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Difference Between Tibet and China

Tibet vs China

Tibet and China are often mistaken for each other for good reason – they are each part of the other. Furthermore, both are located in East Asia. Despite this confusion, there are still many differences between the two places.

Tibet is a former independent nation with the capital of Lhasa. From 1965 until today, Tibet has been a part of China, formally as one of China’s autonomous regions. China, on the other hand, is an independent nation, with Beijing as its capital.

Tibet and China have a long relationship and a long history with each other. At one point in their histories, Tibet became part of China. Later, Tibet would regain independence. In 1950, China’s government attacked and defeated Tibet to gain a strategic border in Asia. Tibet’s political and spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was forced into exile. As part of China’s new territories, Tibet was under the rule of China and its government.

China’s formal name is the People’s Republic of China and Tibet is known as the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.  Tibet has an official government which it shares with mainland China – the Chinese government. However, Tibet also has a government in exile, headed by its exiled leader, the Dalai Lama. This government is called the Central Tibetan Authority and is based in India.

China has 23 provinces, three municipalities and five autonomous regions. Tibet is one of the autonomous regions. It has a large scope of land that includes different land forms including three elevations. The highest elevation in Tibet is the highest plateau and the highest point in the world, Mount Everest.

China is also a multiracial state, with different ethnic groups living in its boundaries. The Tibetans are but one of these ethnic groups. The most prominent ethnic group is the Han China which comprises the majority of the population. In Tibet, the majority of people are Tibetans with a scattering of Chinese.

The Chinese are considered to be largest population in the world. Politically, Tibetans are considered Chinese and part of the Chinese population. But in terms of ethnicity, the Chinese people outnumber the Tibetan people.

Due to its multiracial status, there are many languages spoken in China. There are four major linguistic families, six Chinese dialects and 41 minority languages. Tibetan is included in the minority languages and spoken predominately in Tibet.

Transportation is also a major difference between the two. China has numerous forms of transportation with many roads, 16 ports, three airfields and various railroads. Tibet, in contrast, only uses roads and railroads for travel.


  1. Tibet and China share the same location (East Asia) and the same official government – The Chinese Communist Government.

  2. Tibet is part of China and is one of its autonomous regions. It was formerly an independent nation until the 1950s. China is an independent country with its own government stretching over the mainland and its other territories including Tibet, Hong Kong and others.

  3. Officially, Tibet is part of China’s government. However, it has a government, in exile, called the Central Tibetan Authority. This government is headed by the Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of Tibet in India.

  4. The Chinese population exceeds Tibet’s and its land scope is larger. China hosts multiple ethnic groups while Tibet only hosts a particular ethnic group – the Tibetans. Tibetans are part of the Chinese population. The majority of the Chinese population is Han Chinese.

  5. Due to multiple ethnic groups, the Chinese nation has multiple languages which include 4four linguistic families, six Chinese dialects and 41 minority languages. The official language of China is Mandarin Chinese. Tibet maintains the Tibetan language while adopting the Chinese language for communication purposes.

  6. China uses many means of transportation including railroads, roads, ports, airports and airfields. Meanwhile, Tibet uses roads and railroads as their main form of transportation.

  7. Tibet comprises the highest elevation of China. The highest elevation includes Tibet as the highest plateau and Mount Everest as the highest point. There two additional elevations in China’s topography.

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  1. thanks a lot for sharing this

  2. By the way, you have false information because tibet is in CENTRAL asia and China is in EAST asia along with Outer Mongolia, Korea, Japan and south East Asian countries. where as, tibet is in Central Asia along with east Turkestan, Uzbekistan, krygz, Tajikistan , Kazakhstan, afganistan, north pakistan, Kashmir and western mongolia.

  3. Bukkshit….this website is farce, it’s inky written from Chinese poin of view. How can you quote history from China when they re-write their own history to water down Tibetan identity with that of Chinese. You should refer to treaty and agreement between the then British India and Tibet government or much less Tibetan history. Remember, you should also know how buddhism flourished in Tibet or Atleast write about it. Any normal person can see the differences between the physical features of Tibetan and that of Chinese; not to mention language, culture and food habit. Bloody only sided history. Tibet is not China, they are butchers with no self respect. we have a saying in Tibetan: Like oil and water don’t mix; Tibetan and Chinese blend. So, fuck you for the baised history serving fuxked up xhinese ching ming history.

  4. Tibetans are completely different from the Han Chinese racially and culturally. We speak different, write different and think different. The Chinese and Tibetans know it very well but the Chinese believe that by lying numerous times to the world and to themselves perhaps their claim may be become the truth. Tibetans know very well how the Chinese look down upon them. The Chinese thought very wrongly (which incidentally proves their lack of understanding about Tibetans) that what the Tibetans wanted was money and materialistic development (which is what most Chinese desire). They have been brainwashing the Tibetans with anti-Dalai Lama messages and falsifying history to suit their agenda. They were in a shock when the Tibetans in Lhasa gave a rousing welcome to the Tibetan representatives from exiled community in India came for a visit in the 1980s hosted by the Chinese govt. to show the world how much better the Tibetans were feeling under the Chinese rule. The crowd swamped around the reps and wept with passion crying out “long live Dalai Lama”. Even as recent as in 2008 there was unrest in Lhasa with Tibetans rioting against the occupying Chinese. Since then many Tibetans have self immolated themselves to protest Chinese occupation. So far more than 150 have burned themselves to death. The Chinese are furious with the loyalty of the Tibetans towards their leader the Dalai Lama. No amount of persuasion or development (which is mainly for their own Han Chinese populace’s security and trade purposes only anyway) has affected any change of loyalty towards them. Sensing this the Chinese have now resorted to slowly engulfing the lowly populated Tibet with large batches of population from China. They are hoping the native population will soon wilt out and the face of Tibet will forever change to being that of a true Han Chinese one. Unfortunately though a fairly large population of Tibetan exiles live around the world especially in India and Nepal. The small community is now producing many well educated and well informed Tibetan youths. The Chinese will never have the satisfaction of completely annihilating the Tibetans or Sino-cizing them. They will always have to contend with the troubling fact that a growing population of Tibetans outside are getting smarter and more determined for their quest for freedom. The cultural identity of Tibetans will live on from outside until then. We will get our rightful country back. Truth always prevails in the end.

    • Good luck with getting your country back lol, Tibetan is weak… Only way too make Tibetan independent is if China becomes democratic

  5. Tibet was a feudal theocratic state until the 50s. The chinese changed that. Now Tibet has a better social system, infrastructures, industry, education and health services. Now Tibet is part of China and will share its promising future. People should stop whining about how bad China is because it isnt true.

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