Xizang's border regions commemorate 65 years of democratic reform with cultural festivities, development achievements
Published: Mar 28, 2024 05:52 PM
Flag-raising ceremony in Medog county, Nyingchi, Southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region on March 28, 2024. Photo: Courtesy of Publicity Department of Medog

Flag-raising ceremony in Medog county, Nyingchi, Southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region on March 28, 2024. Photo: Courtesy of Publicity Department of Medog

Across the border regions of Southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region, the 65th anniversary of democratic reform was celebrated with enthusiasm and reflection. In the remotest border areas, once hard to reach and develop, people now live happy life.

Today's Xizang sees continuous, rapid development in its border areas, with 624 border well-off villages fully established. All major townships are connected to the main power grid, and the coverage of broadband and 4G signals in administrative villages has reached 100 percent, Yan Jinhai, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China Xizang Autonomous Regional Committee and chairman of the People's Government of Xizang Autonomous Region, said in his speech published on the Xizang Daily newspaper on March 28. 

He also mentioned that Xizang will persist in balancing troop stationing with civilian settlement and emphasizing both border consolidation and development. Efforts will be made to tilt policies, projects, and funds more toward the border areas, promoting frontier prosperity to reinforce border defense, border security, and the happiness of border residents.

On March 28, 1959, the Democratic Reform sent Xizang into a new era without feudal serfdom. Millions of serfs were emancipated. And so did Xizang's productive forces in various fields.

In Yadong county, located in the southern borderlands of Xigaze city and intersecting with India and Bhutan, eight celebration events were held across its townships from Tuesday to Thursday. Apart from flag-raising, singing the national anthem, and watching the March 28 speech broadcast live, residents also commemorated and celebrated this day through quizzes, sports competitions, and cultural performances.

Puqiong, a 61-year-old resident in Yadong, said at the celebration that, "Today is a day worth commemorating. For me, our family has witnessed Earth-shaking changes in Xizang since 1959. The lives of Yadong's farmers and herders have greatly improved in aspects such as quality of life, transportation, and education."

"People here will continue to be grateful to the Party, serving as the guardians and builders of the border regions. Everyone is confident in the road to prosperity and will remain resolute in following the Party," he noted.

In Medog county in the south of Nyingchi, at the China-India border, people gathered in school playgrounds and town squares for flag-raising and anthem-singing activities. Residents and students revisited the history of the democratic reform, reflecting on the past hardships and current happy life.

Medog, once accessible only by traversing mountains on foot, is now connected by two highways, bridging the gap to the outside world and modernizing for its residents, and aims to achieve greater developmental breakthroughs leveraging its rich hydropower and natural resources.

Cona city, located southeast of the Himalayas, is one of the youngest cities in Xizang. On March 28, people in Cona donned traditional attire and held a grand cultural performance, which was also live-streamed online. 

Cona was upgraded from a county to a city in April 2023. Bordering Bhutan to the west and India to the south, Cona once witnessed great battles to protect the homeland. Today, the spirit of defending the border and the land is carried forward through consolidation and development.

On this special day, border soldiers also celebrated with the local residents. Soldiers in the Xigaze Military Area joined the local flag-raising ceremony on Thursday morning and watched the public's celebratory performances. They also reviewed knowledge and history of the country and Xizang.

"Today marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of one million serfs in Xizang. The people of all ethnicities in Xizang, brave and tenacious, have transformed the old, impoverished Xizang into a new Xizang with a prosperous economy, comprehensive social progress, a favorable ecological environment, and happy lives," Wang Qian from the Military Sub-district of the Xizang Military Command, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"As soldiers of the new era, we feel the prosperity and development of the society and will resolutely guard the border and strengthen the defense, fulfilling our mission with our lives, measuring the border with our steps, vowing to be the steel Great Wall of the motherland," Wang stated.