Cover

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Title page, Series page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

Every now and then, I find myself grinning at the memory of a chuckle. The chuckle mixes amusement and pride—generally provoked by an irreverent question, or a sharp, uncompromising turn of phrase—and it belongs to John Gaddis. I hope John chuckles...

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Note on Sources

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pp. xvii-xviii

This book relies heavily on newly declassified materials from the archives of the Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China (FMPRC) in Beijing. I conducted research in these archives at various points between 2006 and 2012. In the summer of 2013, I returned...

Cast of Characters

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pp. xix-xxii

Chronology of Main Events

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pp. xxiii-xvi

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Prologue

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pp. 1-8

It was the birds that broke his heart.
When the People’s Liberation Army flooded Lhasa in 1959, food grew scarce; the city was not equipped to supply so many people. Food prices rose, and the soldiers ordered people to start killing animals: yaks, dogs, and birds. There was a lake behind the Potala...

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1. The Road to Lhasa

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pp. 9-37

In 1951, Yang Gongsu received orders to move to Lhasa. The People’s Republic of China was knitting Tibet into its sovereign territory, and as part of this process, the Foreign Ministry needed more diplomats to staff that distant borderland. So Yang and some of his colleagues...

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2. Imperial Crises, Imperial Diplomacy

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pp. 38-59

In the fall of 1959, Gyalo Thondup wrote a letter to Oland Tsang. Gyalo had a long history of opposition to the Chinese Communist Party: while his brother, the Dalai Lama, had collaborated with the CCP in the fifties, Gyalo had made his way to India, where he...

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3. Border Crossers: The Sino-Nepali Frontier

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pp. 60-85

As spies go, the men of Dingri were not terribly subtle. On August 23, 1960, Pubu Ciren, Asuo, and Chenbo were chosen by Dingri’s masses (this is the official government term) to cross the border into Nepal and convince the Tibetans who had taken refuge there to return...

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4. Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy: The Sino-Indian Frontier

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pp. 86-115

As quietly and as suddenly as wild mushrooms do by night, a market had emerged at Wure. First there was nothing; then it had been there for a year, with merchants from India and Tibet flocking in to do business. They traded what people always had along Himalayan...

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Epilogue: Worlds Shattered, Worlds Reforged

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pp. 116-136

There were many reasons to leave Tibet, but there were many reasons to come back too. You never knew whether you would be met with a warm welcome or bitter suspicion in Nepal; in India, with its unbearable, spirit-sapping heat, the government set you to work...

Notes

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pp. 137-168

Bibliography

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pp. 169-176

Index

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pp. 177-189