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Issue #1931      September 7, 2020

Xi’s speech sets policy direction for Tibet

Fifty-five years since the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region and with earth-shaking changes to its economic and social developments, China has more mature and complete policies in this southwestern region and is capable of forging what the country’s top leader calls “an ironclad shield to safeguard stability,” analysts said.

More focus is expected on maintaining peace and stability in the border areas, including Tibet and Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as the country will soon enter a period to pursue its second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country and is facing a more complicated external environment brought on by US provocations, Chinese analysts said.

At the seventh Central Symposium on Tibet Work, which ended in Beijing on 29th August, Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, set the policy direction for developing Tibet in the new era and noted that work related to Tibet must focus on safeguarding national unity and strengthening ethnic solidarity.

At the two-day symposium, Xi stressed that more education and guidance should be provided for the public to mobilise their participation in combating separatist activities, thus forging an ironclad shield to safeguard stability, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The symposium was held against the backdrop of the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region, which was marked by the establishment of the regional People’s Congress, the local legislature on 1st September, 1965.

The Party is able to draw on past experience to mobilise the people to forge an ironclad shield to combat separatists and maintain stability, and it will be carried forward in the new era as overseas separatists and anti-China forces will never give up their attempt to contain China, Xiong Kunxin, an ethnic studies professor at the Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Global Times.

Xiong noted that as a unified multi-ethnic country, the peace and stability of border areas have always been of great importance to China. History tells us that any separatist incidents and riots would greatly affect the region and the country’s development, Xiong said.

Due to its unique geographic political position and the changing international and domestic environment, China has attached great importance to its policies in the Tibet region.

Since the first symposium on Tibet work in 1980, China has set different work focuses in accordance with reality – from building frontier areas to get a clear understanding of the threat of outside anti-China forces and overseas separatists and from safeguarding stability to enhancing the recognition of the Chinese nation, said Wu Xi, a professor with expertise on border areas from Southwest University of Political Science and Law.

With the experience and achievements of more than five decades, China’s policies in its Tibet region are more mature and complete and the 7th symposium also sets the tone for the region’s future development on religion work, culture and economy, Wu said, noting that continuous efforts have been called for to enhance recognition of the great motherland, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics by people of all ethnic groups.

Patriotism should be incorporated into the whole process of education in all schools and guiding religions to adapt to a socialist society in the Chinese context would also be focuses for future work in Tibet, Wu noted.

Wu said that these efforts are necessary to make an ironclad shield to keep the stability of border areas, especially when China is facing more external uncertainties under the COVID-19 global pandemic and the US is ramping up efforts in playing cards on China’s border areas in Tibet and Xinjiang in an attempt to disturb China’s development.

The CPC has gained more experience in governing border areas and the achievements it has made in the past decades in social and economic developments are the best proof to debunk rumours made by anti-China forces in Western countries and overseas separatists, Wu said.

The world has witnessed the great achievements of Tibet’s developments and people’s livelihood in the past decades with the average lifespan has extended to 70.6 years old from 35.5 years old in the 1950s, according to Xinhua.

The region’s GDP rose 8.1 percent to reach 169.8 billion yuan (around $24.7bil USD) in 2019. The per capita disposable income for the urban residents in the region’s capital Lhasa exceeded 40,000 yuan, while that for the rural residents grew to 16,260 yuan.

Global Times

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