Map of Tibet

              (c) 2007 John Emerson


TAC                  Tibetan Autonomous County

TAP                  Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

TAR                  Tibetan Autonomous Region

A note on definitions and use of names

Tibetans often use the term Tibet to refer to a large Tibetan ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and historical area that includes what is now known as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and Tibetan areas in four neighboring provinces—Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan.  It is these Tibetan areas outside the TAR—home to more than 50 percent of all ethnic Tibetans—that are primarily affected by the resettlement policies discussed in this report. 

For Chinese authorities and most Chinese-speaking ethnicities in China, the term Tibet (Xizang) is reserved for the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Chinese government has designated the Tibetan-inhabited areas of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan as Tibetan autonomous prefectures (TAP) or Tibetan autonomous counties (TAC). All of these Tibetan-inhabited areas more or less cover the distinctive geographic area known as the Tibetan plateau, which in contemporary Chinese sources is referred to as the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (Qingzang gaoyuan). 

Geographical names of prefectures, counties, towns, and villages are given in this report in Tibetan, with the Chinese variant given in parentheses. A table of geographical names mentioned in this report is included as an appendix to this report.

A mu is a Chinese unit of land measurement equal to 0.16 acres, or 0.067 hectares.

A gyama is a Chinese unit of weight measurement equal to 0.5 kilograms or 1.1 pounds.