Where Is Tibet?
Situated between longitudes 78 degrees 24′ and 104 degrees 47′ East and latitudes 26 degrees 2′ and 40 degrees 3′ north Tibet lies within the heart of the Asian continent. It is a huge country of some 2.7 million square km with an average altitude of 4000m above sea level which forms the major part of the highest mountain ranges on earth, the Himalayan-Hindu Kush region. It is an incredibly sensitive environment providing a stunning collection of diverse habitats, wildlife and climatic regions ranging from high cold steppe; montane deserts; tropical montane forests; and alpine meadows. Tibet is also the source of several of Asia’s great rivers including, the Mekong, Bramaputra, Yangstse, and Indus; all of which are fed by an average rainfall of 100 mm in the north of the country to over 1000 mm in the Southeast.
Look in most atlases today and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the name ‘Tibet’, while the other territories have been removed completely by the vast majority of cartographers. Tibet itself usually features as the truncated geo-political creation, named by communist China as ”Tibet Autonomous Region’. Closer inspection will reveal that former Tibetan place-names such as Shigatse have been changed to more Chinese-sounding Xigatse. This is no accident. An appalling appeasement in 1977. by the United Nations to agree the use of Chinese Pin Yin to replace Romanized Tibetan place-names on maps and atlases, contributed greatly to presenting the fallacious assertion that Tibet was ‘part of China’. This duplicity has been forceful promoted by Communist China’s regime, which has a ‘Geographical Place-Names Committee’, whose task is to invent Chinese place-names to replace those in areas such as Tibet and East Turkestan. It is part of a deliberate attempt to present Tibet as a bona fide part of China. Sadly, some leading western map publishers and geographical institutions are actively assisting this deception by publishing Sino-cised maps of Tibet. Even the respected National Geographic seems willing to promote this fiction and despite several appeals appears unwilling to show Tibet as a distinct territory in its publications.