Saturday, November 16, 2019

The truth about Ladakh’s Shaksgam: Correcting historical wrongs in J&K

The Shaksgam Valley 'donated' to China in 1963
My article The truth about Ladakh’s Shaksgam: Correcting historical wrongs in J&K appeared in The Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle


A secret note prepared by the MEA’s historical division mentioned that ‘any such agreement will be illegal’

Soon after India reorganized the former state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) into the new Union Territories (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, China went ballistic.
Geng Shuang, a spokesman of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the media: "China deplores and firmly opposes this. This is unlawful and void and this is not effective in any way and will not change the fact that the area is under Chinese actual control." He urged India to "earnestly respect Chinese territorial sovereignty and uphold peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”
China’s territorial ‘integrity’ refers not only to Beijing’s claims over the Aksai Chin and some other places up to (and in some cases beyond) the Line of Actual Control (LAC), but to the areas illegally ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs answered sharply: "We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on matters that are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on the internal issues of other countries," declared the Ministry’s spokesman. Referring to the Shaksgam Valley, he pointed out that China had 'illegally' acquired Indian territories.
One understands why the new maps released by the Government irritate China, as this virtually opens up another sector to be negotiated along the Indo-Chinese disputed boundary.
In the new maps, the Leh district of Ladakh includes the districts of Gilgit, Gilgit Wazarat, Chilhas and Tribal Territory of 1947, in addition to the known areas of Leh and of course the Aksai Chin, occupied by China since the mid-1950s.
Why is the mention of Shaksgam an issue for Beijing?
An agreement was signed on March 2, 1963 between Pakistan and China about portions of Kashmir’s boundary with Xinjiang.
A secret Note prepared by the MEA’s Historical Division mentioned that “any such agreement will be ab initio illegal and invalid and will not bind India in any respect.” The Note observed that the preamble states that the parties have agreed to formally delimit and demarcate the boundary between Xinjiang and the contiguous areas of Pakistan; the latter based her right on the fact that these areas were under her ‘actual control’.
However as the Indian note explained: “Under international law, the right of entering into treaties and agreements is an attribute of sovereignty. Furthermore, a sovereign cannot presume to exercise sovereign functions in respect of territory other than its own. Having regard to the UN resolutions of 17 January 1948 and 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 (UNCIP Resolutions) it is clear that Pakistan cannot (and does not) claim to exercise sovereignty in respect of J&K.”
The 1963 MEA note clarified that according to the term of the UN Resolutions, “Pakistan cannot purport to exercise even ‘actual control’ over the defence of these areas.”
It quoted a statement of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP): “The Commission did not ignore India’s claim to the right to safeguard the security of the State, nor did it put into question the legality of the Jammu and Kashmir Government” (UN Doc S/1430). In other words, the UN acknowledged the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh.
The legal conclusion was that “Pakistan’s claim to the ‘actual control’ ….can only mean that she has had recourse to a line of action which is illegal and inconsistent with the UN Resolutions,[it was] reaffirmed by her as late as 2 May 1962.” Occupying a land by force or war does not give the titles of that land to the occupiers.
The Historical Division commented further on Pakistan’s mala fides: “the conclusion of this ‘Agreement’ amounts to compromising the sovereignty of the state of J&K, which Pakistan has no business to do; even though Article 6 of the agreement includes provision for its renegotiation after the final settlement of the Kashmir question.”
It is strange that the Governments of China and Pakistan announced the agreement on the eve of important Indo-Pakistan talks on Kashmir.
On March 5, 1963, speaking about China during a Calling Attention Motion in the Lok Sabha, the Indian Prime Minister stated: “If one goes by these maps, Pakistan has obviously surrendered over 13,000 square miles of territory.”
Nehru rightly remarked: “The agreement claims to be provisional, and yet so much haste has been shown in concluding it. It is significant that it is not subject to ratification. Thus, the National Assembly, the press and the public of Pakistan have been given and will be given no opportunity to examine the terms of this agreement.”
About China, he added that: “in spite of its professions that it has never involved itself in the dispute over Kashmir or its absurd claim that the boundary negotiations have promoted friendship between the Chinese and Pakistani people and are in the interests of Asia and world peace, is directly interfering in Indo-Pakistan relations. By doing this, China, is seeking to exploit differences between India and Pakistan …to further its own expansionist policy.”
Unfortunately, India did not have the wisdom to break the negotiations with Pakistan at that time, though the note pointed out that Delhi objected to Article 1 which said that the boundary in this region “has never been formally limited”; already on May 10, 1962, Delhi had clarified that “the international boundary alignment in the sector west of the Karakoram Pass of the boundary of J&K State of India follows well-known natural features, has been recognized in history for all these years.”
Interestingly, the joint China-Pakistan survey of the ‘donated’ areas was conducted in1987 only, 24 years after the territory was offered to China; it means that in 1963, Pakistan did not even know the exact magnitude of her gift.
The traditional boundary runs along the watershed dividing the tributaries of the Yarkand river and that of the Hunza river; then it continues to the Kilik, Mintaka, Karchanai, Parpik and Khunjerab Passes. It later crossed the Shaksgam river and after passing the Aghil mountains, it follows the Aghil, Marpo and Shaksgam Passes up to the Karakoram Pass.
It was observed that no Chinese authority had ever reached these areas, “the Mir of Hunza (in Kashmir) exercised authority in this region and maintained posts and collected revenue.”
The conclusion was that Pakistan, by her own admission as well as by the UN resolutions, “has no right to act on behalf of any part of J&K. The UNCIP has clearly recognized the legality of the J&K Government and the right of India to safeguard the security of the State;” it was just an attempt by Pakistan to formally legalize her control over the northern areas of J&K. Sir Owen Dixon, who in 1950 had been nominated by the UN as the official mediator between India and Pakistan for Kashmir, had termed Pakistan’s action as “inconsistent with international law”.
The Historical Division concluded: “Since the basis of her claim to control over these areas has itself originated in illegalities, it is clear that she cannot use this illegal basis in order to substantiate her claims to negotiate on behalf of these areas.”
It is this historical wrong that the new maps published by the Government are trying to rectify …at least on paper.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Archives of Leh

