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The Contender
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Resolved: The PRC Should Grant Tibet Sovereignty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/26/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 405 times Debate No: 95011
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)





PRC: People's Republic of China, commonly referred to as China
Grant: To permit as a right, privilege, or favor [1]
Sovereignty: A country's independent authority and the right to govern itself [2]

First round is acceptance only.




I feel excited and nervous. Debate accepted. Lol
Debate Round No. 1


I would first of all like to thank Bored_Debator from accepting this debate. As a Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhist, I feel very strongly about this issue. This should be a fun debate.

First of all, I thought it might be a good idea to go over the modern history of Chinese occupation in the country. For general information about the history and state of Chinese occupation in Tibet, watch this video: a warning, it has brief sections of graphic imagery, as Tibetans protesting peacefully are often beaten, tortured to death, or shot and killed by Chinese soldiers.

1. History

In September of 1949, Mao Zedong of the newly formed PRC ordered troops into Tibet, in order to force Tibet to negotiate. His goal was to either peacefully or forcefully take over Tibet, Taiwan, Hainan Island, and the Pescadores. [1] Negotiations failed and, in October of 1950, China's PLA (People's Liberation Army) began the invasion of Tibet. [2] A treaty was signed under threat of violence by Tibet that gave sovereignty to China while allowing Tibet power over its internal proceedings. A treaty signed under duress and forceful annexation of a country are both violations of international law. [3] In March of 1959, senior Tibetan government officials feared that the PRC was going to kidnap the Dalai Lama, and conflicts went on in Lhasa for several days, at the end of which the Dalai Lama fled across the Himalayas into India.[4] In the late 1980's, there was another rebellion that was brutally suppressed by the Chinese.

2. The Modern Situation in Tibet

According to Freedom House, a nonpartisan US-based research group, Tibet is the second-most repressed country in the world. It is even more repressed that North Korea, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. It is second only to Syria. [5] 1 million Tibetans have died as a result of Chinese occupation, five times more than the deaths from Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, and saying the words "human rights", sending an email abroad, or flying the Tibetan flag can get you tortured. [6] Torture is extensively used on Tibetans who dare protest the Chinese government, even though torture is a violation of both Chinese and international law. [7] In addition, Tibetans who attempt to trek over the Himalayas trying to reach their beloved leader the Dalai Lama, in exile in India, are often shot dead by Chinese troops. [8] In addition, 99% of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries have been removed and it is illegal to own pictures or teachings of the Dalai Lama. Just recently, a Tibetan nun committed suicide as Chinese troops began demolishing a vast and beautiful religious city in Tibet. [9] In 2013, Chinese police opened fire on Tibetans joyously and peacefully celebrating the Dalai Lama's birthday, killing and injuring many. [10]

There's much more to tell, but I think you get the point. Tibet was annexed illegally and should not belong to China under international law. The Tibetans have a right to keep their culture, language, and religion, which the PRC is systematically eliminating. The only solution to these atrocities is a free Tibet.

Looking forward to your first arguments!




Before I get started, I'd like to thank Tree_of_Death for instigating this topic. I never gave Tibet much thought, however, I believe in self determination. I agree with you that China should give up Tibet, I feel that it would be the right thing to do.

Having said that, the voters should take note that though I agree with you, that I'm not conceding the debate, so the voters shouldn't take this into any consideration when voting. I will now argue why China should not give up Tibet. To do this, I must put myself in the situation of a Chinese person.

My opponents mentioning of history going back to the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet. It actually goes back a little farther when the Qing Dynasty invaded and put Tibet under their rule during a time of imperialism. [1] China's conquest and eventual annexation of Tibet is similar to America's conquest and and annexation of previous Mexican territory and Hawaii. Calls for the United States to give up her territory would be the exact same as how China reacts to calls for them to give up Tibet.

My opponents second point regarding the situation in Tibet, I agree, China should not be so harsh to the peoples' rights of religion and such there. However, Tibet would not be better off if given their independence. The people of Tibet has seen an increase in life expectancy from 35 in 1951 to 65 under China by 2010. [2] They are allowed to have more than just one child [3], and the population of Tibet increases instead of decreases which proves China is not in some genocide Tibetan mode [2]. The Dalai Lama believes that Tibet would be better off under Chinese rule then granted independence. [4] Tibet's economic growth is doing better under China than it ever did on its own. [5]

Now, I will get on with my own arguments for why China should not and will not give up Tibet.

