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This book pursues both narrative and analytic approaches to better understand China’s spatial economic development and its implications for Tibet. Accordingly, this book focuses on Tibet – an autonomous region in the far west of China – as the subject of an in-depth case study, highlighting its unique geopolitical and socioeconomic features and external and boundary conditions. China’s great diversity in terms of physical geography, resource endowment, political economy, and ethnicity and religion has posed challenges to the studies of spatial and interprovincial issues. Indeed, the Chinese nation is far too huge and spatially diverse to be easily interpreted. The only feasible approach to analyzing it is, therefore, to divide it into smaller geographical elements so as to arrive at better insights into the country’s spatial mechanisms and regional characteristics. In this context, the book combines analytic and narrative approaches.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. A Brief History of Tibet

Abstract
Tibet is a large, sparsely populated area which accounts for near one-eighth (if only Tibet autonomous region is included) or more than one-fifth (if all Tibetan areas are included) of China’s total territory. With a history of about 2500 years, and located at the southwest edge of China, Tibet used to be an independent empire. Thanks to their similar cultural (racial and religious) connections, on one hand, and appeasement policies that the Chinese rulers had adopted toward all Tibetans, on the other hand, Tibet and the rest of China have been formed as a single country for a long period of time. However, throughout the PRC era, the Tibet question has never been resolved easily.
Rongxing Guo

Chapter 2. Chinese-Style Development in Tibet: Narrative

Abstract
Since the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded in 1949, the Chinese central government has made various efforts in order to stabilize Tibet and to fully assimilate it into China. Have what the Chinese have done in Tibet yielded what they expected? In this chapter, four unique development approaches (including the “pairing-aid program,” the “aid-Tibet cadres program,” the “inland middle schools and classes,” and the “large construction project”) that the Chinese government has applied, which have resulted in both positive and negative effects on the social and economic developments of Tibet, will be analyzed. At the end of this chapter, there is an annex of the major interprovincial events relating to China’s pairing-aid-to-Tibet programs.
Rongxing Guo

Chapter 3. Tibetan Unrest and the Dalai Lama: Narrative

Abstract
Historically and politically, harmonious Han-Tibetan relations had once been achieved during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). However, during the PRC era, especially since the Dalai Lama’s flight to India in 1959, the China–Tibet relationships have been worsening. Some Tibetans, especially those in exile, have been denying the Chinese rule over Tibet and believed that what the Chinese have done in Tibet is the real cause for the Tibetan unrest in and outside Tibet. In this chapter, the following incidents will be briefly narrated: (i) the Tibetan rebellion in 1959, (ii) the Tibetan unrest from 1987 to 1989, (iii) the Lhasa riots in 2008, and (iv) the self-immolation protests from 2009 to 2013. The focus is mainly on the causes and consequences of these incidents, with some further implications being given to the future of Tibet and its relations with China.
Rongxing Guo

Chapter 4. Determinants of Spatial (Dis)Integration: Analytics

Abstract
Using a modified gravity model of trade and China’s interprovincial panel data, this chapter shows that the negative effect of distance-related transactions costs on trade tends to rise from 2000 to 2010. After constructing all the 56 ethnic groups into a single, interprovincial similarity index, we cannot find any evidence that supports the view that ethnic links may serve as a factor promoting bilateral trade. However, our estimated coefficients on 37 major ethnic groups suggest that both positive and negative ethnic influences on trade exist in China. Finally, we find that the Tibetan and 12 other ethnic groups tend to contribute to China’s interprovincial integration and that the Dai, the Han, the Kazak, and the Va ethnic groups tend to be responsible for China’s spatial disintegration.
Rongxing Guo

Chapter 5. Going Back to Tibet: Analytic Narrative

Abstract
This chapter sets out to investigate how China’s interprovincial economic (dis)integration has been determined in Tibet. Given the ethnic homogeneity within Tibet and the similar religious beliefs adopted by the Tibetans and Han Chinese (both of which belong to the Mongoloid group), the harmonious Han–Tibetan relations had once ever been achieved. It is found that Tibet’s spatial economic disparities are much smaller than Xinjiang’s, which could be responsible for its long-term economic progress and social stability. Finally, we also find that China’s development policies toward Tibet have been more successful than those toward Xinjiang. This may be witnessed not only by the Tibetan’s better social and economic performances than Xinjiang’s but also by the less tensed (at least compared to the Han–Uyghur relations in Xinjiang) Han–Tibetan relations in Tibet.
Rongxing Guo

Chapter 6. Ethnic Autonomy and Tibet: Policy Options

Abstract
China has made various efforts to keep its peripheral, non-Han Chinese areas under its effective control and to achieve a harmonious society for China as a whole. However, till present, the costs spent are quite high and the outcomes achieved are not so encouraging in Tibet autonomous region (TAR). Given the TAR’s low levels of ethnic (and also religious) diversity and of economic inequality—all being foundations for a stable harmonious society, we suggest that policymakers should consider more radical reforms that may generate incentives to promote the local political and economic developments in the TAR. This chapter also compares a series of policy options aiming to upgrade the TAR’s political autonomy and to re-allocate the Tibetan autonomous prefectures (TAPs) and the Tibetan autonomous counties (TACs) outside the TAR. At last, the Dalia Lama’s role in the long-term development of all Tibetan areas is discussed.
Rongxing Guo

Backmatter

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