My article The Archives of Leh appeared in the Edit Page of The Pioneer.


Here is the link...

It is perhaps not too late to put the history of India in its proper perspective and undo the blunders committed in the 1950s and 1960s

As an aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the former State of Jammu & Kashmir has been reorganised into the new Union Territories (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The latter consists of two districts: Kargil and Leh. Subsequently, new maps have been prepared by the Surveyor-General of India showing the geographical outline of the new UTs; it is a welcome move by the Government to educate the people of India and the media (and hopefully, the biased foreign Press).
Interestingly, the Leh district of Ladakh includes the districts of Gilgit, Gilgit Wazarat, Chilhas and Tribal Territory of 1947, in addition to the known areas of Leh and, of course, the Aksai Chin, illegally occupied by China since the mid-1950s.
For several reasons, it is important that these maps have been updated. First there was often a discrepancy in the length of the Indo-China border on some Indian websites. Was the length 4,056 or 3,488 km?  The first figure is the only valid one as Gilgit-Baltistan (formerly the Gilgit agency) is legally a part of India. The Indo-China boundary starts at the trijunction of Afghanistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Xinjiang to reach the Karakoram Pass and further runs through the Karakoram and Karatagh passes and along the Kunlun in the north, and through Lanak La and across the western part of the Pangong Lake and then along the ridge parallel to the Indus, before crossing the Indus south-east of Demchok. Hopefully the wrong figures will now be rectified.
The fact that large parts of Ladakh are today occupied by China explain Beijing’s aggressive stance. Speaking of the creation of the two UTs, Geng Shuang, a spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the media: “China deplores and firmly opposes this. This is unlawful and void and this is not effective in any way and will not change the fact that the area is under Chinese actual control.” He urged India to “earnestly respect Chinese territorial sovereignty and uphold peace and tranquility in the border areas.”
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs did not leave the unwarranted attack unanswered: “We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on matters that are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on the internal issues of other countries,” declared India’s Ministry for External Affairs spokesman. Referring to the Shaksgam Valley, he pointed out that China “illegally” acquired Indian territories from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir through the 1963 China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement. That infamous pact was signed by Pakistan’s Minister of External Affairs and his Chinese counterpart. The new maps will irritate China no end, as it virtually opens another sector along the Indo-Chinese disputed boundary.


