Help. Big worms are eating little worms!
Dalai Lama and council of Tibet to Britain and ministers of Europe
In November 1910 Lord Hardinge and Lord Crewe replaced Lord Minto and Lord Morley, respectively, as viceroy and secretary of state for India. Whitehall hoped that their long-standing friendship would not only lead to a peaceful continuation of the status quo in Tibetan policy but would avoid the many conflicts that had dogged the Minto/Morley administration. 1 Within months of taking office, however, the non-involvement policy was first reassessed, and then virtually abandoned as London began to accept that Chinese forward policy was a reality and that Tibet needed to be protected against growing Chinese aggression if India was to remain safe.
One of the main reasons behind the decision to review non-involvement was the result of an escalation in Chinese activity in areas close to the Indian border in the remote tribal regions of Assam and neighbouring Tawang. 2 The Chinese invasion of Lhasa in February 1910 now made it feasible for them to launch an attack on these regions, using the city as a base, and in the final months of his viceroyalty Minto had been deeply concerned about the fate of the largely unmapped Indo-Burma frontier, which would be left vulnerable in the event of any Chinese takeover in Assam. 3
The extent to which the Chinese campaign was really as organised as many in India believed was highly questionable however, as the various factions pulling against each other in the dying months of the Manchu dynasty were, by now, quite incapable of co-operating enough to make such a campaign viable on a national level. In Lhasa, for example, the much-hated amban, Lien Yu, was behaving in a way that seemed totally at odds with instructions from Peking, and by 1910 the increasingly powerful provincial governments of Yunnan and Sichuan were already operating like independent states as China slid inexorably towards revolution. Finally, in Peking itself, the newly created board for Tibetan and