They are synonymous since 200 BCE until 1959. Tibet referred to Utsang only in history from 200 BCE until 7th century ACE.
Then for about 240 years, Tibet referred to areas covering cholkhasum regions because Tsenpo kings subdued Kham and Amdo into the political fold of Tibet.
Utsangs contributed 95% of Tibet’s achievements, whether, in administration, monarchy, law, Kashag, parliament, sovereignty, treaty, military, finance, economics, taxes, diplomacy, politics, written script, language, armor, wars, and empire, religions, culture, currency, printing press, songs, dances, poetry, grammar, literature, medicine, architecture and the list is endless!
Then in mid-ninth century ACE Tibet disintegrated politically into tiny chiefdoms for about 400 years.
Then from 13th century ACE to 16th century ACE Sakyapas, Phagtruk, Ripung, Dhepa Tsangpas ruled Tibet/Utsang in succession. They were all Utsangs.
Then from 16th century ACE to until 1959, the Dalai Lamas under the office of Gadhen Phodrang ruled Tibet that was covering roughly Utsang.
So Tibet and Utsang are the same politically.
The late Gyari Rinpoche, former speaker Penpa Tsering, previous Sikyong Samdhong Rinpoche, and the current Dalai Lama all completely agree with this political assertion.
When Tibetans in exile demand independence for Tibet, Middle Way proponents Such as the Dalai Lama either scold or remind them that politically, historically and legally Tibet refers to Utsang only. And hence we can if we insist fight only for Utsang independence.
Middle Way advocates stress that we better seek genuine autonomy for all the three provinces than seek independence for one province, which is Utsang.
Kham and Amdo for centuries lived under numerous tiny chiefdoms without a central authority. They did not have their monarchy or government, nor did they have an army. They did not enter into a single treaty with their neighbors because they did not have sovereignty.
Often they paid taxes to China, Mongol, Manchu, Burma and Chinese Muslim warlords. They did not pay taxes to the then Tibetan government. They did not serve in the government nor the Tibetan army.
During the Dhargye gompa conflict, Utsang soldiers rescued the Khampas by defeating the Chinese in Karze.
When Ngyarong Gompo Namgyal brutally conquered much of Kham in the 19thcentury ACE, it was Utsang soldiers who rescued the Khampas by defeating him and his militia. Khampa chieftains who were set free profusely thanked Utsang soldiers for securing their freedom from butcher Ngyarong Gompo. This is history.
When Khampas ran out of provisions during their pilgrimage in Utsang we gave them alms. Yes, for centuries! Centuries of kindness and generosity!
When British attacked Tibet in 1904, it was Utsang soldiers who fought and escorted the 13th Dalai Lama to freedom in Mongolia.
When the Chinese attacked Tibet in 1910, it was again Utsang soldiers who fought and escorted the 13th Dalai Lama to freedom in British India.
Khampas sided with the Chinese and fought Tibetan military many times in recent history.
Pundatsang, a Khampa trader, invited the Chinese army to invade Tibet/Utsang.
Bawa Phuntsok Wangyal, a Khampa communist, brought the Chinese military to Lhasa in 1950.
Khampas built most of the roads from China to Utsang/Tibet under Chinese leadership.
Hence the Kham saying goes like this, ” Ja ghungdren drinchen phama rey, dayang charpa bhabphap rey”, which translates as “the Chinese are great like parents, and the silver dollars fell like rain.”
But the Chinese would have none of that and invaded and occupied all the three provinces as we now call.
When the Chinese attacked Khampas, they fled to Utsang as refugees. Khampas could not establish a single base in Kham. Utsang gave them a base in Driguthang to fight the Chinese but alas Khampas assaulted, looted Utsangs and raped their women including nuns with vows.
Utsangs fought the Chinese with whatever they had. 8000 Utsang soldiers died fighting 40,000 Chinese troops in Chamdo in 1950.
Utsangs like Sikyong Lhukhangwa and Phalha engineered the escape of the current Dalai Lama. Yes, on the way to India they were joined by a bunch of Khampas who proved more of a nuisance than support because it was easier for the Chinese warplanes to spot a large group of people fleeing!
Utsangs like Tsarong-the Commander-in-Chief escorted the Dalai Lama to the Indian border and then went back to Lhasa and fought the Chinese till death.
87000 people dead in Lhasa and the neighboring areas from March 1959 to December 1959. 90% of those dead were Utsang s. Thousands died protesting in Lhasa when PLA bombed them mercilessly.
In the late 60s Nyimo Ani led eighteen districts in Utsang and fought the Chinese. Thousands of Utsangs paid the price for freedom.
In the late 80s again thousands of Utsangs revolted in Lhasa against the Chinese occupation. Arrests, imprisonments, beatings, torture and execution were the prices they paid for independence.
98% of the Tibetans on Chinese Taiwan payroll from 1975 to 2005 were all Khampas.
98% of the Tibetans who have been Shugden on Chinese payroll since 1994 until the present are all Khampas.
Khampas committed 98% of the crimes in exile. Gang intimidation, death threats, gang assault, rape, and murder on Utsangs are all committed by Khampas.
98% of the Lamas, Tulkus, Rinpoches who sell Buddhism for money in the west and East Asian countries are all Khampas. A Lama can easily fetch $500,000 for recognizing a Chinese businessman as a reincarnation of some high lama. Just one example.
98% of the Tibetans who practice tribal politics are all Khampas.
98% of the sectarian violence in exile are all committed by Khampas.
98% of the corruption at the governmental or NGO level are all committed by Khampas.
This is the real narrative. Swallow the bitter truth. Your propaganda is exposed!
Utsangs, on the other hand, practiced Buddhism by remaining lawful, nonviolent, humble, peaceful, inclusive, holistic, and loyal to the Dalai Lama leadership.
They did not sell their soul to Chinese or Taiwan for money.
They did not sell Buddhism for money.
Utsangs voted Khampas to power for three decades, but Robjors get arrogant and start urinating on Utsangs who fed, clothed and civilized them.
Utsangs are shat upon by Robjors everywhere in exile.
Enough is enough!
Human patience has both depth and limit.
Time to fight back has come!
From now on:
We will vote only Utsangs to power, whether at the governmental level or the village level.
We will teach them lessons from time to time that crime never pays.
We will drive them out of the Tibetan/Utsang community if necessary.
We will fight for an independent Tibet that does not include Kham and Amdo.
We will exclude them out of our struggle and out of Tibet picture for good.
We stood on our own for 2200 years of recorded history, and we will stand on our own again.
They are not indispensable to our cause and our way of life.
Khampas can fight for Khamland,
and Amdos can fight for Amdoland if Amdos so wish.
But if they behave and sort out issues democratically and nonviolently, then we will respect them.
And if they support all our demands including the complete removal of the ten choelug seats through a referendum, then we will make them a part of Tibet.
Until then, no backing down!
Tibet is Utsang!
Utsang is Tibet!