Unparalleled change experienced within space of a generation
In the seven decades since the founding of the People’s republic of China, the Tibet autonomous region has created history that previous millennia cannot match.
There have been many significant events since 1949, including the peaceful liberation, democratic reform, foundation of the autonomous region, reform and opening-up.
Tibetan residents, freed from serfdom seven decades ago and later becoming masters of their own fate, are beneficiaries of and witnesses to the great changes taking place in the plateau region that has been dubbed “the roof of the world.”
Kelzang Drolkar, from Lhasa, is one of the witnesses. The 56-year-old woman is the Party secretary of a community in the nachen subdistrict of Lhasa. she has also been a delegate to the national People’s Congress for three consecutive sessions.
“My post as an NPC delegate gives me a deeper understanding of the central authorities’ strong support to Tibet,” said Kelzang Drolkar.
she added that her parents used to be serfs in the past. “They never expected they could decide their own affairs 70 years ago. but now they have a family member as a decision-maker of the nation,” she said.
“only those who experienced the cold winter would cherish the warmth of the sun,” Kelzang Drolkar added.
The peaceful liberation of and democratic reform in Tibet have fundamentally changed the lives of the previous serfs. They used to account for more than 95 percent of the population in Tibet.
The freedom they enjoy has also helped them release their creative powers.
Lhagpa Phantog is an owner of a factory producing Tibetan incense. she used to be a tour guide because of her fluency in Tibetan, Chinese and english.
she said her mother was given the chance to study in schools in xianyang, shaanxi province. Lhagpa Phantog also studied in a university.
Her educational background gives her a better understanding of the latest trends in industries.
she introduced an environmentally friendly concept in the production of incense and grew her profits. The sales revenue of her business was 4.5 million yuan ($631,615) last year.
Tibet now has a complete modern education system that covers preschool, basic, vocational and higher-learning educational programs, as well as education for people with disabilities.
To ensure all people can access education, Tibet launched a 15-year free and compulsory education policy for students from kindergartens to senior middle schools.
by the end of 2018, the average schooling period of Tibet’s residents was 9.55 years, according to local statistics.
nyima Tashi is a professor and head of the modern educational technologies center at Tibet University. He led the center to make a number of breakthroughs in Tibetan-language-based computer software and systems.
Their achievements include a Tibetan-language coding system and a neuro-network-based Tibetan-madarin translation system.
Lian xiangmin, an official and researcher at China Tibetology research Center based in beijing, said the greatest change in Tibet over the past 70 years is in people’s lives.
“The freedom and equality resulted from the region’s liberation enable people to be masters of their own destiny, releasing their originality and creativity to the utmost,” Lian said.
“That’s why Tibet has created many miraculous achievements while having explored a successful path for its socioeconomic growth,” the researcher added.
The sustained socioeconomic growth in Tibet has led to substantial improvements in quality of life.
at the end of 2018, sonam Dekyi became the 5-millionth air passenger in Tibet. It was a milestone in the autonomous region’s civil aviation industry.
Tibet has five airports with 92 air routes linking domestic and overseas destinations.
It has developed a comprehensive transport system of highways, railways and airports.
The total length of highways reached 60,000 miles by the end of 2018.
after the completion of the Qinghai-Tibet railway in 2006, the Lhasa-shigatse line was opened in 2014. The Lhasanyingchi railway is now in the rail-paving stage.
Tibet has a modern manufacturing industry system including energy, light industry, food processing, ethnic handicraft making and production of traditional Tibetan medicines.
Tourism has grown into one of the local economic pillars, helping more than 100,000 rural residents increase their income.
The steady and fast economic growth makes sure that more people can benefit from ever-improving social welfare.
To date, more than 3.7 million residents are covered by various social security programs, according to local statistics.
In addition to the quality of life, the quality of growth is also emphasized by the region’s government and the local people.
The autonomous region is making efforts to protect its environment and ensure sustainable socioeconomic development.
Paljor is the boss of a tree nursery in Lhokha city. During the past decade, millions of saplings from his nursery have been delivered to various regions in Tibet, contributing to greening the world’s highest plateau.
The business also brings hundreds of thousands of yuan in revenue to his family annually.
Right: From kindergartens to senior middle schools, students in Tibet now enjoy 15-year free education.
Left: Residents in Lhasa read Familyalbum, a book recording the great changes in Tibet in the past seven decades.