Del­e­ga­tion to Ja­pan ex­plains pol­icy of progress for Ti­bet

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By CAI HONG in Tokyo cai­hong@chi­

China is work­ing hard to mod­ern­ize its Qing­hai-Ti­bet Plateau, said Hao Shiyuan, a re­searcher lead­ing a five-day cul­tural ex­change del­e­ga­tion to Ja­pan that ends Satur­day.

“There is no prece­dent for mod­ern­iza­tion in plateau ar­eas in the his­tory of mankind,” added Hao, who is with the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences.

But China is com­mit­ted to build­ing a moderately welloff so­ci­ety in an all-around way in 2020. This, Hao said, sets a stan­dard for achiev­ing mod­ern­iza­tion for all peo­ple among its 56 eth­nic groups.

Hao said poverty al­le­vi­a­tion is the first step in China’s mis­sion to build a moderately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in an all-around way, adding that the coun­try has lifted more than 700 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty in the past four decades.

China still has some 30 mil­lion ru­ral peo­ple liv­ing be­low the poverty line of 2,300 yuan ($336) in an­nual in­come.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has adopted pref­er­en­tial poli­cies for ar­eas where eth­nic mi­nori­ties live and im­pov­er­ish­ment is most se­ri­ous. The coun­try rolled out a strat­egy this year de­signed specif­i­cally for the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion, the pre­dom­i­nantly Ti­betan ar­eas of Sichuan prov­ince, Nu­jiang pre­fec­ture in Yun­nan prov­ince, Linxia pre­fec­ture in Gansu prov­ince and four pre­fec­tures in the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion in­clud­ing Kash­gar, Hotan, Kezilesu Kir­giz and Aksu.

“For the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, the eth­nic or Ti­betan is­sue is about pro­mot­ing so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment and com­mon pros­per­ity,” Hao said. “Western me­dia play up the so-called Ti­bet is­sue based on the Dalai Lama’s words. But the Dalai Lama left the coun­try more than 60 years ago and has done noth­ing to im­prove the wel­fare of Ti­bet, Ti­betans or all the be­liev­ers of Ti­betan Bud­dhism.”

“The Dalai Lama has no idea of China’s eth­nic­i­ties pol­icy, the sys­tem of re­gional au­ton­omy for eth­nic peo­ple, and the eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural de­vel­op­ment of each eth­nic group,” Hao added.

Local au­thor­i­ties have re­stored all 24 Ti­betan Bud­dhist lamaseries in re­cent years, and the re­li­gious cul­ture is be­ing pre­served, ac­cord­ing to Cili Wang­deng, a Liv­ing Bud­dha from Diqing Ti­betan au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture in Yun­nan. The local gov­ern­ment has also built roads and wa­ter ser­vice for the tem­ples. Res­i­dents are free to pray at tem­ples or at home, Cili Wang­deng said.

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