Hindustan Times (Delhi)
Decades of progress highlighted
Since the 1950s, life in Tibet has come on in leaps and bounds. Yuan Shenggao reports
seventy years of development has made Tibet a place where people can enjoy economic prosperity, social stability, good ecology, ethnic unity and religious freedom, according to a top official of the autonomous region in the southwest of China.
Wu Yingjie, Party secretary of Tibet, made there marks during a news conference arranged by the state Council Information office in beijing on sept. 12.
also speaking at the conference was Qizhala, chairman of the Tibet autonomous region.
They outlined the achievements that Tibet has made in the 70 years since the founding of the People’s republic of China in 1949 and answered journalists’ questions.
according to Wu, the autonomous region’s gross domestic product jumped to 147.76 billion yuan ($20.76 billion) in 2018 from 129 million yuan in 1949.
Qizhala noted that Tibet has maintained double-digit growth for 26 consecutive years. The autonomous region has been among the fastest-growing regions in the country since 2012.
Wu also cited other figures to show the autonomous region’s rapid and healthy development.
He said the region’ s grain output increased from 182,900 metric tons in 1959 to 1.05 million tons last year.
The Party chief said tourism is now one of the pillar industries in Tibet. In 2018, tourist visits to attractions in the region reached 33.69 million. Local tourism revenue reached 49.01 billion yuan. During the first eight months of this year, the number of visits was 33.15 million and tourism revenue was 50.5 billion yuan, increasing 19.6 percent and 25.4 percent from the same period of 2018.
Qizhala noted that Tibet has also made breakthroughs in developing a comprehensive industrial system.
“starting from scratch, Tibet has formed a modern industrial system that covers tourism, clean energy, manufacturing, high tech and modern services,” the chairman said.
Qizhala noted that Tibet’s industries have unique features relating to a plateau region.
for instance, he said, Tibet has fostered a plateau biology industry centering on the deep processing of local produce such as highland barley and yak products, as well as the production of traditional Tibetan medicines.
The chairman noted that Tibet’ s industries are also going green as the autonomous region applies an ecofriendly industrial strategy.
He said the region highlights environmentally friendly industries such as cultural tourism, green building materials and alternative energies including hydraulic power, geothermal power and solar energy.
Party secretary Wu said the sustained economic growth has resulted in a substantial improvement of people’s living standards and social welfare.
In 2018, the Party chief said, the disposable incomes of urban and rural residents were 33,797 yuan and 11,450 yuan respectively.
He said breakthroughs have been made in poverty reduction. More than 70 percent of impoverished counties have risen above their poverty status.
Wu noted that there are still 19 counties in the poverty category because of their harsh natural conditions, such as high altitude and fragile ecology.
but the Party secretary said he is confident that the 19 counties can shake off the status by the end of this year.
“With efforts in targeted poverty reduction, we are sure that we will enter a xiaokang — or moderately well-off — society in 2020, as well as the rest of the country,” Wu said.
The Party secretary said the residents in Tibet enjoy freedom of religion and their legal religious activities are protected by the law.