1st. Tibet has vast amount of resources, Tibet's Chromite reserves makes up 40% of China's claimed reserves, [6] Tibet's copper = 14.4% of China's reserves, [6] Tibet is has lots of gold, [6] "Tibet is perhaps "the last and the largest oil belt on the continents", [6] Tibet also just so happens to have the world's largest uranium deposits, [6] Tibet also as 25% of the WORLD'S cesium, [6]... 47% of the world's water supply comes from Tibet. [7] Tibet has some of the largest lithium reserves in the world. [8] Crops and livestock as well. [9] Tibet has over 90 different mineral resources including corundum, crystal, volcanic ash, magnesite, sulphur, mica, iron, zinc ect. [10] + tourism. [11]

2nd. Tibetan land provides a great natural defensive border for China. If China gave Tibet up and Tibet made allies to an India hostile towards them, or if India and Tibet unites and becomes one, India would be able to threaten the Chinese mainland. [12]

Finally, why should China give up such the INCREDIBLY, highly beneficial, and strategic importance that is Tibet? No nation in the world recognizes Tibet to be an independent nation. Not even non UN members recognizes Tibet as a nation. [13]

China is well known for the fractures and reunification of China. [14] Even now China is not whole yet, Taiwan and China claim each other as theirs. If Tibet gains their independence peacefully or through violence, we may see China go the way of the past governing powers over China.


Tibet brings China vast economic value, highly strategic importance to the well being of China, and the entire UN sees it that Tibet belongs to China. China has way to much to lose for no real gain. For these reasons, China should not give up Tibet.

Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his arguments.

I'm unsure about the premise of your arguments. Of course it's good for China--why else would they have invaded it? However, I feel that arguing that a policy is good for a country is not really an argument. I could argue that the Nazi occupation of Poland was good because it helped Poland's economy (I don't know if it did, this is just an example). Yet the Nazis built some of the most notorious concentration camps, such as Auschwitz on Polish soil. Yes, we know it benefits China. But my question is, is benefiting China a good thing? Is providing a nation that constantly bullies weaker countries and has an atrocious human rights record with additional resources, money, and protection really that great? I certainly don't think so.

Thank you for your extended history. Not sure why this is relevant, but it's an interesting thing to know. Perhaps a bit of clarification? Also, your point about Hawaii and Mexico is a red herring fallacy. It has no relevance to what we're debating and I never said I supported or opposed either of these annexations.

Your point about life expectancy is interesting, but there is nothing in your source that implies causation. Can you point to a specific policy, perhaps, that proves that the rise in live expectancy is a direct result of the Chinese occupation? Also, how much of this rise can be actually attributed to the PRC rather than advancements in technology and medicine? Until you give me more information, this is also a fallacy--the fallacy of the single cause. [1]

I never said that China was commiting genocide, and the population increase in Tibet is because ethnic Chinese have overwhelmed the area. The rise in population is not because of more Tibetans but rather more Chinese. [2] In addition, the PRC has been forcing nomadic Tibetans from their way of life and traditions they have held for centuries and far away from their homeland, where they are made to live in "urban settlements" that look more like barracks than homes. [3] So the rise in population is due to Tibetans being forced to leave and many more Chinese flooding in to replace them. Your argument about the Dalai Lama is good, but the context seems to be mainly economic. Again, the Chinese may be helping Tibet's economy, but at the cost of its age-old tradition, religion, and culture. This is also a fallacy--appeal to authority.

I will only have a short response to your first arguments, as it is mostly statistics and whatnot. China has been ruthlessly extracting Tibet's resources, at the cost of its environment and the livelihood of the Tibetan people. [4]

Your final argument doesn't really make any sense. First of all, I see no circumstance in which India and China could become hostile, but for the sake of argument I'll assume that it happens. View this map:;

If an Indian army wished to attack China, it would make no sense to move through Tibet. The Indian army would have to somehow march over some of the tallest mountains in the world, and then move thousands of miles through the arid, desolate Tibetan plateau until it finally reached lowland China, which is where all the population centers are. Instead, they would most likely start in far eastern India (keep in mind that the little spur between Bhutan and Bangladesh is also India), take a short march through Burma (Myanmar) and end up right in eastern China, and thus its population centers. This argument, I have to say, doesn't make much sense.

