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1. Posted by Lilibellil (Inactive 16 posts) 8y

Dear Travellerspoint,
Why is Tibet not one of the country options on the drop-down menus when uploading a photo or on the forum?

Is this politically motivated or merely an oversight?

I would like to call for the recognition of Tibet as an autonomous region on Travellerspoint!

Thank you,
concerned citizen of the world

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

Hi Lillibellil,

If anything this decision is NOT politically motivated, as we'd almost certainly add Tibet in that case. The issue basically boils down to what constitutes a country, something that has been discussed several times already on the forums. We use Wikipedia as our main reference, so any countries/dependencies etc. popping up on their List of countries would be included. Please understand that as a travel site we really don't wish to get into politically loaded discussions regarding what constitutes a 'country', which is why we've picked a (generally) reliable source to get that side of things done for us.

So, it's not an oversight but definitely not politically motivated.

I'm pretty sure Tibet is not actually being recognized as a country by any/many other countries, although naturally I'm quite familiar with the movement going on to free Tibet. But just because there's a movement like this (there's more of these) it doesn't mean that Tibet is actually a separate country/dependency (yet)-in fact as there is a movement we can deduce that it's definitely NOT the case. From Wikipedia's Tibet page:

Tibet is today part of the People's Republic of China (PRC) (with a small part, depending on definitions, controlled by India).

That said, there's absolutely no reason a Tibet travel guide can't be created as suggested in this thread. We have pages for regions/states and cities, all of which aren't listed as countries.

Hope that helps clarify things!

Cheers,

Sam

3. Posted by Lilibellil (Inactive 16 posts) 8y

Thank you for the thoughtful response, Sam I Am. I understand your motivations, but am surprised that you rely on wikipedia as a primary source for this site. Why not a more reliable source like Britannica, World Book or Encarta?

Not that they are any more authoritative than wikipedia, but sites like www.123world.com; www.immigration-usa.com; and www.mapsofworld.com list Tibet in their list of countries. Even the FIFA World Cup website recognizes Tibet as a country.

I respect that you don't want to become politically involved, but would like to dispute one point: the recognition of Tibet by other countries. Defining "recognize" implicitly, countries including the India (including under the British), the US, Great Britain, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Russia, and Japan have official diplomatic relations with Tibet as a country independent of China, and have signed treaties with Tibet. Explicitly, countries including Italy (which grants citizenship to many Tibetans by virtue of their oppression by China), Ireland, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Thailand, and the US (although not under the current regime), have explicitly stated that Tibet is a free country, illegally occupied by China. Further, the UN has passed resolutions on several occasions condemning China's occupation of the country of Tibet.

In the interest of raising awareness of travelers to Tibet and china, especially as the Beijing Olympics draw near, I would like to encourage your site to recognize Tibet!

Thanks!

4. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

Quoting Lilibellil

I would like to encourage your site to recognize Tibet!

Hmm, I think you missed the point I was trying to make. The whole point is that recognizing a country as being a country is up to others (governments etc.). The source really doesn't matter that much but we picked one that we believe to be reliable and will stick to it (FYI, I doubt any of those other publications include Tibet as a country?). If we change source (and to clarify, that's ONLY the source for the list of countries), then it means other 'countries' might need removing/adding too. On the whole, it's simply a matter of making sure we have a reference.

Wikipedia's list of countries is in fact extremely wide and includes even unrecognized states and inhabited dependent territories, so for Tibet NOT to be on there must mean it really doesn't belong there. Here's their definition:

"This list of countries, arranged alphabetically, gives an overview of countries of the world. It includes territories that are independent states (both those that are internationally recognized and generally unrecognized), inhabited dependent territories, and areas of special sovereignty."

Please understand that Tibet is just one area that has received more media coverage than other, far more contested, areas. If we add Tibet just because we believe it should be recognized, then we also need to definitely add Kurdistan. Not to mention dozens of areas in Africa. There's just no end to it. And the only reason we'd be doing it would be political motivation which is exactly what we are trying NOT to do.

Sam
ps. moving this to System Talk as I believe it's more suited to that forum.