|Xizang Autonomous Region, Chinese names: Sitsang an autonomous region of SW China; formerly a theocracy and the centre of Lamaism: Europeans strictly excluded in the 19th century; invaded by China in 1950; rebellion (1959) against Chinese rule suppressed and the Dalai Lama fled to India; military rule imposed (1989--90) after continued demands for independence; consists largely of a vast high plateau between the Himalayas and Kunlun Mountains. Capital: Lhasa. Pop: 2 700 000 (2003 est). Area: 1 221 601 sq km (471 660 sq miles)|
Note: The Dalai Lama, religious and civil leader of Tibet, was forced into exile in 1959, when the Chinese annexed the country.