Recently, news about border talks between China and Bhutan has spread over Internet, and Bhutan has become a place that people urgently need to know. At present, many aspects of Bhutan are controlled by India. However, in Sanskrit, "Bhutan" means "border of Tibet", and Tibet is part of China. So, what is connection between Bhutan and China in history?
Bhutan is located in transition zone from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to Ganges Plain. To north of it is highest mountain range in world - Himalayas, highest peak - Mount Kurakangri with a height of 7,554 meters, and Manas River in south is only 97 meters above sea level, so Bhutan has largest elevation difference in world of one of countries.
Topography of Bhutan
Before Tubo, there were almost no records of Bhutan, so reliability of this story is difficult. When Tubo dynasty was founded, Bhutan became part of Tubo dynasty and was naturally no different from Tibet in terms of culture and customs. During Tubo era, Buddhism was introduced to Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau from India and Central Plains and gradually merged with Buddhism with Tibetan characteristics, which in history has been called "Tibetan Buddhism".
In 840, Tubo Dynasty fell, forming many large and small separatist forces. Due to regime split, Tibetan Buddhism also split into several branches. And main separatist forces made alliances with main sects and gradually formed many kingdoms integrating politics and religion.
In 1235, Great Mongol Khan Wo Kuotai launched a large-scale offensive against Southern Song Dynasty, including Western army led by third prince Wo Kuo attacked Sichuan. After a successful invasion of Sichuan, Wo Duan decided to take over chaotic Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In 1239, Wodan sent a Mongol army to attack Qianzang. This army stayed in Tibet for 2 years and wrote a report - "A favorable letter asking for instructions on whom to greet."
From this report, Wo Duan learned that Sakya sect was powerful at time and was leader in all aspects of Tibet. So Wo Duan issued a decree to Sakya Pandita, leader of Sakya sect, inviting him to come to Liangzhou to discuss ownership of Tibet. Sakya Pandita arrived in Liangzhou in 1246 after negotiations with Tibetan monks and laity.
In 1247, two parties officially met in Liangzhou and finally released Sakya Pandita's Letter to Fans. In this document, for all segments of population of Tibet, situation of East Asian continent with rise of Mongolia was described and question of subordination of Mongolia was explained. It mentioned that Tubo is subordinate to Mongolia, and Mongolia respects traditional customs of Tibet. This union meant that Tibet became part of Mongol Khanate, as well as part of territory of Central Dynasty of China.
Bhutan at that time also belonged to one of separatist forces in Tubo, and also accepted jurisdiction of Mongolia. However, territory of Bhutan at that time was not territory of Sakya sect, but territory of Kagyu sect. The leader of Kagyu sect, Karma Pakshi, traveled to Helin, political center of Mongolia, to pay tribute to Menge Khan in 1256. It can be seen that Kagyu sect also agreed to govern Mongolia at that time.
The Kagyu sect in Paju region was founded in 12th century and gradually became strong. The Padrup Kagyu sect continued to expand and became largest sect in Tibet by middle of 14th century. In 1354, Paju Kagyu sent troops to attack Sakya sect. At that time, it was end of Yuan dynasty and situation in Tibet could no longer be controlled, so Emperor Yuan Shun took advantage of situation to recognize status of Padrup regime in Tibet, and Padrup dynasty was established. in Tibet ever since.
Kublai Khan and Phagsiba
The Pazhu Dynasty accepted canonization of Ming Dynasty nominally, but actually separated one side, refused to obey orders, and even intercepted Ming Dynasty missions to dominate one side. However, after almost a hundred years of rule, centralization of Paju dynasty also collapsed, and various factions within it were at war with each other, and situation was very chaotic. By 1611, Paju dynasty had been overthrown and replaced by Zangbahan dynasty.
Seeing civil strife in Tibet, Mongolia continued to extend its power to Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. As early as 1510, a branch of Mongolia entered Qinghai and formed Sihai Mongol Department. In 1532, Altan Khan annexed Sihai Mongolia, making Qinghai part of Monan Mongolia. Altan Khan invaded Tibet in 1569 and Kham in 1573. After several conquests, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau was once again under Mongolian control.
At this time, Al Da Khan followed Wodaan's example and held a meeting. In 1577, Sonam Gyatso, leader of Gelug sect in Tibetan Buddhism, and Altan Khan met in Qinghai for an alliance. After this alliance, Gelug sect became a Mongolian-supported sect and quickly spread to various Mongolian ministries. The Mongols also used Gelug faction to control Tibet. In 1588 Altan Khan's great-grandson became new Dalai Lama, namely Yundan Gyatso. In 1603, Mongol cavalry accompanied Yundan Gyatso to Lhasa.