Map of the 1987 Survey of the areas 'donated' to China
A secret note prepared by the historical division of the Ministry of External Affairs mentioned that “any such agreement will be ab initio illegal and invalid and will not bind India in any respect.” The note observed that the preamble states that the parties have agreed to formally delimit and demarcate the boundary between Xinjiang and the contiguous areas of Pakistan, the defence of which was under  the actual control of Karachi; Pakistan based its right on the fact that these areas were under her “actual control.” However,  the Indian note explained: “Under international law, the right of entering into treaties and agreements is an attribute of sovereignty. Furthermore, a sovereign cannot presume to exercise sovereign functions in respect of territory other than its own. Having regard to the UN resolutions of January 17, 1948, August 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949 (UNCIP Resolutions) it is clear that Pakistan cannot (and does not) claim to exercise sovereignty in respect of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Very few, even in India, realise the importance of this point. On March 5, 1963, speaking about China during a Calling Attention Motion in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister said: “In spite of its professions that it has never involved itself in the dispute over Kashmir or its absurd claim that the boundary negotiations have promoted friendship between the Chinese and Pakistani people and are in the interests of Asia and world peace, it is directly interfering in Indo-Pakistan relations. By doing this, China is seeking to exploit differences between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir question to further its own expansionist policy.”
Of course, since then, China has become Pakistan’s Iron brother, but the motivations have remained the same. Today’s publication of proper maps should only be a first step.
The logical follow-up should be to repatriate all the archives pertaining to Ladakh and the Gilgit Wazarat, to Leh, where a place should be dedicated to their preservation; it is crucial as the history of large chunks of the border with China lies in these records.
During the negotiations of “the Officials of India and China” in 1960, the Indian side noted: “A systematic settlement of revenue for the whole of Ladakh up to the traditional alignment was made during the time of Mehta Mangal who was Wazir or Governor between 1860 and 1865; and this settlement was revised during the period of his successor Johnson (1870-1881) and Radha Kishen Kaul (1882). The lists of villages in both the Revenue Assessment Report of 1902 and the Settlement Report of 1908 mentioned 108 villages, including Tanktse, Demchok, Chushul and Minsar... The Preliminary Report of Ladakh Settlement of 1908 made clear that these areas were part of Ladakh.”
The Indian side submitted a large quantity of such documents. These records will show that India exercised control over the various frontier areas and collected revenues from the border villages till Independence.
These records should be kept in Leh; it should also include the history of the Gilgit Wazarat and other territories now shown under the Ladakh district and how Shaksgam Valley was illegally offered to Communist China.
This would greatly help the project of the Ministry of Defence to write the history of India’s borders, the project for which was recently announced: “The work will cover various aspects of borders, including tracing its making; making and unmaking and shifting of borders; role of security forces; role of borderland people encompassing their ethnicity, culture and socio-economic aspects of their lives.”
It is perhaps not too late to put the history of India in its proper perspective and undo the blunders committed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Why India's northern borders are threatened

My article Why India's northern borders are threatened appeared in Mail Today/Daily O

Here is the link... 

While the world speaks of artificial intelligence and facial recognition, India can't find better ways to monitor unwanted elements on the borders.

In the months to come, the 4056-kilometrre long India-China border will be in the news; probably for wrong reasons.
Despite last month’s ‘Chennai Connect’ between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping at Mamallapuram, Beijing continues its aggressive stance on Ladakh; the formation of two separate Union Territories for J&K and Ladakh seems to have irritated Beijing no end.

A sore point for China
Geng Shuang, a spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the media that "China deplores and firmly opposes this. This is unlawful and void and this is not effective in any way and will not change the fact that the area is under Chinese actual control;" he further urged India to "earnestly respect Chinese territorial sovereignty and uphold peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs did not leave the unwarranted attack unanswered: “We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on matters that are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on the internal issues of other countries," said the Indian spokesman. He requested China to stick to the ‘Political Parameters and Guiding Principles’ jointly agreed by the two sides to proceed on the border issue in 2005; the Indian official also pointed out that China ‘illegally’ acquired Indian territories from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) through a China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963; he was referring to the Shaksgam Valley.
If China decides to play this game, India could easily point out (with solid historical proofs) that Eastern Turkestan (now Xinjiang) was militarily annexed by the Peoples’ Republic of China in October-December 1949 and Tibet was occupied a year later.
In the present context, it is vital for India to develop its Northern borders, to open new roads, provide better telecom facilities, decent health services and education infrastructure for the local populations, who have already started migrating in large numbers. One solution to stop the hemorrhage is sustainable tourism.
Pema Khundu, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh created a stir on Twitter; he was seen riding a buggy, near the Tibet border, north of Tawang; the purpose of the adventurous drive over the hilly terrains, was to promote tourism; Kiren Rijiju, the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs accompanied Khandu; they rode an ATV Polaris for a distance of 107 km from PT Tso (also known as Madhuri lake) to the remote village of Mago. In a tweet, Rijiju mentioned the scenic beauty: “The state, mostly habituated over high altitudes of mountain ranges, is replete with stunning natural delights. The hilly areas also pose a good scope for adventure sports over snow laden valleys and glistening scenic beauties of natural lakes.”
Though roads are slowly coming up, the development infrastructure still remains far slower than in Tibet, although from Ladakh to Arunachal, the government is finally taking measures to tackle the problem. But thanks to a ‘dual use’ approach, China has done remarkably well to develop its side of the borders; every piece of infrastructure can be used by the civil administration, for example to accommodate tourists (last year, some seven million visited Nyingchi, the prefecture bordering Arunachal Pradesh) or by the People’s Liberation Army, when required.

