Their biographies include a number of details about supernatural events: communication with heaven, supernatural birth, etc. Some of these recorded details overlap with episodes of biographies of medieval Mongol khans and princes, probably not just because of mutual borrowing,
but also due to similarity in mentality of people who later formed the Tibetan-Mongolian civilization. In Europe, the first mention of the state of the Yarlung Dynasty was in the “Geography” by Claudius Ptolemy (about 87–165 AD).
The scientific community still debates the question of who among these kings was real, and who was mythical. But it is clear that the Yarlung Dynasty, probably dating back to the Bronze and Iron Ages, played a crucial role in the formation of the Tibetan people.
According to Tibetan folklore, Nyatri Tsenpo and the six kings that followed returned to heaven by a “sky rope” after their death, so their graves are unknown. The tomb of the eighth king is located in Kongpo in Ü-Tsang.
He wrote that the youngest son of the king Jati Tsenpo, following his father’s assassination by a minister, fled to the area of the Bede people, who lived near the Baikal Lake and the Burkhan Khaldun Mountain.
In the 7th century AD the Tibetan state came onto the world scene, briefly becoming one of the main powers operating in Central Asia. The great king Songtsen Gampo, the son of Namri Songtsen, was born in year 613 (or 617).
U-de).7 By this time, the Tibetan state stretched to the Thangla Ridge in the north, to the Himalayas in the south, to Mount Kailash in the west, and to the Drichu River (upper Yangtze) in the east.8 [
[Songtsen Gampo’s]] goal was the strengthening of statehood.
He supervised development of a system of land tenure and land use, creation of state funds for public lands, oversaw division of the country into six provinces that were led by set khonpons (governor-generals), conducted surveying and distributing of land, developed new legislation, created a new army, etc.
Writing was introduced in Tibet during the reign of Songtsen Gampo. Actually, according to the conclusion of J.N. Roerich, there were five attempts to introduce writing in Tibet.9 But the conventional system was developed by Thönmi Sambhota.
Songtsen Gampo combined the internal strengthening of the state with an active foreign policy aimed at the integration of the Tibetan and Tibetan Burman tribes, i.e. intending to unite them within natural national boundaries.
Military force was used to induce obedience amongst the Dokpa people (ancestors of modern Goloks) inhabiting the Machu River valley and to the south, the Panaca tribes that lived near the Kokonor Lake (area of Amdo) and in east Tsaidam, and the Horpa people that lived north of the Thangla Ridge.12
In 634, the Tibetans attacked the Dangsyan13 (ancestors of the Tangut) for the first time, when the latter were dependent on Tuguhun, a tribal State of Xianbi, who were the probable ancestors of the Mongols.14
Seven years before that event took place, recently formed Chinese Tang State (618) sent ambassadors to Tuguhun in order to secure the Tang border area from attacks. However, the Khan of Tuguhun did not trust the Chinese.
He proposed a contract “he qin” (“for peace and kinship”): to arrange for a Tang princess to be sent for his son to marry. In the year of attacks on the Dansyan, Tibetans also sent an embassy to the Tang State.
However, the Chinese fought with the Xianbi and the Turkic people, but not with the Tibetans, thus saw no point to concluding a peace treaty. Hence, the princesses had been sent to Tuguhun and the Turki, and not to Tibet.
On the 12th September 638, Tibetan troops invaded a village in the Xuizhou District that was inhabited by the Dangsyan (in modern Sichuan). At the same time, a Tibetan ambassador arrived at Chang’an (the capital of the Tang State) and threatened to attack the Chinese land.
Now a reason for the treaty emerged. In December 640, the Tibetan dignitary Tontsen Yulsung brought five thousand liangs of silver and hundreds of gold objects to Chang’an. In March of the next year, he went to Lhasa, accompanied .
13 The names of many ancient tribes, cities, states, names of people, etc. have only reached us in the Chinese form: from Chinese chronicles. Non-Chinese (i.e. titles and names in original language) of these forms are unknown, because written sources have not been preserved, languages did not have script, and so on.
by the Chinese princess Wencheng. The journey to Lhasa took several years and Wencheng became wife of Songtsen Gampo only in 646. For about five years, the king did not rule the country; instead the ruler was Gungsong Guntsen,
It is believed that Songtsen Gampo temporarily lost power in the fight with his influential adviser, but managed to defeat him in the end.
Wencheng brought a statue of the Buddha (Shakyamuni Jowo) with her, as well as more than ten thousand bales of embroidered brocade, lots of boxes of Chinese classics, various utensils and books on different technologies.
