Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
China Daily Global / 2023-06 / 08 / Page007

Forum highlights resounding success of Tibet autonomous region's development

China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-06-08 00:00

Area's astounding growth over decades heralded by both local and international attendees

Hailing from home and abroad, participants attending a forum on the development of Tibet held in late May lauded the achievements made in all fronts in the Tibet autonomous region in Southwest China.

Officially called the 2023 Forum on the Development of Xizang, China, the event opened on May 23 in Beijing and focused on Tibet's new chapter in high-quality development and human rights protection. Xizang is the name of Tibet in Chinese.

The forum also acted as a means to pool together wisdom for the continued development of the autonomous region.

The one-day event, jointly hosted by the State Council Information Office and the regional government of Tibet, brought together more than 150 officials and experts in various fields and representatives of enterprises and media organizations from home and abroad.

There were several subforums for attendees to discuss issues relating to Tibet's whole-process people's democracy, high-quality development, culture and ecological civilization.

After more than 70 years of development, a new modern socialist Tibet featuring political and social stability, economic prosperity, ethnic unity, religious harmony, consolidation of border defenses and its people living and working in peace and contentment is now presented to the world, said Wang Junzheng, secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, at the opening ceremony.

"People of various ethnic groups in Tibet have enjoyed a greater sense of accomplishment, happiness and security, and moderately prosperous lives along with the rest of the Chinese people," Wang said.

Achievements praised

Australian Sinologist Colin Macherras, a recipient of the Chinese Government Friendship Award, lauded Tibet's development over the past decades, citing his experience gained during visits to Tibet.

He said that Tibet has eliminated absolute poverty, and its infrastructure and living standards have improved dramatically.

The achievements of poverty alleviation in the Tibet autonomous region have been widely praised at the forum.

Tibet used to be the only provincial-level contiguous poverty-stricken region in China. The region had accomplished the historic feat of eradicating absolute poverty by the end of 2019, with 628,000 people lifted out of poverty. The regional GDP reached 213.3 billion yuan ($30.05 billion) in 2022, representing a giant leap from the 1959 figure of a mere 174 million yuan, according to official data.

"I have devoted my life to contributing to telling the story of China's poverty alleviation, traveling through every province, and I understand well that the achievements in Tibet are among the hardest won," Erik Robert Nilsson, an American journalist of China Daily, said at the event.

Nilsson has been to Tibet three times since 2016, and is the writer of the book Closer to Heaven: A Global Nomad's Journey Through China's Poverty Alleviation.

Prior to the forum, foreign participants were also invited to tour the cities of Lhasa and Nyingchi in Tibet, visiting places including villages, schools and communities.

Describing the achievements in Tibet as a feat that "almost nobody in the world could achieve in only a few decades", Guibe Guillaume, a French employee of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, said he is impressed by the high-quality development of infrastructure during his first trip in the region.

"At an altitude of 5,200 meters, I could get my emails and chat on my mobile phone," Guillaume said, adding that roads are modern, safe and comfortable to drive on and speed radars were even installed at the entrances to villages to protect people and domestic animals.

Practical experience

Maria Gustava, Mozambique's ambassador to China, said that the practical experience of Tibet in poverty alleviation and rural development proved that effective and holistic planning is needed to realize poverty reduction.

Tibet's, as well as China's, success in alleviating rural poverty through leveraging technology-led farming methods constitutes a source of inspiration and valuable guidance for developing countries like Mozambique in their efforts to fight against poverty and promote sustainable development, Gustava said.

At the forum, Abdilahi Ismail Abdilahi, who is from Somalia and works as a foreign language teacher at Beijing Foreign Studies University, called on African countries to learn from Tibet's development in agriculture, green energy, transportation, infrastructure construction, ecotourism, natural environment management, education and foreign trade.

Hendy Yuniarto, a lecturer from the School of Asian Studies at the BFSU, said that sustainable tourism has played a crucial role in eradicating poverty in Tibet.

Turning Tibet from a poor and backward serfdom society to a socialist society, the Chinese central government has provided the autonomous region with various resources in the process, including many preferential policies and tax reductions. All of these policies helped to lift the region out of poverty, and also laid a solid foundation for the development of tourism, Yuniarto said.

Vikash Singh, a lecturer at the BFSU, shared his experiences in Tibet with attendees of the forum, noting he visited two schools in Tibet and found that the education level of the two schools was very high. Students there have access to diverse subjects, including painting, dancing and singing, while teaching facilities are also very modern. All of them are vital to nurturing talent, which can eventually boost the region's development, he said.

The modernization of education and transportation, and the digital economy such as e-payment, have also benefited residents in Tibet, he added.

People's democracy

Roland Boer, a visiting professor at the School of Philosophy of Renmin University of China, underscored the pivotal role of the whole-process people's democracy in Tibet's development.

Tibet has witnessed remarkable advancements in multiple fields, including human rights, economy, culture and social development, environmental protection and infrastructure construction, based on the implementation of the rule of law and the whole-process people's democracy, said the professor from Australia.

The day the forum opened also marked the 72nd anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet. On May 23, 1951, a 17-article agreement was signed by the central government and the local government of Tibet.

In March 1959, a democratic reform was launched in Tibet and the feudal serfdom was finally abolished. In September 1965, the first session of the first People's Congress of Tibet was convened, proclaiming the founding of the Tibet autonomous region.

With regional ethnic autonomy established and through the socialist transformation of agriculture and animal husbandry, Tibet embarked on the road of socialism.

Wu Qingjun, vice-president of the Academy of Social Sciences of the Tibet autonomous region, highlighted the establishment and development of the system of regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet, which has provided important institutional guarantees for the whole-process people's democracy in the region, while the implementation of the whole-process people's democracy has enriched the system of regional ethnic autonomy.

"The system of regional ethnic autonomy has effectively safeguarded and protected the democratic rights of people in the region in political, economic, cultural, social and ecological aspects, and given full play to people's democracy throughout the entire process," Wu added.

The system of people's congress, as a basic political system of China, serves as the main channel through which the people exercise their democratic rights.

Tibet has 24 deputies to the 14th National People's Congress in 2023, of whom 16 are Tibetan and other ethnic groups. Among the 42,153 deputies to the local people's congresses at all four administrative levels in Tibet, 89.2 percent are from the Tibetan and other ethnic groups.


The forum on the development of Tibet is held on May 23 in Beijing. LI XIN/XINHUA



Delegates listen to a speech delivered by Wang Junzheng, Party secretary of Tibet during the event. LI XIN/XINHUA



Foreign guests pose for a picture with local students in Lhasa. DEKYI DROLMA/FOR CHINA DAILY



This photo taken in May shows the Lhalu wetland in Lhasa, with the Potala Palace as the backdrop. Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region has impressed people from home and abroad with its pristine ecological environment and colorful ethnic culture. JIANG FAN/XINHUA



Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349