Thank you for the debate and eagerly awaiting your responses!




China giving Tibet sovereignty would be a policy of China's, therefore, one would need to look at the pros and cons of that policy and act accordingly in their best interest as a nation. Is having Tibet as theirs good for China? Yea, it is, and that is why they should not give Tibet sovereignty. Rather or not it negatively affects others is irrelevant to China, they're looking out for their best interest and giving Tibet up isn't in their best interest. My argument will remain the same based on those facts which you not only couldn't rebut but agree that its more beneficial for China not to surrender Tibet up.

You called the United States + Hawaii a red herring, fine, whatever.. So is Nazi Germany and Poland, and it made no sense at all.

"But my question is, is benefiting China a good thing?" Irrelevant to the topic of debate. Should China give Tibet up? Would it do China more harm then good? The answer to the last one is, yea it would. Therefore, no China should not give Tibet up.

If the historic background is irrelevant then why did you bring it up? For clarifications for my additions to your argument, China ruled over Tibet for centuries with global recognition that Tibet is theirs. Those were my points regarding the historic side of this debate you brought up. China's invasion and annexation of Tibet in 1950 wasn't a problem, they were not violating no one's sovereignty, cause everyone agreed that Tibet had no such thing that it was China's. What was your point when you brought up the historic aspect of this?

China, being considerably wealthier than Tibet and being that China made the investments they made to have those technological and medical advancements to be in their possession then used in Tibet is probably why life expectancy has increased.... China had to have done that, not Tibet... Considering that Tibet isn't all that interested in exploiting their resources and such, that there is absolutely no way that Tibet would be able to make the gains that China has been able to do in the time which it has been done. Its because of China's actions that allowed the amount of needed equipment and resources to get Tibets life expectancy up...

The burden of proof is on you to prove that China should give Tibet sovereignty.. You've presented no real argument as to why China should give Tibet up.

I see this has little significance but, Tibet has 7.5 million Tibetans in China, [1] over 3 million in Tibet... 90% of the people living in Tibet is Tibetan which rebuts your claim that China is flooding the area or riding the nation of them. [2]

My arguments are the following.

Having Tibet gives China great wealth cause they have great amounts of resources.

Having Tibet gives them a great defensive natural border. its highly strategic to China.

Losing Tibet can do more harm then good for China, one provine falls and chaos ensues like it always has.

The Dalia Lama, the "beloved leader of Tibet". doesn't want Tibet to have sovereignty cause he agrees that its better off under China. He just wants the peoples' rights to be respected, that's it.

Tibet is internationally recognized as apart of China...

Since having Tibet does China more good than bad, they should NOT give Tibet sovereignty.

Debate Round No. 3


You have a point; I definitely see your interpretation of the resolution, but it is meant to be objective. Thus we must take more than economics and more than the national interests of the PRC into account.

Here are my main arguments:

1. China took Tibet by force and threatened Tibetan diplomats into signing a treaty that they didn't have the authority to sign,

2. Took Tibet in direct violation of international law,

3. And has continually repressed the Tibetan people and destroyed their way of life, using methods such as beating nonviolent protesters to death and horrific torture.


I looked back on my argument and you are correct, I did have a red herring. I apologize.

No, Tibet was not part of China before the invasion. In 1913 after the fall of the Qing Dynasty, both Tibet and Mongolia declared full independence from China. Tibet was independent from 1913 to 1951. [1]

I see that you failed to provide proof of correlation/causation. What if the rise in expectancy has simply been due to improvements to technology and healthcare? Tibet's life expectancy was low then, it's low now. With no sources, we shouldn't assume correlation.

I understand that the BoP is on me. China has a moral duty to give freedom to the land it has long oppressed. A country's highest duty is its moral one, not to serve itself economically. Acting in brutal self-interest is not what a country should do, it is what a country should not do. If all countries acted with disregard to moral duty and in self-interest, society as we know it would collapse. Thus I am calling for the liberation of Tibet from China. It will help Tibet, the society as a whole, and restore what little moral integrity China still retains.


