Xizang’s new Party chief meets press as region invites world to visit – with unbiased views
Published: Oct 20, 2021 09:08 PM
The well-off model village in Xiayadong town in Yadong county, Xizang Photo: Courtesy of Lin Lichao

The well-off model village in Xiayadong town in Yadong county, Xizang Photo: Courtesy of Lin Lichao

Chinese officials spoke highly of the rapid development and prosperity of Southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region under the successful governance of the Communist Party of China over the past 70 years, considering it as the country's gateway to South Asia and welcoming people from different countries to visit, as long as they hold unbiased views.

The invitation was sent out through a conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on Wednesday, in which several officials and foreign diplomats attended, including the new secretary of the CPC Xizang Autonomous Regional Committee, Wang Junzheng, Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov, and Nepalese Ambassador to China Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised Xizang's new journey of modernization in the past decades as this year marks the 70th anniversary of Xizang's peaceful liberation - a turning point in Xizang's history - saying that such a miracle is also a vivid showcase of human rights and democracy's development.

People attend the conference promoting Xizang to the world held by China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

People attend the conference promoting Xizang to the world held by China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

Xizang has also become an important window of China's opening-up and cooperation, Wang Yi said, noting that from 2016 to 2020, the region has received nearly 160 million domestic and overseas trips. 

The Foreign Ministry will continue supporting Xizang's economic and social development and encourage its expanded opening-up and cooperation with neighboring countries, and firmly  safeguard its social stability and ethnic unity. Those who do not hold biased views are always welcome to Xizang, Wang Yi said, noting that attacks, slandering and smearing against the region will not be accepted. 

Wang Junzheng appeared for the first time after he was appointed the new Party chief of the region, and introduced a new, modern Xizang that is united, prosperous and culturally advanced and harmonious, as well as beautiful.

Over the past 70 years, the central government has invested 1.63 trillion yuan ($255 billion) to support infrastructure construction in Xizang, including 600 billion yuan in the Sichuan-Xizang Highway and the Qinghai-Xizang Railway, making historical breakthroughs in regional infrastructure development, Wang Junzheng said. 

Residents are now living a xiaokang (moderately prosperous) life as all the 628,000 poverty-stricken residents have been lifted out of poverty, while 74 county-level areas were delisted from the poverty list, he noted at the conference. They also enjoy many favorable policies in education, skills training and employment, while freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law is being protected. 

Xizang, as a provincial region of China, has the same rights as other regions to be recommended to the world with the help of the foreign ministry, Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Zhu, who has been working on Xizang affairs for more than two decades, said that the uniqueness of Xizang is that the US publically supports a separatist group, which has been distorting and smearing the image of Xizang.

Western forces have been playing an active role in the unrest of Xizang in the past. For instance, the Dalai clique and some Western countries have advocated "independence of Tibet" and hyped issues like the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, which have become a card for the West to play in an attempt to contain China.

"But the smears have failed. Xizang has been better, more open and confident. Its development is a fact," Zhu said.

In only seven decades, Xizang has realized a historic leap of thousands of years - transforming itself from a feudal serfdom to a socialist system; from poverty and backwardness to civilization and progress, according to Chinese officials. 

The GDP in Tibet soared past 190 billion yuan in 2020 from 130 million yuan in 1951, according to official data. And the annual average increase of the GDP was 9 percent, which is not only significantly above that of bordering countries, but also faster than many other regions in China.

However, Xizang has a small population with a big land. It needs not only domestic power, but also the help of friends from all over the world to tell the truth about the region, Zhu said.

Compared with previous promotion activities, more specialties like food and culture at the event were displayed on Wednesday to make sure attendees experienced various geographical and cultural characteristics of Xizang, according to media reports. 

"Today's Xizang is confident and open… As a major gateway to South Asia, we will continue opening up and improving the business environment, welcoming people from around the world to visit and invest in the region, and expecting the outside world to understand the region," Wang Junzheng told the event. 

Foreign diplomats including Denisov, Pandey and Nigerian Ambassador to China Baba Ahmad Jidda told the event that Xizang is an integral part of China. With the strong support of the Chinese central government and the joint efforts of the people of all ethnic groups, the region has made amazing developmental achievements, according to a statement on the website of the ministry.