Tibetans gather to watch meeting
The average altitude of China’s highest township, Pumaqangtang, stands at 5,373 meters, with only 40 percent of the oxygen that people at sea level have.
The hot atmosphere in the township square, however, stood in contrast with the thin air as people gathered to watch the live broadcast of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Wednesday.
As the sun rose in the township in the Tibet autonomous region, 34 Party members, including officials, nomads and officers from border police stations, and some other residents had gathered. They held a flag-raising ceremony and danced “Guozhuang”, a Tibetan bonfire dance, to celebrate the coming congress.
Galsang Choilag, Party chief of the township, which has a population of more than 1,000, said he is excited to see the congress open successfully and was inspired by the achievements mentioned by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
“He put great emphasis on people’s well-being. As a grassroots cadre in border regions, I will follow the spirit of Xi’s report with my colleagues and make every effort to improve people’s livelihoods and safeguard the harmony and stability of the areas inhabited by ethnic groups,” he said.
Great changes have happened in Pumaqangtang in the past five years. In 2015, the township in Nakarze county was connected with a paved road to the county’s downtown area, and the whole township is now covered by communication and internet services, the 36-yearold said.
By the end of last year, per capita disposable income in the township reached 9,490 yuan ($1,434). People from two of the six villages in the township are expected to move into newly built settlements this year, and people from another three villages will have new houses next year thanks to a 150 million yuan village construction project, he said.
He said he firmly believes the country will be stronger with the Party’s leadership under Xi.
“I have been through the largest changes of my life in the past five years,” said Sodnam Tsering from Satsam, a village near the township.
“Previously, we relied on our yaks to carry pasture products to nearby Lhodrag county to exchange for food and other daily necessities. It took us five days. Now with the paved road, it is only four hours away by car,” said the 43-year-old.
He said he bought a tractor in 2013 to facilitate farm work and a van to work in the transportation business in 2015. Now his family takes in more than 100,000 yuan a year, including more than 40,000 yuan in subsidies from the government.
“In the past decades, there have been great changes in my family and my hometown. Our lives have become better and better. All these happened thanks to the Party’s leadership. The Party Central Committee has made every effort to work for the people’s happiness,” he said.
“General Secretary Xi said in his report that people’s interests should be put above all else. This impressed me the most.
“I think this means there will be more and bigger changes to our life as the country becomes stronger.
“My villagers and I are all extremely happy to hear that. I want to say tashi delek (good fortune) to the CPC Central Committee,” he added.