Since 1236, the Mongol prince Kublai (who later ruled as Khagan from 1260–1294) was granted a large appanage in North China by his superior Ögedei Khan. Karma Pakshi (1203–1283)—the head lama and second Karmapa of the Tibetan Black Hat sect—rejected the invitation of Kublai to appear in his court, so instead Kublai invited Drogön Chögyal Phagpa (1235–1280), successor and nephew of Sakya Pandita, who came to his court in 1253. Kublai instituted a unique relationship with the Phagpa lama, which recognized Kublai as a superior sovereign in political affairs and the Phagpa lama as the senior instructor to Kublai in religious affairs. Kublai also made Drogön Chögyal Phagpa the ruling priest-king of Tibet, which comprised thirteen different states ruled by myriarchies.
Kublai Khan did not conquer the Song Dynasty in South China until 1279, so Tibet was a component of the early Mongol Empire before it was combined into one of its descendant empires known as the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) with the whole of China. Van Praag writes that this conquest "marked the end of independent China," which was then incorporated into the Yuan Dynasty that ruled China, Tibet, Mongolia, parts of Korea, Siberia, and Upper Burma. Morris Rossabi writes that "Khubilai wished to be perceived both as the legitimate Khan of Khans of the Mongols and as the Emperor of China. Though he had, by the early 1260s, become closely identified with China, he still, for a time, claimed universal rule", and yet "despite his successes in China and Korea, Khubilai was unable to have himself accepted as the Great Khan". Thus, with such limited acceptance of his position as Great Khan, Kublai Khan increasingly became identified with China and sought support as Emperor of China.
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