Bridging Tibetan, Chinese, and South Asian studies, this article examines the 1960 Tibetan Muslim Incident, when nearly one thousand Tibetan Muslims declared themselves to be Indian citizens by virtue of their Kashmiri ancestry and petitioned the Chinese government to be allowed to emigrate to India. The paradox of the 1960 Tibetan Muslim Incident is that it occurred after a decade of careful Sino-Indian diplomacy, a diplomacy emerging out of each nation's shared struggle for independence and liberation from an anti-imperialist past. By locating the event in the broader ideological movements of postcolonial Asia, the article focuses on a set of aspirations, motivations, and spaces by which China, India, and the Tibetan Muslims sought to define their actions outside of standard nationalistic, ideological, and military narratives of the period.

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