By Zhang Bolan, Gong Ming
Chinese President Xi Jinping on May 23 sent a congratulatory letter to a forum on the development of Tibet.
Xi said he hopes that on the new journey of advancing Chinese modernization, Tibet can fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, step up efforts to promote high-quality development, and strive to build a prosperous, harmonious and beautiful new socialist Tibet underpinned by unity, civility and modernization so that the people of Tibet can enjoy better and more fulfilled lives.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, people in Tibet, with the strong support of the central government and people throughout the country, have worked with fortitude and brought about a resolution to the problem of extreme poverty that had plagued the region for centuries, the letter said.
Tibet has achieved a moderately prosperous society in all respects along with the rest of the country, demonstrating vibrant and thriving scenes, it added.
Former Nepali Ambassador to China Leela Mani Paudyal has paid multiple visits to Tibet since 1990s, during which he witnessed the improvement of Tibet’s infrastructure and drastic changes taking place in various fields in the Chinese autonomous region.
He said the elimination of absolute poverty is the best guarantee for human rights, and Tibet has completed a very arduous task by bringing about a resolution to the problem of extreme poverty.
The autonomous region has launched a series of measures to stabilize employment and increase income for its people, such as developing modern animal husbandry and tourism, promoting e-commerce and popularizing vocational education, he noted.
“It is believed that the people of Tibet will have a happier and better life,” said Paudyal.
Australian sinologist Colin Mackerras came to China to study the country’s history and culture nearly 60 years ago. As a recipient of the Chinese Government Friendship Award, the highest award to commend foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China’s modernization drive, Mackerras pays close attention to Tibet’s religion and culture as well as their inheritance.
He said the remarks related to Tibet made by some Western observers are completely the opposite of what he has seen and felt.
Through watching traditional Tibetan opera in the autonomous region, he learned that the culture of Tibet has made remarkable progress. He also learned through his conversations with local villagers that the Chinese government has made huge investment in the protection of Tibetan culture and traditions. These efforts are laudable, he said.
Mozambique’s Ambassador to China Maria Gustava called her recent visit to Tibet a magical experience that gave her an opportunity to see what it’s like to live on the plateau.
There, she saw railways, modern airports, and roads connecting villages, as well as advanced communication systems including the 5G network. She also witnessed how a power grid interconnection project in Tibet’s Ngari prefecture has ended power shortage, a problem that has long bothered the autonomous region, and how the project has contributed to rural vitalization.
“Today, Tibet has become a place full of vitality and in a prosperous atmosphere,” she noted.
French employee of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation Guibe Guillaume surprisingly found in a recent visit to Tibet that communication networks worked very well in the high-altitude autonomous region. He also discovered that even remote villages in Tibet had access to electricity as well as wide and flat roads. To protect the safety of residents and livestock, speed detectors have been installed near many villages.
He said that through the trip, he saw massive and high-quality infrastructure built in Tibet over the past decades.
Muhammad Asghar, a senior correspondent of the Associated Press of Pakistan, also joined the trip to Tibet, which marked his first visit to the Chinese autonomous region in the recent five years.
The journalist, after visiting Tibet’s Nyingchi and Lhasa, noted that the size of urban Lhasa has been expanded from five years ago, and the social and economic development and people’s livelihood in Tibet are on a new level today.
“Tibet, on a path of high-quality development, has built better infrastructure in transport, health and education. Its development achievements prove that no ethnic group will be left behind as China embarks on a new journey to build itself into a modern socialist country in all respects,” the Pakistani journalist said.