China issues white paper on Tibet

By Yang Zhao |

BEIJING, China, 7 September 2015

China has issued a white paper on Tibet ahead of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ethnic autonomous region. The white paper says that since regional ethnic autonomy came into practice in 1965, Tibet has established a new socialist system and achieved economic and social development.

Tibet’s GDP has soared from US$51.4 million in 1965 to US$14.5 billion in 2014. There are more schools, better infrastructure, freedom for religious beliefs and a protected environment. People live richer lives, with the average annual increase of per capita income reaching over 10 percent.

The white paper released today lists the achievements of the past 50 years, describing it as a golden age for Tibet. A more important message is that Tibet’s development cannot be separated from the path of regional ethnic autonomy. The implementation of this system provides an institutional guarantee for the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet.

“Tibetan and other ethnic minority groups’ deputies account for 70.2 percent of all deputies in the People’s Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region. All heads of the local People‚Äôs congress and autonomous region government have been Tibetan for the past 50 years,” said Duoji Cizhu, vice president of Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Tibet Autonomous Region government can exercise the power of autonomy. And according to law, if a resolution or order of a state organ at a higher level does not suit the conditions in Tibet, the government can report to the state organ and cease implementing it with approval. Under this law, Tibet has more holidays, fewer working hours, and even traditional polygamous relationships.

“The People’s Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region has enacted over 300 local regulations in which over 120 are currently effective, covering the building of political power, economic development, social stability, culture, education, language and the environment,” Duoji Cizhu said.

In addition to guaranteeing ethnic autonomy, the central government provides preferential policies and full support in personnel, materials and funds. Over the past 50 years, the central government has provided Tibet with financial subsidies totaling 648 billion yuan or US$101.9 billion. This accounts for 92.8 percent of Tibet’s public financial expenditures. And, since 1994, under the policy of pairing-up cities, governments and state-owned enterprises outside Tibet can provide talented personnel and funds to the region.

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