Boost border growth
Last week, China Daily announced that 133 villagers from 29 households had been resettled at Puma Changthang, a village north of Bhutan: “Sharing a 25-km border with Bhutan where the average altitude tops 5,300 meters above sea level, the Puma Changthang township is renowned as the world's highest township.” The article noted that China’s objective was to make these border areas prosper; some 200 such model villages are said to have been built close to India’s border over the past three years.
In India, everything goes slowly, though efforts are made. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently inaugurated the strategically located ‘Col Chewang Rinchen Setu’, a bridge built over River Shyok, connecting Durbuk and Daulat Beg Oldie in Eastern Ladakh. The Minister reiterated “the Government’s unwavering commitment to bolster border infrastructure to effectively deal with any threats that undermine the peace and tranquillity in the country.” At the same time, he announced that the Siachen glacier base-camp will be opened to tourism.
Both strategic and economic development need to go hand in hand.
Another example, the government has recently approved the construction of 18 border tracks along the border. Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kishan Reddy called it a critical infrastructure to enhance the capability of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Spruce up Arunachal
Unfortunately, it is far from enough.
While being firm with China and getting ready for the worse, new ways to diffuse the tensions are tried, for example India and China will have 'coordinated patrols' in disputed areas along LAC, such as the Fish-Tail 1 & 2 in Arunachal Pradesh. According to The Hindustan Times: “India made the proposal for coordinated patrolling at a high-level meeting between the Indian Army and the PLA in June.”
Another factor is: looking after the border populations; a gesture shows how keen the locals are to be integrated: the residents of 10 villages of Upper Siang (Arunachal Pradesh) have recently decided not to claim compensation for their land for the construction of a road to improve the connectivity to the border; this will greatly help the construction of a proposed 150km-long Yingkiong-Bishing two-lane highway; Bishing, the last Indian village near the McMahon Line, is home to around 100 people from the Memba tribe.
But in many other ways, India still lives under the British Raj, the most blatant example is the Inner Line system which still hampers the development of the State. It is difficult to understand that while the world speaks of Artificial Intelligence or facial recognition, the Indian State can’t find a better way to monitor unwanted elements on the borders.
In the meantime, China will continue to put pressure.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Ninth Panchen Lama and China

