The antihero Wei has a series of turbulent adventures involving court politics, the martial arts world, secret societies, the Lamaist
section of the Wutai Mountains, the Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong 1624-1662) court in Taiwan, the satrap (Wu Sangui 1612-1678) ambitions in Yunnan, and the border negotiations with Russia leading to the Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689.
Goldstein's exhaustive three-volume history of Tibet, A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist
State (Berkeley, 1989); A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 2: The Calm Before the Storm, 1951-1955 (Berkeley, 1997); and, A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 3: The Storm Clouds Descend, 1955-1957 (Berkeley, 2013); and, Carole McGranahan, Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War (Durham, North Carolina, 2010).
Puning Temple was the very first Lamaist
temple Emperor Qianlong had built outside Chengde Imperial Summer Resort.
Additionally, the dominant religion is Lamaist
Buddhism, which possibly presents less of a cultural barrier to democratization.
The Chinese consider him a dangerous separatist leader, camouflaged behind a facade of Buddhism; they have constantly sought to control the Lamaist
institutions, as demonstrated by their interference in the matter of the Panchen Lama, but up until now those institutions have resisted.
For example, nearly two pages are given over to a comparison of Taoist and Confucian traditions but Buddhist and Lamaist
(and Christian) influences are given scant attention.