Achievements mark Tibet’s 65th peaceful liberation anniversary

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-23 0:33:01

Tibet has been enjoying economic growth and tremendous achievements in social welfare, experts said, as it marks the 65th anniversary of its peaceful liberation on Monday.

The region's GDP increased from 100 million yuan ($15 million) in the 1950s to 102.6 billion yuan in 2015, when the plateau region reported an 11-percent GDP growth, the Xin-

hua News Agency reported.

Tibet has set an ambitious target of achieving GDP growth exceeding 10 percent in 2016, a 20-percent increase in fixed-asset investments, and raising the income of its urban and rural residents by 10 percent and 13 percent, respectively, according to Xinhua.

On May 23, 1951, the Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet was signed in Beijing, marking the peaceful liberation of Tibet.

Tibet has been enjoying many preferential policies, including infrastructure projects, free medical care for farmers and herdsmen and free basic education, Wang Chunhuan, head of the Marxism-Leninism Research Institute of the Tibetan Academy, told the Global Times.

China has invested heavily to create wealth in Tibet and improve its public services. In 2014, the per capita disposable income of urban residents in the region was 22,016 yuan, a 38-fold increase from 565 yuan in 1978, and that of farmers and herdsmen at 7,359 yuan, representing an average annual increase of 10.9 percent, according to a government white paper published in September 2015.

Tibet also plans to raise its average life expectancy to 70 by 2020, up from 35.5 years before its peaceful liberation in 1951.

"However, Tibet still faces difficulties, including the daunting task of fighting separatism which has distracted the regional government, low-level social development and a harsh geographic environment - cold and remote at a high altitude," Wang said.

The 11th Panchen Lama, a spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, blessed thousands of pilgrims in Lhasa by conducting the traditional "head-touching" ritual on Saturday, which was also the traditional Tibetan holiday of Saga Dawa, or the anniversary marking Buddha's birth.

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