This message speaks of allied relations between the two monarchs. But some historians use this to make a strange conclusion: “These facts prove that Songtsen Gampo himself regarded Tibet as being under the local administration of the Tang Dynasty”.17
In addition, it significantly strengthened the connection of Tibet with the two countries.
This does not mean that Tibet became subordinate to China or Nepal, but rather thanks to China, Tibetans came across paper and ink, perhaps also a millstone, a few other crafts, and they adopted certain features of the Chinese administrative system.
In those same years, Tibetans won the upper part of Burma, and in 640 Nepal, where they remained for several years.19 In Nepal, a column was erected, on which the inscription tribute to the Tibetan king was engraved. Tibetan migrants settled in
The Chinese emperor was so grateful to Songtsen Gampo that he bequeathed to place a statue of the Tibetan king by his grave. That was an honour, but with a trick: usually statues at the tomb of the Emperor were those of his high officials and ministers.
According to legend, he dissolved into a small wooden statue of the Buddha that was brought from Nepal and placed inside the statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara installed in Jokhang, the main temple of Tibet in Lhasa.
army at Kokonor in the summer of 678. After that, the war between Tibet and the Tang State temporarily halted in connection with the death of the rulers of both countries and subsequent domestic events.
In 687, the Tibetans attacked the city of Kucha (in modern Xinjiang). The Chinese sent an army to the aid of their vassals, which was defeated by the Tibetans in the summer of 689. In 692, a new Tang army marched out, led by Wang Xiaoze.
Now the king blamed Ghar for the defeat in the war. In the next two years, Tibetans suffered further defeats from the Chinese at the northeastern and western borders, where the Chinese had allied with the Turkis.
However, in 695, the Tibetans struck the Chinese with a serious blow in the direction of Lanzhou, and then they went on to offer a peace treaty, threatening to cut off the Chinese connection with the Western boundary if not accepted.
Indeed, in 698 Dusong Mangje attacked the Ghar, captured about 2,000 people from their clan, and executed them. Tidin Tsendo Ghar tried to resist, but was defeated and ended up committing suicide, while his brother and his sons fled to China.
New negotiations in 706 were completed with a “vow to unite for many years under the era name of Shen-long,” and border demarcation drawn between the two states, —the Tibetan Kingdom and the Tang Empire.
Tang Emperor personally accompanied her for some part of the way. The monarch of Tibet had been given the Hesi juqu lands (to the east of the Kokonor Lake and on both banks of the upper reaches of the Yellow River) as the dowry.
In 714, the Tibetans advanced towards Lintao and Lanzhou, and in 716 and 717 they moved towards the borders of Tang in the modern provinces of Sichuan and Gansu. In the west they were acting in alliance with the Arab commander
While introducing Islam in Central Asia, Kuteiba’s warriors barbarically destroyed “pagan” cultures. However, the Tibetans did not understand the threat of the expansion of the Arab Caliphate.
The Arabs were considered to be one of the weaker nations, which could have either been allies or adversaries.
Later, in 736–737, Tibetans together with the Turkic people (Turgesh Khanate) fought with their former Arab allies, who sought to capture Tashkent and Ferghana. The Arabs tried to establish contacts with the Chinese, but were unable to come to an agreement.
However, these attempts were unsuccessful.
In 724, the resumption of the war, which lasted until 729, and the alternation of victories and defeats led to a situation which the Chinese public figure Zhang Yue determined “as the existence of approximate equality in the number of victories and defeats”.
The parties agreed that the border between both countries would be the Chilin Ridge (identified with the mountains of Ulan-Shara-Dava to the east of Xining, modern Qinghai Province) and the Gansunlin Ridge (Sunpan County, Sichuan Province).
It is believed that the border demarcation was not completed due to the fact that war resumed again after seven years.
In 736, the Tibetans attacked Gilgit in Kashmir. In 737, the Chinese attacked the Tibetans in the Kokonor area. After that, clashes began to expand, and the border guide-posts on the Chilin ridge were destroyed. Jincheng died in 741.
In 750, they entered an agreement with the Thai.
Tride Tsugten died soon after, and at the same time, An Lushan’s rebellion broke out in China. The new Tibetan king Trisong Deutsen used the temporary weakening of his neighbors and conquered large territories in the modern Chinese provinces of Gansu and Sichuan.
