Lhasa development impresses Greek delegation
Updated: 2012-05-29 21:45
By Daqiong in Lhasa (chinadaily.com.cn)
The Tibetan people have the right to choose how they want to live and to pick their own development methods, a senior executive at the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday during a visit to the Tibet autonomous region.
"I have seen and come to know the good and honest Tibetan people through visits and exchanges with them in Tibet," said Athanassios Frontistis, a member of the Hellenic-Chinese chamber's board of directors and vice-president of the organization.
Frontistis and others with the chamber arrived in Tibet on May 25 for a four-day visit. They went to Lhasa, the capital, and the Lhokha prefecture.
"On a visit to Tibet University, I found the university is devoting itself to carrying forward and developing Tibetan history and protecting traditional Tibetan culture and arts," Frontistis told China Daily.
"And when I visited the grand Potala Palace and Barkor Street, which has a history of more than 1,300 years, I saw that traditional Tibetan historical relic buildings have been well protected," Frontistis said.
"The street is huge. The crowds of people and the shops doing brisk business present a scene of harmony," Frontistis said.
Frontistis said Lhasa is a clean city and people there pay special attention to protecting the environment. "We can say that today's Lhasa is the city of the people of Lhasa," Frontistis added.
In addition to visiting scenic spots, relic sites and local businesses, the group met Dong Yunhu , head of the region's publicity department to exchange views on Tibet's economic, cultural and political development.
Dong said Tibet is expected to learn from experience and expand cooperation with Greece in the tourism industry.
"Greece has its advantages in developing its tourism industry," Dong said.
Constantine Katsigiannis, a member of the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber, said the group was struck by the profound cultural and natural beauty and surprised to see Tibet's rapid economic growth.
"In addition to commerce and trade, Greece is considering increasing cooperation and exchanges with the Tibet autonomous region in the cultural industry in the following years," Katsigiannis said.
He said he was surprised to see Tibet's great achievement in economic and social development.
Spyros Xanthis, also vice-president of Hellenic-Chinese Chamber, said: "Last November, China and Greece successfully organized the Third Forum on the Development of Tibet in Athens, to discuss the development of Tibet's economy, culture, tourism, environmental protection, health, sports, education, science and technology, and we began to know Tibet from the forum," said Xanthis.
"We can learn more about the mysterious region via the visit to Tibet," he said
He added that he could sense the Chinese government has invested heavily in promoting Tibet's economic and social development .
Established in 1995, the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber is a non-governmental organization in Europe.
The groups arrived in Beijing on May 23 at the invitation of the Information Office of the State Council to start a weeklong visit to China.
In the Chinese capital, they met Wang Chen, minister of the Information Office of the State Council, Wang Jinzhen , vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and Ma She , deputy director of European affairs department of the Ministry of Commerce.
The Greek delegation also visited the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing.