Tibet has made great progress in the 70 years since its peaceful liberation. CHINA DAILY

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet autonomous region.

Since 1951, the people of Tibet have broken free from the fetters of invading imperialism, and embarked on a bright road of unity, progress and development, noted Xinhua.

On May 21, the State Council Information Office issued a white paper titled Tibet Since 1951: Liberation, Development and Prosperity. It reviewed Tibet’s history and achievements, and presented a picture of the new socialist Tibet.

Socioeconomic progress

In the new era, China’s Tibet is enjoying rapid and sustained growth thanks to social harmony and stability. Over the past 70 years, the government has introduced many favorable policies for the region, covering tax and finance, infrastructure and industrial development, among other fields. In 1951, Tibet’s regional GDP was about 129 million yuan. In 2020, its GDP exceeded 190 billion yuan. By the end of 2019, all registered poor residents and counties in Tibet had shaken off poverty, eliminating absolute poverty in the region for the first time in history. Before the peaceful liberation, there were no highways in Tibet. But now, highways totaling 118,800 kilometers in length have been built in Tibet.

Livelihoods improved

Since the peaceful liberation, well-rounded human development has been Tibet’s greatest historical achievement. Before 1951, more than 90 percent of Tibetan residents did not have private housing. In 2020, the per capita living space of farmers and herders reached 41.46 square meters, and that of urban residents reached 33.4 square meters. The average life expectancy has increased from 35.5 years in 1951 to 71.1 years in 2019. Education has also seen great improvements. In old Tibet, there was not a single proper school. The illiteracy rate exceeded 95 percent. From 1951 to 2020, the central government invested about 224 billion yuan in Tibet’s education. Students now benefit from 15 years of publicly funded education in the region.

Environmental and cultural protection

Tibet has become one of the regions “with the best eco-environment in the world”, said the white paper. By the end of 2020, the region had invested a total of 81.4 billion yuan in improving the environment. The forest coverage reached 12.3 percent in 2020 and protected natural areas make up almost 40 percent of the region’s land area.
白皮书介绍,西藏已成为 “世界上生态环境最好" 的地区之一。截至2020年底,西藏累计投入生态环境领域的资金达814亿元。2020年,西藏森林覆盖率达12.3%,自然保护区占全区国土面积近40%。

Meanwhile, China attaches great importance to the protection and development of traditional Tibetan culture. For example, the Tibetan language is the first ethnic-minority language in China with an international standard, which means the language can be used in the research, development and promotion of Tibetan-language software. And the study and use of the Tibetan language is protected by law. Tibet has three items – Gesar, Tibetan opera and Lum medicinal bathing of Sowa Rigpa – included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The region has 70 cultural relics sites under state protection.

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