Together with the Uighurs, Tibetans offered Chinese assistance in quelling the rebellion, demanding the treaty “on peace and kinship” in return. The Chinese agreed to meet the demands of the Uighurs, but not the Tibetans.
A stele was erected to commemorate the victory.
Amongst other engravings, there was an inscription stating that Trisong Deutsen conquered many Tang fortresses, and the Tang Emperor and his subjects were asked to pay tribute to the Tibetan king with 50,000 pieces of silk, but the next emperor refused to pay tribute, so the Tibetans sent an army, defeated the Chinese Emperor and caused him to flee from the capital.27
After fifteen days the Tibetan troops left the capital of Tang, but they furthered their military success in subsequent years. By 781, Hami, Dunhuang District, Lanzhou City, Ganzhou, Suzhou were all in Tibetan hands.
This treaty clearly delineated the new boundaries between the two countries, with the Chinese having made major territorial concessions. According to current Chinese estimates, the “Helanshan area north of the Yellow River stood out as a neutral land.
The border line was stretched to the south of the Yellow River along the mountains Liupanshan, in [[Longyou], along the rivers of Minjiang and Daduhe and south to the Moso and all Man’ (modern district of Lijiang, Yunnan Province). Everything to the east of this border line was 27 Ngabo, 1988. Trisong Deutsen owned by Tang, to the west by Tibet”.28
After signing the treaty, Tibetans helped the Chinese to suppress revolt led by the dignitary Zhu Zi. For this the Chinese promised to give the Tibetans control over districts Anxi and Beiting, but they did not keep their promise. In response,
But by the end of the 8th century, the power of Tibet began to show cracks.
Seeing the inequality between his subjects and the poverty among his peasants, Mune Tsenpo decided to eliminate the division between rich and poor, so a decree was issued on equalising land use. After some time the king asked about the results of the reform.
He learned that the poor had become poorer and the rich richer. Frustrated, he turned for advice to the Buddhist preacher Padmasambhava, who advised him that the king could not forcibly remove the inequality between rich and poor.32
Political instability pushed the Tibetan king, Tri Ralpachen, to enter into negotiations with the Tang Empire. The Treaty was signed in 821 in the suburbs of Chang'an and, in 822, in the suburbs of Lhasa.
“The great king of Tibet, the Divine Manifestation, the bTsan-po Tsenpo, and the great king of China, the Chinese ruler Hwang Te, Nephew and Uncle, having consulted about the alliance of their dominions have made the great treaty and ratified the agreement... Both Tibet and China shall keep the country and frontiers of which they now are in possession.
The whole region to the east of that being the country of Great China and the whole region to the west being assuredly the country of Great Tibet, from either side of the frontier there shall be no warfare, no hostile invasions and no seizure of territory...
Now that the dominions are allied and a great treaty of peace has been made in this way, since it is necessary also to continue communication of pleasant messages between Nephew and Uncle, envoys setting out of either side shall follow the old established route...
Nor even a word of sudden alarm or of enmity shall be spoken, and from those who guard the frontier upwards, all shall live at ease without suspicion or fear, their land being their land and their bed their bed...
And in order that this agreement – establishing a great era when Tibetans shall be happy in Tibet and Chinese shall be happy in China – shall never be changed, the Three Jewels, the body of saints, the sun and the moon, planets and stars have been invoked as witnesses”.34
The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC summed up the above as follows: “Both sides of the agreement officially declared their historical 33 Shakabpa, 1988. 34
In: Van Walt, 1987, p.1–2. Tri kinship and agreed that in future they will consider themselves as nationals of one country”.35 The years following this treaty were marked by the strengthening of Buddhism in Tibet, however it was briefly interrupted by an attempt to eradicate the religion by king Darma (see Chapter 5).
After his assassination in 842, the princes Ngadak Yumden and Ngadak Ösung began to fight for power. Yumden’s stronghold was in the Yarlung, Ösung’s in Lhasa. Ösung’s great-grandson (great-great-grandson of Darma) fled to Western Tibet (Purang), where he founded the Ngari Dynasty,
with small enclaves in the upper reaches of the Yellow River.36
A significant contribution towards the collapse of the country was likely the result of the high costs of running the military, and the lack of necessary resources to control a large area.
Their language was the recognized language of Buddhism, they had their own Buddhist community, and Tibetans themselves were one of the major nations of the empire, together with the Tangut, Chinese and the Uighur. In the 10th century, spiritual and public powers of Tibet began to fuse.
