Argument: Tibet was an independent state between 1911 and 1950
- Michael C. van Walt, an international legal scholar and a board member of the International Campaign for Tibet. "Tibet File No.18: The Legal Status of Tibet". Cultural Survival Quarterly (Vol. 12, 1988) - "From 1911 to 1950, Tibet successfully avoided undue foreign influence and behaved, in every respect, as a fully independent state. The 13th Dalai Lama emphasised his country's independent status externally, in formal communications to foreign rulers, and internally, by issuing a proclamation reaffirming Tibet's independence and by strengthening the country's defenses. Tibet remained neutral during the Second World War, despite strong pressure from China and its allies, Britain and the USA. The Tibetan Government maintained independent international relations with all neighbouring countries, most of whom had diplomatic representatives in Lhasa.
- The attitude of most foreign governments with whom Tibet maintained relations implied their recognition of Tibet's independent status. The British Government bound itself not to recognise Chinese suzerainty or any other rights over Tibet unless China signed the draft Simla Convention of 1914 with Britain and Tibet, which China never did. Nepal's recognition was confirmed by the Nepalese Government in 1949, in documents presented to the United Nations in support of that government's application for membership.
- The turning point in Tibet's history came in 1949, when the People's Liberation Army of the PRC first crossed into Tibet. After defeating the small Tibetan army, the Chinese Government imposed the so-called "Seventeen-Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" on the Tibetan Government in May 1951. Because it was signed under duress, the agreement was void under international law. The presence of 40,000 troops in Tibet, the threat of an immediate occupation of Lhasa and the prospect of the total obliteration of the Tibetan state left Tibetans little choice."
- Melvyn C. Goldstein, “The Dalai Lama's Dilemma”, From Foreign Affairs, January/ February 1998 "The overthrow in 1912 of the Qing Dynasty gave Tibetans the opportunity to expel all Chinese troops and officials. From then until 1951, Tibet functioned as a de facto independent nation, conducting all governmental functions without interference from China or any other country."