This biography of the Ninth Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual authority in Tibetan Buddhism, offers new insights into the tumultuous history of the relations between China and Tibet at the start of the twentieth century. It demonstrates how the Panchen Lamas flight from his monastery on the night of December 22, 1923, remains an essential characterizing event of Tibets modern history. In China, the Panchen Lama became entwined will not only the Republican government, but also the world of international politics. By the 1930s, the prelate was to find himself a pawn in a diplomatic game played by China, Lhasa, and England for control of Tibet. His flight from his country set the stage for Chinese Republican, and later Communist, control over the selection of his successors, with the repercussions even today for Sino-Tibetan relations.