Ti­betans gather to watch meet­ing


China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By DA QIONG in Pumaqangtang and HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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