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"17 Article Agreement" on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet
By:china-un.org
update:February 16,2009
The Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet 
on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet
 
(Beijing, 23 May 1951)
 
The Tibetan ethnic group is one of the ethnic groups with a long history within the boundaries of China and, like many other ethnic groups, it has performed its glorious duty in the course of the creation and development of our great motherland. But over the last 100 years or more, imperialist forces penetrated into China, and in consequence also penetrated into the Tibetan region and carried out all kinds of deceptions and provocations. Like previous reactionary governments, the Kuomintang reactionary government continued to carry out a policy of oppressing and sowing dissension among the ethnic groups, causing division and disunity among the Tibetan people. And the local government of Tibet did not oppose the imperialist deceptions and provocations, and adopted an unpatriotic attitude towards our great motherland. Under such conditions, the Tibetan ethnic group and people were plunged into the depths of enslavement and suffering. 
 
In 1949, basic victory was achieved on a nationwide scale in the Chinese People's War of Liberation; the common domestic enemy of all ethnic groups-the Kuomintang reactionary government-was overthrown; and the common foreign enemy of all the ethnic groups--the aggressive imperialist forces-was driven out. On this basis, the founding of the People's Republic of China and of the Central People's Government was announced. In accordance with the Common Program passed by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the Central people's Government declared that all ethnic groups within the boundaries of the People's Republic of China are equal, and that they shall establish unity and mutual aid and oppose imperialism and their own public enemies, so that the People's Republic of China will become a big fraternal and cooperative family, composed of all its ethnic groups; that within the big family of all ethnic groups of the People's Republic of China, national regional autonomy shall be exercised in areas where national minorities are concentrated, and all national minorities shall have freedom to develop their spoken and written languages and to preserve or People's Government shall assist all ethnic minorities to develop their political, economic, cultural and educational construction work. Since then, all ethnic groups within the country, with the exception of those in the areas of Tibet and Taiwan, have gained liberation. Under the unified leadership of the Central People's Government and the direct leadership of higher levels of People's Governments, all ethnic minorities are full enjoying the right of national equality and have established, or are establishing, national regional autonomy. 
 
In order that the influences of aggressive imperialist forces in Tibet might be successfully eliminated, the unification of the territory and sovereignty of the People's Republic of China accomplished, and national defense safeguarded; in order that the Tibetan ethnic group and people might be freed and return to the big family of the People's Republic of China to enjoy the same rights of national equality as all the other ethnic groups in the country and develop their political, economic, cultural and educational work, the Central People's Government, when it ordered the People's Liberation Army to march into Tibet, notified the local government of Tibet to send delegates to the central authorities to conduct talks for the conclusion of an agreement on measures for the peaceful liberation of Tibet. 
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