He forced the Uighurs and the Turkic Karluks, with whom Tibetans had long-standing relationships, to obey, and so the Mongol Empire expanded rapidly. In 1206 or 1207 the Tibetans sent a mission to Genghis Khan.
The mission included secular and religious representatives, who expressed submissiveness, and presented him with rich gifts.37 Like other subjugated people, they began to pay tribute. This saved Tibet from a Mongol invasion.
After that, Tibetans ceased to pay tribute, and relations with the Mongols became strained.38 In 1240, Central Tibet was invaded by a thirty-thousand strong Mongol army, under the command of [[Leje] and Dorda Darkhan.
The Mongols did not go any further. Godan, however, did not forget about Tibet. He sent an invitation to Kunga Gyaltsen (Mongolian: Gunga Jaltsan), the head of the Buddhist Sakya sect, whose great scholarly knowledge led to him being called Sakya Pandita.
There are several versions of the reason for this invitation. The most plausible and generally accepted one states that Godan wanted to adopt the Buddhist religion from a great 37 Ssanang Ssetsen, 1829. 38 Shakabpa, 1988. 39 Shakabpa, 1988.
There were several reasons for choosing this particular religious sect.40 Mongolian society and pre-Buddhist faith were similar to Tibetan, they were attracted to Tantric Buddhism, the sect of Sakya followed old Buddhist traditions, and its Lamas were actively developing contacts with the political rulers. Such were the features of the emerging Tibetan-Mongolian civilization.
Godan wrote:41 “I, the most powerful and prosperous Prince Godan, wish to inform the Sakya Pandita, Kunga Gyaltsen, that we need a lama to advise my ignorant people on how to conduct themselves morally and spiritually.
I have been pondering this problem for some time, and after much consideration, have decided that you are the only person suitable for the task. As you are the only lama I have chosen, I will not accept any excuse on account of your age or the rigors of the journey.
In the interest of the Buddhist faith and the welfare of all living creatures, I suggest that you come to us immediately. As a favor to you, I shall be very kind to those monks who are now living on the west side of the sun.
Being empowered by Godan, Kunga Gyaltsen told the Tibetan rulers that he saw the spreading of Buddhism outside of Tibet as the main goal, and that this would 40 Bira, 1999 — in: Kychanov and Melnichenko, 2005. 41 In: Shakabpa, 1988, p.61–62.
Such were the foundations of the relations between the theocratic rulers of Tibet and the Mongol (later Manchu) khans, built on the principle of “spiritual priest – secular patron” (in Tibetan chos–yon, Chos stands for Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha; Yon for charity or reward).
That is, one teaches Dharma, and the other one responds with rewards of gifts.
The origins of this principle (in the form of “Lama—charity donator”) come from ancient India, where communities of Buddhist monks lived off charity, and where showing respect and feeding the monks was seen as a way of collecting spiritual merit for the layperson.
Godan was a vassal of the Great Khan of the Mongols. Therefore, when Munke took the throne in 1251, he sent officials into Tibet in order to verify the census and to approve the property ownership of local secular and religious rulers.44 However, neither the imperial administration, nor the troops were ever sent to Tibet.
Kunga Gyaltsen died in 1251, and Godan also died very soon after. That same year, Kublai, grandson of Genghis Khan, led a campaign against Southern China as ordered by Munke, the Mongolian Great Khan.
whereas both would sit on one level when 42 Shakabpa, 1988. 43 Besprozvannykh, 2001, p.57. 44 Kychanov and Melnichenko, 2005.
“As a true believer in the Great Lord Buddha, the all-merciful and invincible ruler of the world, whose presence, like the sun, lights up every dark place, I have always shown special favor to the monks and monasteries in your country. Having faith in the Lord Buddha, I studied the teachings of your uncle, Sakya Pandita, and in the year of the Water-Ox (1253), I received your own teachings.
After studying under you, I have been encouraged to continue helping your monks and monasteries, and in return for what I have learned from your teachings, I must make you a gift. This letter, then, is my present.
In addition, my respected tutor, I am presenting you with garments, a hat, and a gown, all studded with gold and pearls; a gold chair, umbrella, and cup; a sword with the hilt embedded with precious stones, four bars of silver and a bar of gold;
and a camel and two horses, complete with saddles. In this year of the Tiger, I will also present you with fifty-six bars of silver, two hundred cases of brick tea, and a hundred and fifty rolls of silk,
I hope they will not look for any other leader than you. The person who holds this letter of credentials should, in no way, exploit his people. Monks should refrain from quarreling among themselves and from indulging in violence.
