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Full Access The British Invasion of Tibet, 1903–04

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The British Invasion of Tibet, 1903–04

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In 1903–04, British forces under the command of the Indian Political Officer, Colonel Francis Younghusband, invaded Tibet. After failed negotiations and a series of battles in which Younghusband's modern weaponry vanquished Tibetan forces, the British entered Lhasa and imposed a treaty on the Tibetans. While a fear of Russian influence in Lhasa was the main reason given for the invasion, Tibet's policy of isolating itself from British India was probably a more significant cause. The subsequent withdrawal of the British from Lhasa created a power vacuum which enabled the Chinese to re-establish their authority at Lhasa. This article gives an overview of the main issues, events and personalities involved in the invasion.


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