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  17-point agreement paved the way to progress  

The 17-point agreement, the shortened name of the Agreement between the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, was signed in Beijing on May 23, 1951.

About one month before the signing, a five-member delegation of the Tibet local government, which was headed by Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, arrived in Beijing to talk with the central government's delegation, led by Li Weihan, on matters regarding the peaceful liberation of Tibet.

After the agreement took effect, the People's Liberation Army marched into Tibet and entered Lhasa in October 1951.

The main contents of the 17-point agreement were as follows:

1. The Tibetan people shall unite and drive out imperialist aggressive forces.

2. The local government of Tibet shall actively assist the People's Liberation Army to enter Tibet and consolidate national defense.

3. The Tibetan people have the right to exercise regional autonomy under the unified leadership of the central government.

4. The central government shall provide funds for the military and administrative committee in Tibet.

5. Tibetan people will enjoy religious freedom, and the revenue of lamaseries will remain unchanged.

6. The central authorities will not alter the established status, functions and powers of the Dalai Lama, and the established status, functions and powers of the Panchen Lama shall be maintained.

7. Tibetan husbandry, industry, commerce, language and education shall be developed step by step in accordance with the actual conditions in Tibet.

8. The central government shall handle all external affairs of Tibet.

China Daily - Xinhua

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