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Tibet heralds decade of socioeconomic growth

Updated: Oct 28, 2022 China Daily Print
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Development has soared in autonomous region since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in 2012

Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region has achieved robust socioeconomic development and stability over the past decade since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in 2012, according to a senior local official.

Wang Junzheng, Party secretary of Tibet, made the remarks at a news conference held in early August.

The Party chief said that Tibet has made new achievements in its high-quality development, including forming advantageous industries with local characteristics, upgrading infrastructure and improving people's livelihoods. He added that such achievements are of great significance as they were announced prior to the 20th CPC National Congress, which opens in Beijing on Sunday.

Wang noted that the autonomous region's GDP surged from 71 billion yuan ($9.89 billion) in 2012 to 208 billion yuan in 2021, with an annual average growth rate of 9.5 percent.

About 628,000 households registered as living under the poverty line in the region were lifted out of poverty during the period, while the per capita disposable income of rural residents has nearly doubled over the past decade, reaching about 17,000 yuan last year.

The per capita disposable income of urban residents also increased by about 150 percent over the past 10 year, reaching 46,503 yuan in 2021.

The region's seven key industries including clean energy, high technologies, the digital economy and cultural tourism have progressed rapidly over the years, according to Wang.

He also hailed the region's achievements in promoting ethnic unity, protecting its excellent ecological environment and improving conditions in its border villages.

With its constant efforts in greening the land and improving air and water quality, Tibet remains a land with one of the best ecological systems in the world, Wang said.

The region has also enhanced the development of education over the past decade.

Yan Jinhai, chairman of the government of the Tibet autonomous region who was also present at the news conference, said: "Tibet offers children 15 years of free education, from kindergarten through high school, in contrast with the nine-year compulsory education in other parts of China.

"We have been continuing to improve the standard of education in rural areas, and the government pays for the allowances, school fees and accommodation of students from rural areas."

Yan added that the annual average subsidy each student receives has reached 4,200 yuan.

"Tibet is seeing rapid development in education. We expect that teaching quality and the learning environment will be improved in the near future, and more skilled workers will be cultivated to serve the overall development of the region," he said.

The senior officials' views about Tibet's development have been echoed by the 20th CPC National Congress delegates from Tibet, especially those working at grassroots level.

Tsering Lhamo, a delegate from Nagchu city, is the headmaster of Nagchu Special Education School, a school dedicated to children with disabilities.

She has been engaged in special education for nearly 30 years and is a witness to the development of this educational sector for the underprivileged children.

"About a decade ago, there was no special school for the disabled children in Nagchu," Tsering Lhamo said. "My colleagues and I had to visit various schools to serve students with special needs."

She noted that improvements began in 2013 when Nagchu Special Education School was founded.

"The establishment of the school marked the government's targeted efforts toward assisting disabled children," Tsering Lhamo said. "The school means that we can mobilize more resources for and better concentrate our energy on offering education for them."

She said the school allows more disabled children in Nagchu to access education and acquire knowledge and working skills.

"To gather more disabled children in the school, my colleagues and I have made extensive tours of Nagchu, identifying target children and persuading them to join our school," Tsering Lhamo said. Nagchu is a high-altitude region with a huge land mass spanning about 430,000 square kilometers.

Asha, a delegate from the village of Neyul in Neyul township, Manling county, has seen first-hand the village's progress in rural vitalization.

Neyul village is located at the entrance of Neyul Valley. Boasting dense forests, lush pastures, torrential streams, snow-covered mountains and the unique culture of the Lhoba ethnic people, Neyul Valley became a tourist destination in 2009. Since then, the tourism industry has become an important means to boost the income of local people, according to Asha.

Local residents attested that Asha herself is also among the important figures leading residents toward prosperity.

She has devoted much energy to helping local women increase their income through the tourism industry.

She founded a cooperative to engage female residents in making and selling Lhoba ethnic handicrafts, offering them an additional source of income.

Capitalizing on her knowledge in law, Asha has also contributed to protecting the legal rights of women, according to local residents.


Primary school students celebrate National Day in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa. CHINA DAILY
Tibetan antelopes are spotted in the Changtang Nature Reserve. Tibet remains a land with one of the best ecological systems in the world. CHINA DAILY

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