Peace treaty between China and Tibet (822)

The Sino-Tibetan Peace Treaty of 822 is a peace treaty signed between Ralpacan of the Yarlung dynasty, Emperor of Tibet (629 - 877), and Emperor Tang Muzong of the Tang Dynasty of China in 822.

It follows a first peace agreement signed by Emperor Tang Dezong with the Tibetan Empire in 783, which will then be overridden by the Tibetan Empire.

The treaty would serve as a basis for relations between Tibet and China until the conquest of Tibet by the Mongols, then the kingdom of the Southern Song Dynasty when the Yuan dynasty was founded in the 13th century.


Ralpachan ruling in Tibet conflicted with the Muslim Uyghur Khanate (744 - 848) in the North, and with China over the control of Silk Roads and the Tarim Basim.

China allied with Uyghurs who were driving Buddhism out of northern India and the Ganges Basin. In 816, Tibetans attacked Uyghur territory. In 821, Tibetans were attacked. Tibet did an incursion into Chinese territory and sacked the capital.

After a limited Tibetan incursion into Chinese territory, the Chinese promised marriage alliances to the Uyghur and Tibetan rulers. These marriages, as well as a Sino-Tibetan peace treaty, were finalized in 822.


On November 8, 821 a Chinese delegation left for Tibet to sign the treaty.[1] The treaty was signed between the Emperor of Tibet, Ralpachan, and the Chinese Emperor Tang Muzong (820-824) of the Tang Dynasty.[2]


The treaty helped stabilize political, military, and trade relations between Tibet and China. Thus the treaty delimited the border between the two kingdoms and China recognizes the occupation of Gansu by the Tibetans.

In 823, a stele known as the “Tang-Tibet Treaty Inscription” was erected in front of the main gate of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa and of which there are two other copies, one in the capital of China in Chang'an at the Emperor's Gate, and the other at the Tibetan-Chinese border on Mount Meru. The terms of the treaty of the alliance are inscribed therein. Peace was thus assured for almost twenty years.[3]


  1. ^ Beckwith, Christopher I. The Tibetan empire in central Asia : a history of the struggle for great power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese during the early Middle Ages (First paperback ed.). Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN 978-0-691-21630-0. OCLC 655804720.
  2. ^ Walter, Michael L. (2009). Buddhism and empire: the political and religious culture of early Tibet. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-474-2928-9. OCLC 712986501.
  3. ^ 李方桂, Fang-Kuei Li (1956). "The Inscription of the Sino-Tibetan Treaty of 821-822". T'oung Pao. 44 (1/3): 1–99. ISSN 0082-5433.