The PRC has caused the Tibetan people enormous amounts of grief; thus the least they can do is apologize and give Tibet back its rightful sovereignty. The premise of your argument is flawed because it is not objective. I have looked at the pros and cons of this interaction for both countries (and I have conceded that it is more beneficial to China from a purely economic standpoint) whereas you have characterized the plight of the Tibetans as simply a resource to be exploited. In emphasizing the economic benefits you completely ignore the moral ones. If I can get money for killing someone, does that mean I should do it? From an economic standpoint yes, but not from an objective, neutral one, because that would be immoral. It goes against any notion of right and wrong. You may say that this analogy doesn't work because I risk legal action if I were to be found guilty, but the same goes for China--it violated international law. You do not take all aspects of the situation into account and thus you have not completely proved your side of the resolution. It's good for China from an economic stance, but not from a moral one.

I would also like to note that Con has failed to refute both my argument about international law in Round 2 and my rebuttal to the "War with India" claim.

Thank you for this debate. You are an excellent debater. Best wishes to you.


1. (For some reason my source isn't working, just click on the link and then add the rest into the URL.)


China's imperial ambitions & when they ruled Tibet back in the early 1700s was the norm. Because they did this so long ago it follows my next point. China didn't violate any international law when the subdued Tibet in 1950, the international community didn't recognize Tibet as an independent nation but a rouge province that is apart of China. This is sourced in previous rounds. China has oppressed not only Tibetans but also other Chinese. Not every nation is held to the standards of what the United States was founded on.

Tibet was under China from 1720 to 1912, when China fell apart and was in continuous war and such wasn't in any ability to subdue their internationally recognize territory known as Tibet.

On the healthcare statement, Tibet wouldn't have the monetary funds to invest in the technology and medical advancements to make the life expectancy increase. It WAS those advancements that increased the life expectancy of everyone. Tibet doesn't want to extract the resources that could make them wealthy enough to be able to. China is willing to do what they are not. This is the truth of the matter.

China doesn't have any moral responsibility to allow itself to break apart, self preservation is the epitome of life in the world, committing national suicide is by no means a moral responsibility of government. World powers throughout history disregarded moral duty and acted in self interest. They are remembered as some of the mightiest, wealthiest, and so one in the history books.

China has disregarded peoples' rights of speech, religion, peacefully assemble and protest, and so on. I agree, however, China acts in the interest of 1.3 billion other people. China's vastness requires resources to keep afloat.

When discussing what someone should do, we must consider how it will affect the decision maker. In this case, deciding to rid itself of Tibet, it will cause them to lose out on VAST amounts of resources. The vastness of said resources are truly vast, it really is behind real comprehension. Tibet has almost HALF of the water that the world relies on to drink, 25% of the worlds cesium, almost half of China's cromite, largest reserves of lithium, largest deposits of uranium and dozens of other resources. Tibet is a goldmine and so economically it doesn't make sense to them to give it all up.

Strategically, it has natural defensive border, gives them a shared border with more nations.

These things gives China greater ability to preserve China and the billion and half people living in it with a better ability to give them a better standard of living.

On a set of scales where one side, morals, and the other side, economy and strategic position and such, the later weighs in more than the morals of what we think is right.

Morals, what is right or wrong is not a universal belief, different races, nations, religions, ect all have different morals, different beliefs of what is right and what is wrong. What you may deem is wrong can very well be believed as right by another. On the discussion of what an average Chinese feels will tell you that Tibet is rightfully theirs and though you may disagree with that assertion, national leaders around the world doesn't. Because everyone in the true positions agree that Tibet is theirs and cause Tibet gives them great wealth and strategic value, China should not give Tibet up.

I don't really have anything else to add, unrelated, my fondness of the site has been waning for a while now. I won't be debating for a while. I did however enjoy debating you. If you're interested in debating something else. I will be happy to debate you.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Bored_Debater 1 month ago
You're welcome.
Posted by Tree_of_Death 1 month ago
Thanks. That's good advice.
Posted by Bored_Debater 1 month ago
That sucks, similar things has happened to me. No problem. I don't know if you have it but sticky notes on my laptop auto saves. Sometimes I will write my arguments on there and copy paste it on here. So if anything happens it will start from where I was at before the problem.
Posted by Tree_of_Death 1 month ago
I was about halfway through my argument and then some stupid glitch wiped away most of it...My arguments may be another day or two. Really sorry about that.
Posted by Bored_Debater 1 month ago
Haha.. It is, just asking.
Posted by Tree_of_Death 1 month ago
Sure. It's an open debate, isn't it?
Posted by Bored_Debater 1 month ago
May I accept this debate?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TN05 1 month ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD: