Travel / Asia / East Asia


Tibet is a region of Central Asia and the home of the Tibetan people. With an average elevation of 4,900 m (16,000 ft), it is often called the "Roof of the World". In Western usage, "Tibet" may refer either to the Tibet Autonomous Region or TAR (an administrative subdivision of the People's Republic of China), or to historic and cultural Tibet which consisted of the provinces of Amdo, Kham, and U-Tsang. The TAR covers the former U-Tsang province and western Kham, the remainder coming under the present-day Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Yunnan, and Sichuan. Since 1959 the former government of Tibet, led by the 14th Dalai Lama has maintained a government in exile in northern India which claims sovereignty over historic Tibet. The Chinese name for Tibet, Xizang, means "Western Depository", which is often considered offensive by Tibetans.
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