In this book the author examines the claim made by the British in the 19th/20th centuries that China was suzerain but not sovereign in Tibet and the counter claim made by the Chinese that China was sovereign not suzerain in Tibet at least since the 13th century.
The author shows that neither of these two propositions is historically correct. In the 13th/14th centuries when China was part of the East Asian Mongol empire a personal religious relationship was established between the Mongol Khan not the emperor of China and the principal lama ruler of Tibet namely the head of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Briefly it was a relationship between the Khan as the Giver of religious offerings and the deity Hevajra incarnate in the body of the lama as an object of worship.
During the Manchu Chng dynasty 1644-1912 the personal religious relationship was revived between the Manchu emperor and the new heads of the Tibetan state, namely the Dalai Lamas of Tibet, the reincarnations of Avalokitesvara.
This thesis is supported by 9 appendices which are translations of Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian historical documents.