They should live peacefully and happily together.
Those who know the teachings of the Lord Buddha should endeavor to spread them; those who do not know his teachings should try to learn all they can. <...> As I have elected to be your patron, you must make it your duty to carry out the teachings of the Lord Buddha.
(Dated) The ninth day of the middle month of summer of the Wood-Tiger year (1254)”.
bishops”.47 Or even funnier: “In the 13th century, Genghis Khan’s grandson Kublai Khan gave one of the prominent Buddhist teachers the title of Emperor’s teacher, or the Dalai Lama, and instructed him to control the Tibetan land”.48
In 1258, by order of Munke Khan, Kublai headquarters held a dispute between Buddhists and Taoists, and the latter lost. This strengthened the position of Buddhism in the Mongol Empire. Munke Khan perished in August 1259.
brothers Hulagu, Kublai and Ariq Böke. Hulagu lived in the Middle East, and was occupied with strengthening his authority there. Kublai was in China, which was not yet fully conquered. Ariq Böke was elected as the Great Khan of Mongolia.
In Mongolia, he was met by the Khan’s wife and the eldest son, to oversee his travel to the capital. Upon his arrival to the Khan’s capital Khanbalik in 1268, Phagpa Lama brought to Kublai’s attention an alphabet developed by him for the Mongols, which was based on the Tibetan alphabet (so-called square script).
Kublai Khan then gave Phagpa Lama the title of “Prince of Indian Deities, Miraculous Divine Lord under the Sky and Above the Earth, Creator of the Script, Messenger of Peace throughout the World, Possessor of the Five Higher Sciences, Phagpa, the Imperial Preceptor”.50
Thus, the old relationships of “priest – patron” were confirmed. Lama was gifted with of a thousand 47 Parenti, M. Friendly feudalism... 48 Ovchinnikov, 2007, 2009. 49 Dalai Ch., 1977, p.324. 50 Shakabpa, 1988, p.68-69.
When the Mongols finally seized China in 1279, Phagpa Lama greeted Kublai Khan with gifts and a congratulatory letter. Then in 1280 Phagpa Lama died at the age of 46 years. It was said that he was poisoned by his entourage.
It was reported that around 1286 Kublai Khan was going to attack India and Nepal via Tibet 53, and that a Tibetan yogi Ugyen Senge, who was living in India at the time, sent a long religious poem to the Khan, asking him to abandon the campaign.
It was also not on the official list of territories of the Yuan Empire 54, and therefore did not fall under the Empire’s territorial administrative system.
in which a theory of “two orders” was cited, that obviously reflected the views of Phagpa Lama on secular power.55 The theory was based on the views that all worldly creatures strive for secular and spiritual salvation,
and that spiritual salvation can be found in the complete liberation from the suffering, while its secular counterpart’s salvation in the well-being. Both depended on the two orders, the religious and secular.
These virtues appeared only once every period in history. In the 13th century these were Phagpa Lama and Kublai Khan. Obviously, this order was not observed exactly. Nevertheless, the Yuan emperors tried to follow it.
Administrative agencies that ran the main country (Mongolia) were particularly well developed, while the agencies governing other areas were less effective, with their functions often duplicated, etc.
Due to the fact that the management of the Empire was weakly centralized, local authorities in distant lands were controlled only “ex post”.57 The Bureau of Imperial Cults was in charge of the religions, and it oversaw most of the religious institutions.
The Bureau of Tibetan and Buddhist Affairs was created in 1329 as the result of a merger between two different bodies, Tibet (in the hands of Sakya) and the Buddhist Affairs Commission of Southern China.59
Although Tibet was not included in them, it was previously divided into several “roads” (regions).
The head of Sakya had the supreme power over the area. He also employed an assistant clerk, the ponchen, who was in charge of civil and military affairs. This official was also under control of the Mongolian Bureau of Pacification.
In 1264, Kham and Amdo (where the Mongol population was on the increase) were withdrawn from under the administration of Central Tibet.62 These lands were poorly controlled, and their unruly tribes often had to be “pacified”, which the Mongols did most effectively.
They sent troops there twenty-one times during the period from 1256 to 1355. Ü, Tsang and Ngari-Korsum were still directly subordinated to Phagpa Lama, but the Mongols formed administration agencies of lower rank there, with the task being not so much the administration, but rather supervision.63 The lands of Sakya were divided into thirteen districts which were mainly led by the monasteries.
