In 1788, the Gurkhas invaded the Tsang region of Tibet. Tsang bordered the Gurkha area, so the Tibetans and Gurkhas had close economic ties, engaging in barter and other trade. However, a serious dispute arose between the Tibetans and Gurkhas. In 1788, using the pretext that Tibet had increased the duties levied on Gurkha goods in the border region, 3,000 Gurkha troops occupied Kyirong, Nyalam andDzongkhar. The Qing Emperor Qianlong dispatched troops under the joint command of General Ehui of Chengdu and General Cheng De, the Sichuan garrison commander, to drive the invaders out of Tibet. The emperor dispatched Bazhong, deputy chairman of the Board for National Minority Affairs, as imperial envoy to Tibet to investigate and handle the affair together with Ehui and Cheng De. Before Bazhong arrived in Tibet, the Drungpa Hutuktu of Tsang had privately made peace with the Gurkhas and promised to redeem the lost land by giving them money. After arriving in Lhasa, Bazhong consulted with Ehui and Cheng De and then ordered the Shamar Tulku (Red Hat) to inform the Gurkhas to surrender and withdraw from the territory they had occupied. Meanwhile, though his own representative, Bazhong negotiated terms with the Gurkhas for their withdrawal. It was agreed that the Gurkhas would leave the territory they had occupied and that they were to be guaranteed a payment of 300 silver ingots each year as compensation. In a report to the emperor, Bazhong said: “Nyalam, Dzongkhar and Kyirong have been recovered.” He then asked to be allowed to “return with the victorious army.” In 1790, when the Gurkhas asked Tibet to honor the compensation agreement, the Dalai Lama and the Kashag refused and asked the Gurkhas to cancel the agreement. However, the Gurkhas refused. This was reported to the Qing court. It was not until then that the Qing court realized that the “victory” that Bazhong reported was not a real one.
Due to the critical situation in Tibet, the Qing court again sent Tsemonling there to act as regent. He died in March 1791, several months after arriving in Lhasa. The Qing court sent the eighth Jedrung Hutuktu to be regent.