Posts Tagged ‘dalai lama’

A practical, though lethal, gift for the Dalai Lama

A practical, though lethal, gift for the Dalai Lama

“The Chinese authorities seem to guard the Dalai Lama closely,” Baron Gustaf Mannerheim wrote in his diary in July 1908. The Russian colonel, who was on a secret intelligence-gathering mission in China, had just arrived at Wutai Shan, the most sacred of four Buddhist mountains in China. One of its mountaintop temples was, he wrote, “the present abode, not to say prison, of the Buddhists’ pope, the Dalai Lama.”


CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 13

Labrang: Stoned In 1906, the Chief of the Russian General Staff instructed Gustaf Mannerheim to “assess general conditions and local attitudes to Chinese policies, the political movements in regions or in local tribes toward self-government, [and] the role of the Dalai Lama in such movements.” So from Lanzhou, he ventured into southern Gansu or what [...]


CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 18

Inner Mongolia: The Soot Road From Datong, Gustaf Mannerheim crossed the Great Wall of China into Inner Mongolia and a grassland steppe that was traditionally dominated by Mongol tribes. However, in 1908, the military governor of Inner Mongolia was being put on trial for a lucrative scheme to colonize these wild pasture lands with Han [...]


CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 17

Wutai Shan: The Wanderer At first, Wutai Shan seems like an odd stopover for Gustaf Mannerheim, a Russian spy tasked with assessing China’s strength and the loyalty of its ethnic minorities, particularly Muslims, Mongols and Tibetans. It is one of four sacred mountains for Chinese Buddhism, and is located in a remote knot of mountains [...]