As we know, Crimea was annexed by Russia in a move that is illegal under international law. Russian claims that it is legitimate because the people of Crimea voted in a referendum that they want to be annexed. Many American deny that the collective will of the Crimeans are relevant to the legality of Russia’s annexation. However, notice that many of those who advocate for Tibet to be independent do so because they rely on an ad populum argument, it’s the will of the people of Tibet to be independent. This assumption is unsubstantiated and from the available evidence false (see here and here). But even for the sake of argument if most Tibetans wanted independence, Tibet’s legal situation much like Crimea’s legal situation is not a matter of popular will but of national sovereignty. Ukraine has a right to it much as China has a right to sovereignty over Tibet as recognized by international law and the international community.