This article takes a look at Chinese state policies toward the predominantly Buddhist community in Tibet from the 1950s till the year 2008 and analyzes to what extent these policies have changed, if at all. After providing some background information in relation to state ideology, the article looks at the decades of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and gives an overview of state policies. Many of these policies show that the Chinese state has followed a policy of high handedness toward this region, which has broader implications in relation to human rights issues and security. “Reforms” introduced in Tibet have had more to do with tightening state control over Tibet rather than raising the material standards of the indigenous people. Ultimately, to understand the complex situation in Tibet, one needs to examine at the interaction between religion, nationalism and state reform in the region. The article argues that state reform needs to be more balanced, taking into consideration the religious sentiments of the local people.