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Note on geographical terms


Tibet was traditionally comprised of three main areas: Amdo (north-eastern Tibet), Kham (eastern Tibet)

and U-Tsang (central and western Tibet). The Tibet Autonomous Region (Chinese: Xizang Zizhiqu) was

set up by the Chinese government in 1965 and covers the area of Tibet west of the Yangste River, including

part of Kham, although it is often referred to now as ‘central Tibet’ in English. The rest of Amdo and

Kham have been incorporated into Chinese provinces, and where Tibetan communities were said to have

‘compact inhabitancy’ in these provinces they were designated Tibetan autonomous prefectures and counties.

As a result most of Qinghai and parts of Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces are acknowledged by the

Chinese authorities to be ‘Tibetan’. The term ‘Tibet’ in this report is used to refer to all these Tibetan areas

currently under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China.

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