The Food Crisis

Melvyn C. Goldstein

in A History of Modern Tibet, volume 2

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249417
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933323 | DOI:
The Food Crisis

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The PLA now far outnumbered the Tibetan army. However, while the presence of this large influx of troops provided military security for the Chinese side, it further strained relations with the sitsab and placed the Chinese in a precarious situation with regard to food. Beijing's long-term answer was to develop a secure motor road network between western China and Tibet. Until this was completed, Beijing rightly felt that the PLA's stay in Tibet would be insecure, so the Chinese immediately launched a crash program to complete two roads to Lhasa. Later, Mao ordered a major change in tactics on 13 September 1951, when he instructed the Southwest Bureau to make food production an equal priority with road construction. Mao also instructed the Eighteenth Army Corps to disperse troops quickly from Lhasa to other areas in order to reduce the demand for food there.

Keywords: Chinese army; Tibetan army; PLA; Beijing; Lhasa; food production; road construction; Eighteenth Army Corps

Chapter.  8572 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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