The Ninth Panchen Lama with Chiang Kai-Chek and 'Young Marsha' Zhang Xueliang
The Dalai Lama vs the Panchen Lama
During the first two decades of the twentieth century, the main factor which weakened the Tibetan State was the dispute between the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. The differences between the two Lamas were fully exploited by the Chinese to their own advantage. The British themselves were not innocent in the affair. The split between the Ninth Panchen Lama and the Thirteenth Dalai Lama began over a trivial matter of taxation, although it involved the important issue of national security and the financing of the army.
Between Simla Convention in 1913 until the early twenties, Tibet had been waging a constant war with China in Kham Province of Eastern Tibet. This war cost the Tibetan Government dearly. Even when the British provided arms and ammunition to Lhasa, the British had to be paid.
The Dalai Lama’s objective was to build a strong army for defence based on the British model of military training.
From the start two main ‘lobbies’ tried to oppose the changes; their objections were not only ideological, but primarily with regard to distribution of power and who would pay to raise the Army.
Things took a turn for the worse when it became clear that the monasteries would have to contribute from the revenue of their estates.
When the Tibetan Government in Lhasa decided to unilaterally tax the Tashilhunpo, the seat of the Panchen Lamas, for a quarter of the Army’s expenses, it provided the needed excuse to spark off the old dispute between Lhasa and the monastery. The question of taxation brought many other problems to the surface but the main one was the issue of the administrative autonomy of different provinces and the large estates in Tibet.
The Tashilhunpo administration regarded Lhasa’s decision to impose this new taxation as interference in its internal affairs: the Tashilhunpo considered itself a local government and resented being treated as a vassal by Lhasa. This may well have been one of the points, apart from collection of taxes that the Dalai Lama wanted to make: there was only one Government of Tibet, that of the Ganden Phodang headed by the Kashag with its seat in Lhasa.
Relations between Lhasa and Shigatse deteriorated when in 1917, Lhasa decided to levy a new tax on the Tashilhunpo’s estate in Gyantse district. Again the Panchen Lama’s administration informed Lhasa that since they could not afford to pay the tax, they would not pay it.
When the Panchen Lama took the matter to the British Government, the situation turned sour. The Panchen Lama then decided to leave Tibet for China. He made it a point to declare that “he did not want to further embarrass the Dalai Lama … [I am leaving] for a short period to make it easier for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
The Panchen Lama reached China in February 1924.
The Chinese were delighted to welcome him. He was received with full honours by the Emperor and although the Chinese were very much engaged in their own civil war, they felt confident that with the Panchen Lama’s card in their hand, they could again have a role to play in Tibetan affairs.
The departure of the Panchen Lama, who was highly revered by the Tibetan people all over the country, was considered a bad omen. He was known to all as a gentle and very erudite Lama. His departure somehow strengthened the conservative forces in Lhasa. The old habit of keeping Tibet closed to the outside world again prevailed.
The split between the two religious leaders was made full use of by the Chinese government to ensure its control over Tibet. The saga continued with the succeeding Dalai Lama (Fourteenth) and Panchen Lama (Tenth) and still continues today.
The differences between the two Lamas was symbolic of the division between those who thought that Tibet should assert its independence — build a strong Army and have an independent foreign policy — and those who believed in a more traditional relationship with China.


An Article in the Chinese Media
China Tibet Online recently published an article on the Ninth Panchen Lama's first visit to Nanjing, the seat of the National government.
“At the beginning of May 1931, the capital of the National Government, Nanjing, experienced spring rain. The mission of the Ninth Panchen Lama to Nanjing was to attend the nation’s most important meeting, the National Convention for the first time,” explained the website.
The arrival of the Panchen Lama in the Nationalists’ capital was described in detail: “the National Government has made extremely elaborate arrangements for the occasion. …The car [of the Lama] had ‘welcome’ characters; it was decorated with apricot yellow silk.” Inside the car, the seats were also covered with apricot yellow silk;” incense was burning around.
Ma Fuxiang, chairman of the Mongolian and Tibetan Committee, told the Panchen Lama as the latter arrived: "Despite the rain today, the number of people welcoming you are very large, a committee is coming to Beijing [to receive you]; the masses are also enjoying your presence."
The Ninth Panchen Lama answered with a smile: "Spring Rain is good."
The political activities of the Panchen Lama, who was for the first time in the capital soon became the focus of the media attention, observed the article.
On May 5, 1931, the opening ceremony of the National Convention took place. The Panchen Lama, who wore a yellow satin robe, sat in the guest seat; he was ‘dazzling’, according to a Chinese report; he declared that though he was far away from his people, he had to come for the grand meeting and meet the national representatives.
After the opening ceremony, the Ninth Panchen Lama went to visit the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and depose a wreath; he conveyed to the outside world his firm support for the ‘Five-Nation Republic’ concept.

