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Prospects of Tibetology in China
Posted: March-18-2009Adjust font size:

Tibetology in China gained much ground over the past 50 years, and will see faster development in the days ahead alongside with the fast economic and social development of Tibet.

Academic research Will Be Conducted in Close Cooperation With Concrete Work.

Recent years saw high-speed economic and social development in Tibet. Statistics show the annual economic growth has surpassed the national average. Economic growth calls for guidance and intellectual support from scientific theory. It is therefore an inevitable trend for Tibetology to become increasingly closer with economic construction in the region. Tibetology will turn to integrate basic research. Efforts made to serve economic construction and social progress will in turn add vigor and vitality to Tibetology.

There Will Be More Cooperation Between natural and Social Sciences.

The two kinds of sciences will see frequent exchanges and expanded scope in cooperation. In China, due to the fact that the two kinds of sciences belong to different administrative systems, they occasionally entered into cooperation in the field of Tibetology when China practiced the planned economy. Such a situation didn't see any change until in recent years when economic construction developed apace in Tibet. The comprehensive agricultural development of the three rivers (referring to the Yarlung Zangbo, Lhasa and Nyang Qu rivers) stimulated large-scale exchange and cooperation between the natural and social sciences. After 1998 in particular, Chinese departments concerned organized scientists to conduct comprehensive survey of the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, arousing the strong interest of people with the domestic and foreign academic circles. The survey provides with fresh food for Tibetan studies, and will further stimulate the cooperation and exchange between the two kinds of sciences. Tibetology has much room to manoeuvre in China.

Effort to Gather Documents Will Promote Academic research.

China is rich in documents and historical records on Tibet. Most of these are in Tibetan. A small number of these are kept in schools of higher learning and scientific research organs, and the rest can be found in monasteries in Tibet and Tibetan-inhabited areas in Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai and Yunnan Provinces, the Tibet Archives, and the Potala Palace. Not enough efforts have been made to make use of these for Tibetology. Under the situation we even have no idea as to the number of Tibetan documents in existence. Nonetheless, the Sichuan Dege Sutra Printing House which is known as the treasure house of the Tibetan culture, the Labrang Monastery in Gansu Province, and the Potala Palace in Lhasa have made much ground in compiling catalogues of Tibetan classics, Tibetan archives and Tibetan documents. Large numbers of Tibetan classics in the Sagya Monastery which is known as the Dunhuang No.2 in the world, and the Million archives in the Tibet Archives still await to be sorted out. If these can be properly exploited, there will certainly be a breakthrough in Tibetan studies in China.

Tibetan Studies Workers Are Younger in China.

In the early days of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Central Government worked hard to cultivate a contingent of Tibetan studies workers. The chaotic cultural revolution (1966-76) undermined the work.. after the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978, the Central Government adopted remedial measures to revive Tibetan studies. In the last 10 years, China has cultivated over 100 MA in Tibetology and dozens of Ph. D in Tibetology. Most of them are aged between 30 and 40. Employing advanced theory and scientific research means, they have become backbone researchers in their respective fields when senior researchers have retired or are going to retire. They are expected to push forward Tibetology in China.

China's Tibetan Studies Circle Increases Academic Exchanges With Foreign Counterparts.

Opening to the outside world is a basic State policy. The Chinese scholars will, as always, strengthen and expand cooperation and academic exchanges with their foreign counterparts on the principle of mutual benefit. The Chinese Tibetan studies workers will invite their foreign counterparts to visit or go abroad for the same purpose. Advanced academic thinking, theory and achievements China has made in Tibetan studies will be introduced abroad so that overseas Tibetologisis will have a better understanding of the views held by the Chinese scholars. These will promote the fresh progress of Tibetology in China.

Although the Tibetan studies cause in China experienced ups and downs, the Chinese scholars have made enough progress in research. We have more than enough reasons to believe that, with the progress we have made under the loving care and energetic support from the Central Government, we will have a bright future in Tibetology by giving full play to the overall advantages, improving our weak links and mobilizing more to plunge into the work.

Source: Prospects of Tibetology in ChinaEditor: Lydia
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