The assumptions of some authors that Kublai Khan established his “sovereignty” or “central administration” in Tibet are unfounded. The control of the Mongols, which was implemented through the Bureau of Pacification, only represented help in maintaining peace in the country. Tibet was a country dependent on the Mongol Empire, but not of China.
The duties of the Mongol Emperor (the patron) to the Tibetan Lama (the priest) included protecting the territory, sending officials when their aid was necessary, the development of laws, post service, etc. Neither of these implied a Chinese rule.
In 1267, the Mongols had a census of the Tibetan population (during the Yuan there were another two censuses in 1287 and 1334). To do this, special emissaries were sent; these had a “mandate”, a golden paiza. The result was the division of all tax-paying people in lha-de (tributaries of the Tibetan Buddhist Church) and mide (the feudal lords).
A system of taxation was established, as was military and administrative division by 10,000 and 1,000 households. As was the case in the Empire, a yam (postal station) system was established and stretched from the current province of Gansu to the region of Sakya.
For its time, this postal system was the most advanced in the world.
When sending long-distance mail, the rider “passed the baton” to the next messenger after reaching the station.
This transport service (ula) continued to exist in Tibet until 1956.64 The fact that this service was weakly controlled by the Mongols was supported by findings about the unauthorized use of state-owned horses by monks.65 In 1311, the Empire had even issued a law that directly prohibited this.
However, after some time the imperial authorities had to intervene again as amnesty had become too common.
There is evidence that the Tibetan Buddhist monks had advantages over Chinese Buddhist monks not only in Tibet, but also outside of its borders. On the other hand, Chinese Buddhism was supported as well.
The Mongols began to use Tibetan and even Indian first names (including religious ones) that were received from the Tibetan lamas who gave Buddhist initiations. Several of the great Mongol khans were named in such a manner as well:
Later, as the spread of Buddhism among the Mongolian people continued, this name borrowing became increasingly widespread. Now the Mongolian versions of the common Tibetan names are perhaps no less frequent than the actual Mongolian names.
Meanwhile conflicts in Khanbalyk occurred, and there the power changed hands eight times between the periods of ruling by Khaisan (1308) and Togon Temur (1333), with six khans changing between 1328 to 1333 alone.66
All these quick changes weakened the State of Yuan, and in the last few years of its existence the Great Khan was completely removed from ruling, with the throne being the object of a fierce struggle among dignitaries, feudals, and large numbers of the Khan’s relatives.
At that same time, Tibet was amidst a power struggle between the followers of Sakya and Kagyu. Jangchub Gyaltsen, a Kagyu follower, seized power in 1354, and the Yuan Emperor acknowledged his status in 1357.
Jangchub conducted redistribution of land between the landowners, introduced a single rate of land tax of 1/6 of the gathered crop, began to build roads and ferries, installed police and patrol services, and tightened the monastic discipline.
Meanwhile the Mongolian Dynasty was falling into decline and was no longer in a position to influence affairs in Tibet. In 1351, the Red Turban Rebellion started in China, a widespread revolt of peasants against the Mongol rule.
Zhu Yuanzhang, a Chinese monk, came out as the winner from that struggle, and Togon Temur fled from Beijing in 1368. Artistic arrangements of Tongon’s lamentations on this subject were preserved in chronicles:
My palace that was built by the Khutuktu, the cane palace, Kibung-Shandu, in which the Khubilgan Setsen Khan spent their summer — all seized by the Chinese! As for me, the Ukhagatu Khan, I have only my bad name left: coquetted with the Chinese…”, etc.67
It is stated in the “Ming Shi” chronicle that the first Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, being mindful of past raids into the state of Tan by the Tibetans, decided to send a message with the news of the power change in China.68 The governor of Shaanxi was sent to Tibet, so as those who worked in offices in the Yuan Empire, would come to the Chinese court for confirmation of their posts.
“Ming Shi” states that on 23rd August 1374, the official Wei Zhen was promoted from the post of commander of the Heychzhou Guard to the district military commissioner, becoming the highest official in the Heizhou and overseeing Heizhou, Do-Kham and Ü-Tsang, that is all of Tibet.69 However, this official is not mentioned in Tibetan historical literature,
as bureaus of management were not located in Tibet, but in the border areas near Heizhou and Xining. They did not represent a real political structure in Tibet, and Ming never had political power in Tibet, as there were no Chinese laws, taxes, etc. This indicates that Tibet was an independent state at that time.70