lama says he has lost hope of reaching agreement with China about the future of Tibet. He suggests that his government-in-exile could now harden its position towards Beijing.
2008 November - The British government recognises China's direct rule over Tibet for the first time. Critics say the move undermines the Dalai Lama in his talks with China.
China says there has been no progress in the latest round of talks with aides of the Dalai Lama, and blames the Tibetan exiles for the failure of the discussions.
A meeting of Tibetan exiles in northern India reaffirms support for the Dalai Lama's long-standing policy of seeking autonomy, rather than independence, from China.
2008 December - Row breaks out between European Union and China after Dalai Lama addresses European MPs. China suspends high-level ties with France after President Nicolas Sarkozy meets the Dalai Lama.
Tibet Timeline - Anniversary
2009 January - Chinese authorities detain 81 people and question nearly 6,000 alleged criminals in what the Tibetan government-in-exile called a security crackdown ahead of the March anniversary of the 1959 flight of the Dalai Lama.
2009 March - China marks flight of Dalai Lama with new "Serfs' Liberation Day" public holiday. China promotes its appointee as Panchen Lama, the second-highest-ranking Lama, as spokesman for Chinese rule in Tibet. Government reopens Tibet to tourists after a two-month closure ahead of the anniversary.
2009 April - China and France restore high-level contacts after December rift over President Sarkozy's meeting with the Dalai Lama, and ahead of a meeting between President Sarkozy and China's President Hu Jintao at the London G20 summit.
2009 August - Following serious ethnic unrest in China's Xinjiang region, the Dalai Lama describes Beijing's policy on ethnic minorities as "a failure". But he also says that the Tibetan issue is a Chinese domestic problem.
2009 October - China confirms that at least two Tibetans have been executed for their involvement in anti-China riots in Lhasa in March 2008.
End of Tibet Timeline
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