Decades of progress high­lighted

Since the 1950s, life in Ti­bet has come on in leaps and bounds. Yuan Shenggao re­ports

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - Metro -

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.

song Weix­ing / for CHINA DAILY

A bumper harvest looks set at a high­land bar­ley farm in Chong­gyai county, Ti­bet. The au­ton­o­mous re­gion's grain out­put reached 1.05 mil­lion met­ric tons in 2018, com­pared with 182,900 tons in 1952.

Since the Qing­hai-ti­bet Rail­way be­came op­er­a­tional in July 2006, the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion has a to­tal rail­way length of more than 1,100 kilo­me­ters. Zhang Jing / for CHINA DAILY

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