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Courtesy Reuters

AN apparently insignificant announcement concerning Indo-Tibetan relations was made to the press on September 16, 1952, by the Indian Ministry of External Relations. It stated that the 16-year-old Indian Mission in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, would be wound up and replaced by a Consulate-General; but that whereas the Mission maintained direct relations between India and Tibet, the new Consulate-General would be accredited to China. In other words, Indian recognition seemed to be entirely withdrawn from Tibet and thus the period of coöperation between the two countries on a basis of equality came to an end. As the initiation of this cooperation was one of the cornerstones of Indian foreign policy under British rule its termination must be the expression of some basic change in policy; and there is no better way of understanding this change than by recalling briefly the history of Indo-Tibetan relations.

Tibet is bordered by Chinese Turkestan

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