The Defense Battle of Jiangzi: A Solemn Patriotic Hymn

2023-September-17 10:14 By:

Those who have watched the movie Red River Valley must have been impressed by the battle where Tibetan soldiers and civilians fought relentlessly against the well-equipped British army with nothing but big machete. In the end, many Tibetan soldiers jumped off the cliff after running out of food and supplies. This is by no means fiction, but what really happened when Britain invaded Xizang in 1904 for the second time.

What else are worth remembering apart from the story of Red River Valley? Let’s walk into that history together.

In 1888 and 1904, Britain sent troops twice to invade Xizang. Why was the second invasion launched so soon after the first one? The Britons were driven by colonialism and hoped to expand their illegitimate rights in Xizang. Their ultimate goal was to get to Lhasa and force the local Xizang government to sign a treaty.To do so, they had to go through Jiangzi.

Jiangzi, now a county under the jurisdiction of Shigatse, used to be a crucial traffic route linking Lhasa and India, and it was the most important grain-producing area in Xizang. Once the British troops arrived, they were met with intense resistance of local Tibetan soldiers and civilians from not only Jiangzi but also other parts of Xizang, some monks even joined the resistance army. These people brought food, tsampa, and used primitive weapons such as fire-rope guns, swords, spears and stone-throwers to fight for over a month in Zongshan, Jiangzi.

The fight was fierce, we used self-made guns, bows, arrows and spears but the invaders had cannons and Maxim machine guns. Although they had an absolute advantage in weaponry, they were shocked by the undaunted spirit of the Tibetans. After this war, British invaders no longer dare to underestimate the resistance of the Chinese. Waddell, a British officer, said that although they finally won the war, as a witness, it was ridiculous to think that Tibetans could not fight, and that the bravery demonstrated by Tibetans was unparalleled in the world.

“Jiangzi” means “summit” in Tibetan, it stands for the summit of victory.

Looking back at history, one can realize how hard it was to get this far. Looking ahead, a better Xizang is emerging in front of us.

After the peaceful liberation of Xizang, especially since the reform and opening-up, Xizang and the whole country have embarked on a new journey into a new era. Tremendous changes have taken place throughout Xizang, including in Jiangzi. 100 years ago, the people of Jiangzi were united in their fight against imperialism; 100 years later, they are still inspired by that relentless fight against Britain in their endeavor of building a rich, strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and beautiful modern socialist China.

Editor: JYZ
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