Ma Fuxiang, 'Young Marshal' and the Panchen Lama
A month later, the Ninth Panchen Lama visited again the Sun Yat-Sen's Mausoleum; a pair of golden carvings from Shenyang was presented to him in Sun’s Mourning Hall; the carvings were made of bronze and wrapped in gold foil.
On May 16, during a military parade, the Ninth Panchen Lama was seen near Chiang Kai-shek “which is quite meaningful,” noted the article.
On May 25, the Ninth Panchen Lama delivered a speech in the Grand Hall of the Central Party in Nanjing in honour of Sun Yat-Sen. In his speech, he declared: “Nine years have passed since I arrived in the mainland. I have come to the capital to see the political prosperity and the spirit of the National Assembly. I am optimistic about the future of the country. If the government loses Tibet [to the Tibetan government], I will inevitably be sad. I hope the government can use its political power to prevent this. I hope that the government will pay attention to the suffering of the frontier people.”
He clearly wanted Nationalist China to help him to return to Tibet.
He hoped that the Central Government would treat equally all ethnic groups in the country [China]. His sincere support to the central government deeply touched the government and the people, said a report.
Ma Fuxiang, chairman of the Mongolian and Tibetan Committee, wrote a secret report about this to the Central Committee on June 21, 1931.
The article also noted that the Panchen Lama was well-versed in teaching religion and that the Tibetans were deeply rooted in [Buddhism]: “In order to publicize the central government decrees and soothe the Buddhist people in the local lama temples, we plan to invite the special Panchen Erdeni to be the ambassador in Xuanhua, and to choose the appropriate location in Qinghai and Xikang provinces to organize all the administrative matters.”
Does it mean that the Nanjing government planned to have a separate administration outside Central Tibet to manage the affairs of the Land of Snows?
Probably because Nanjing promised to make internal arrangements, provide the necessary funds, and planned for the annual banquet of the Panchen Lama; the President of China had however to approve the details of these measures.
On June 24, the Ninth Panchen Lama, after his first visit to Nanjing “was highly praised by the National Government and given the highest reputation …because he respected the peaceful reunification. He was awarded the title of ‘Huguo Xuanhua Guanghui Yuanjue Master’ [the Grand Master who Protects the Country and Propagates its Values]”.
On the same day, the Panchen Lama wrote a letter to the top leaders of the National Government, in a deep and affectionate manner and self-humility; the commentary said: "There is nothing but a deep understanding of the country.”
On June 27, 1931, the Nanjing National Government sent an ambassador to meet the Panchen Lama: “the Ninth Panchen Lama complied with the customs of the Qing Dynasty, and sincerely thank the National Government for the recognition of his country [Tibet]” noted the report.
Then, the chairman and the members of the National Government took the seats: “The Ninth Panchen Lama went to the Chairman, exchanged khata, and then went to the interview room: “The Chairman [Chang kai-shek?] is seated, the inner long left seat, the chairman of the Mongolian Tibetan Committee, the right seat, the Panchen."
At 10 am in the morning on July 1, 1931, the Panchen Lama was awarded the title "Master of Protection of the People's Republic of China" in the Grand Hall of the Nanjing National Government.
Dai Jitao, Ma Fuxiang, Chen Guofu, Kong Xiangxi and other national government officials were present. The Panchen Lama wore yellow clothes: “When he slowly entered, he was accompanied by site military music to the auditorium.”
The ceremony was presided over by the acting representative of the National Government on behalf of the Chairman [Chiang?]; he delivered a speech and hoped that the Panchen Lama "will carry forward the light, and follow the government's intention." The Panchen Lama spoke of "Piously Praying for the Protection of the Country Based" and said: "There is only one religion, praying sincerely, and protecting [the nation]."
Photographer witnessed this important historical moment.
The National Government presented a gift to the Panchen Lama who stayed in a Guest House in the heavily guarded headquarters of the General Command: “It shows that the National Government attaches great importance to the safety of the Ninth Panchen Lama.”
After the ceremony was completed, "all the dignitaries and journalists shook hands with the Panchen Lama and congratulated him."
The article concluded by saying: “The high-standard courtesy and the respect for the patriotic Buddhist leaders at the national level further strengthened the patriotic heart of the Ninth Panchen Lama to fully safeguard national unity and territorial integrity.”

Zhang Xueliang
Incidentally, there is a photo of the Ninth Panchen Lama with Chiang Kai-shek and Zhang Xueliang known as the ‘Young Marshall’, who was the effective ruler of Northeast China and much of northern China after the assassination of his father, Zhang Zuolin (the ‘Old Marshal’).
During the 1936 Xian Incident, Zhang arrested and briefly imprisoned Chiang Kai-shek demanding that Chiang should start fighting the Japanese rather than the Communists (and have a United Front against the Communists). At that time, the Japanese had already taken over Manchuria. Zhou En-lai intervened and negotiated the release of Chiang Kai-shek. However, later Chiang turned the tables and got his revenge by arresting the ‘Young Marshall’ who remained under KMT house arrest till 1949 on the Mainland and later in Taiwan. Zhang eventually died in the US in 2001.
He is today a hero for Communist China …like the Ninth Panchen Lama.

The New Chinese Panchen Lama
Visiting the Mausoleum of the Yellow Emperor in Huangling, Yan'an, Shaanxi, Gyaltsen Norbu, the Eleventh Panchen Lama selected by China, recently offered baskets of flowers and a khata to the Huangdi Mausoleum. He purchased a 'prayer card' and wrote: "the prosperity of the motherland, national unity, and people's happiness," was his wishes.
He also said that patriotism and love education was in his heart: "Protecting the country and benefiting the people is my mission. No matter what kind of social position I am in, my initial mission will not change. I will always move in this direction."
He will soon be a hero in China too, like his predecessor.