The strength of Gelug sect would inevitably antagonize Kagyu sect, so Zangba Khan dynasty continued to suppress Gelug sect to prevent its control by Mongols. In 1614, Mongol army from Qinghai marched straight into Lhasa, defeated Zangba Khan's army, and reinforced Gelug faction.
The Kagyu sect suffered an unprecedented defeat and lost power in Tibet. At same time, disagreements arose within Pattern faction, a dispute arose over reincarnation of living Buddha, that is, competition for an heir. In 1616, Ngawang Nanji, a monk at Relong Monastery, failed in a dispute over reincarnation of "Trukchen Living Buddha" and fled to prototype Brukba.
Ngawang Nangyal copied past model of governing Tibet in Brukbu and established a theocracy system. Qing Dynasty documents refer to its leader as "King Debu" or "Minister Brukba". In 1651, Ngawang Namgyal passed away and Bhutan fell into a state of chaos.
After fall of Zangba Khan dynasty, various Mongol forces successively invaded Tibet and fought ceaselessly in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Finally, in 1642, Heshuote Khanate was established and orthodox position of Gelug sect was established. After creation of Heshuote Khanate, it tried to unite entire Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, therefore it also unleashed wars against Bhutan and Ladakh.
The war between Heshuot Khanate and Bhutan lasted for almost a hundred years, and corner of gate became center of contention between two sides. Three large-scale wars broke out between two sides in 1657, 1668 and 1675, but in end they were unsuccessful. The Heshuot Khanate failed to annex Bhutan.
After that, Dzungar Khanate in western regions invaded Lhasa, and Heshuote Khanate in Tibet announced its death. At this time, Kangxi Emperor started War of "Exile to Tibet" and expelled Dzungars from Tibet, noting that Tibet was officially included in territory of Qing Dynasty. Immediately after end of war, Kangxi Emperor died.
In 1730, civil strife broke out in Bhutan, two factions fought, and weaker side turned to Tibet for help. So Mala, Qing dynasty minister in Tibet, and Po Luo Nai, an official in Tibetan region, led an army to Bhutan to settle dispute. After this dispute, Bhutan became a subsidiary territory of Tibet and, of course, a subsidiary of Qing Dynasty. In 1734, some representatives of monks and laity of Bhutan came to Beijing to make a pilgrimage to Yongzheng.
At that time, Bhutan was nominally subordinate to Tibetan regional government and, one might say, was a vassal of Tibet. Of course, this is a relatively traditional way of ruling Jiji because Qing dynasty never truly controlled Bhutan. The reason why national flag of Bhutan is dragon flag is on one hand influenced by national flag of Qing Dynasty, and on other hand is influenced by legend of Bhutanese god of thunder.
When Qing Dynasty incorporated Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau into its territory, India also continued to colonize South Asia. After UK occupied South Asia, it found that Tibet was biggest threat to South Asia, so it immediately expanded into Tibet, intending to turn Tibet into "back garden" of British India. However, if you want to expand into Tibet, you must conquer Ladakh, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Nepal on outskirts of Tibet. These countries are in transition zone, forming a condescending subduction trend towards Ganges plain.
In 1772, Great Britain began to invade Bhutan. By 1865, she forced Bhutan to sign Sinchul Treaty, losing 2,000 square kilometers of land. Since then, Bhutan has gradually come under control of United Kingdom. In 1910, Bhutan and United Kingdom signed "Treaty of Punakha" under which diplomatic rights of Bhutan were transferred to United Kingdom, which means that Bhutan officially became a semi-colony of United Kingdom.
After partition of India and Pakistan, India also inherited British colonial legacy in South Asia, and Bhutan became a "vassal state" of India. In 1949, Bhutan and India signed Treaty of Perpetual Peace and Friendship, under which military and diplomatic power of Bhutan is in hands of Indians. It can be seen that Bhutan at that time was simply a vassal of India.
In fact, Bhutan is very similar to original Sikkim. In terms of culture and customs, they are on a par with Tibet, but in south they are controlled by India, which does not suit them very much. Sikkim once said: "It is better to merge with north than to be with India", but we did not catch this case, after all Sikkim was annexed to India. Today, Bhutan and China are negotiating border, which also proves that Bhutan is trying to get rid of Indian control, so we must actively contribute to this.