I was disgusted to see displays in the Museum of the Royal Fusiliers (situated within the grounds of the Tower of London) which featured displays on Tibet (1904) and Korea (1950-1953). These openly imperialistic adventures were next to the exhibits from WWII – where the British Army was on the right-side fighting fascism. The other two displays, of course, were celebrating blatant British imperialism. Chinese history, of course, mentions at least three British invasions into Tibet, other than the well-known 1903-1904 incursion. The earlier invasions are hardly, if ever, mentioned within Western discourse. The Chinese history records (referenced below) mention three other invasions of Tibet by British troops in 1885, 1886 and 1888.
The 1885 invasion saw the British enter the ‘Gambazong’ area of Tibet from Sikkim in the name of enforced commerce (whilst seeking minerals). These British soldiers were firmly opposed by local Tibetan officials, the military and civilians loyal to the Qing Dynasty, and were not allowed to advance. The two sides were at a stalemate for several months, with the British trying to force the situation with the threat of a ‘crusade’ which would ‘wipe-out’ Buddhism and replace it with Christianity! As nothing could be settled – the British withdrew.
In 1886, the British sent a large number of troops to cross the southern border of Yadong, Tibet, to carry out armed provocations. Armed with a few old muskets, bows and arrows, knives, spears and other obsolete weapons, the Tibetan army vowed to defend the territorial integrity of the Chinese motherland and managed, through an odd occurrence, to repel the British aggression. The Tibetans had lifted an old Qing cannon out of the local Buddhist temple it was kept in (where it was ‘worshipped’ alongside the Buddha), and placed it on the high ground covering a third valley of approach. The problem was that there was only one cannon ball left to fire from it! The British soldiers advanced through the first and second valleys of approach killing and wounding Tibetans as they went – but then they entered the final third valley where the cannon awaited them. The fuse was lit but the cannon failed to fire! This led to laughter amongst the attacking British soldiers who continued their attack. Suddenly, the cannon fired and the British soldiers crouched low to the ground – covering their heads – but the cannon-ball fired wildly over their heads and flew into the mountainside! More British laughter followed and the soldiers continued their attack. However, a sudden and growing ‘rumbling’ soon spelled disaster as the entire British contingent was covered with a massive avalanche of snow! To this day it is believed that China (and Tibet) was saved by the ‘divine cannon’!
This Victory inspired more men to join the Tibetan army and prepare to face any imperialist invasion. This happened just two-years later, during August, 1888, when the British invaded the Tibetan area of China once again. A much larger Tibetan army confronted the British – but the British possessed much better weapons and quickly defeated – having to retreat back to Mount Zerela – where consequently, the Qing government had to enter negotiations with the British and make concessions.
On September 8th, 1903, the British imperialists invaded through Yadong yet again. In the following year or so, the invaders burned, killed, raped, looted and committed all kinds of heinous crimes against the Tibetan people. Thousands of Tibetan people were killed by the modern weapons of the invading British army; historic temples and important cultural buildings were destroyed by the cannons of the invaders; precious cultural relics and numerous treasures were looted by the greedy invaders.
Of course, none of the above ‘genuine’ Chinese and Tibetan history is mentioned in the hideously Eurocentric book featured above, authored by ‘Patrick French’ – which reeks of Pro-Tibetan Movement anti-Chinese racism, distortion, inversion and anti-intellectualism! He writes a narrative history of the equally racist ‘Francis Younghusband’ – super-imposed with Pro-Tibetan Movement ideology and racist rhetoric – a historical figure who is responsible for all the death and destruction the British unleashed upon Tibet in 1903-1904 without any sense of irony! As Patrick French is not interested in the genuine history of either China or its Tibetan region – and continues to perpetuate the ‘myth’ of a Chinese ‘invasion’ in 1950 – he makes no mention to the above historical facts! Tibet was part of China for at least a thousand years before Younghusband showed-up, and was part of China during the Qing Dynasty and during the Republic of China (1911-1949) – and continued to be part of China post-1949! China did not invade itself in 1950 – as Patrick French suggests! (The 1997, film entitled ‘Red River Valley’ [红河谷 – Hong He Gu] directed by Feng Xiaoning [冯小宁] tells the story of Tibetans and Chinese fighting together against Younghusband and British imperialism!)
Indeed, his book reminds of the ramblings of those who are intelligent but are otherwise suffering from mental illness. A mental illness that cannot discern fact from fantasy and which seeks to generate narratives which sees the distorted reality of fantasy superimposed over narratives that purport to explain concrete reality. Every time French encounters an ethnic Tibetan in Tibet who does not understand or comprehend the Eurocentric and racist nonsense he is espousing, French invariably utters the phrase (like a nervous twitch) ‘Cultural Revolution’! Just why the publishing industry allows this blend of far-right racism and misleading interpretation to masquerade as legitimate history is an interesting question. Just as Younghusband’s racism is played-down, the racist misrepresentation of Chinese and Tibetan people is played-up! Westerners are always playing upon the idea of divide and conquer – and French is no exception to this rule. Within China today, the Chinese and Tibetan people are Comrades and very close ethnic groups. It is only within the racist Western mind that they are imagined to be a) apart, and b) antagonistic to one another! The Pro-Tibetan Movement grew out of the 14th Dalai Lama’s tutelage under Nazi German advisors during and after WWII. Again, a reality ignored by people like French who have been duped by the CIA – which has ‘employed the Dalai Lama for decades! What this book does is convincingly demonstrate that a ‘cult-mentality’ can be utilised to write a narrative history which possess the power to mislead as it reveals! Just like Francis Younghusband – Patrick French knows nothing about the genuine history or culture of Tibet – despite both men having actually visited Tibet!
Chinese Language Article: