The development of Tibet

Updated: 2014-08-14 08:09

(China Daily)

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Editor's Note: The Information Office of the State Council and the government of the Tibet autonomous region co-hosted a forum on the development of Tibet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Lhasa. The hosts were seeking constructive suggestions on Tibet's future development model from around the world. Nearly 100 speakers from 36 countries and regions shared their thoughts on sustainable development, environmental protection and cultural diversity in Tibet. Here are some highlights of their opinions.

Isolation has been ended

Tibet's status as an integral part of China is not disputed by a single country in the world; and no country accords legal recognition to the Dalai Lama's "government-in-exile" based in Dharamsala, India. Yet, there is a Tibet political question lurking in the shadows of international relations, causing friction and unease in China's bilateral relations with some major developed countries, and confusing and dividing public opinion abroad and, to an extent, at home.

Journalism in Western media contributes to this problem in a significant way by feeding off the disinformation campaign unleashed by the Dalai Lama clique's headquarters and the votaries of Tibetan "independence", with only a pretence at independent reporting...

Among the defining factors behind Tibet's overall development, the most notable are the massive financial and resource support provided by the central government, its preferential policies for Tibet, rapid infrastructural development, and the building of a comprehensive modern transportation system, the highlight of which is the Qinghai-Tibet railway. As a result of this development, Tibet's interaction and integration with the rest of China has deepened and its isolation from the rest of the world has decisively been ended.

Narasimhan Ram, chairman of the Hindu newspaper group of India

Sacred places attract tourists

The rise of media, information technology and scientific progress promote local knowledge, while creating significant bridges in the process of unification with social advances experienced by the rest of China. Attracted by Tibet's rich cultural heritage, tourism will rise as an important source of income and prosperity for the region. This is where the religious manifestations, among them the practice of Tibetan Buddhism, show that freedom of belief is a reality.

Today, Tibet has 1,787 sacred places of various religions, about 46,000 monks and nuns, and 358 Living Buddhas. The fervor and activity of the profession of faith makes some Tibetan cities living shrines that attract the interest of many people inside and outside China. This means this region is full of curious visitors from all over the world, who want to experience rituals, traditions and values of Tibetan culture that will continue to exist if it can be safeguarded from a hybridization phenomenon.

Luis Albero Munoz, vice-president of La Republic newspaper in Costa Rica

Green growth offers opportunities

It is no longer feasible for poor regions to rise out of poverty and further achieve prosperity through the traditional development paradigm that industrialized countries took after the Industrial Revolution. All economies need to take a new path of sustainable growth, which represents a development paradigm shift, and could become a new lever to promote development in poor areas.

Poor areas possess unique advantages for green growth. Due to "underdevelopment", most of these areas retain vital ecological and cultural advantages that become important, scarce resources for economic development. Especially with the support of the Internet, information and communication technology, online shopping and fast transport and logistics systems, this advantage becomes outstanding, and most of the traditional development constraints facing poor areas in the past are being overcome, and more and more opportunities are emerging. Poor areas also have their advantages to grow their economies in the green growth paradigm. If this exploration turns out to be successful in some areas, it would be a great contribution with global significance for other places in the world, including underdeveloped African countries.

To some extent, the significance of this will be even greater than that of the Industrial Revolution, since the paradigm the developed countries established since the Revolution can enable only a small portion of people on the planet to enjoy prosperity, while the new path of green growth aims to bring about shared prosperity for the whole world.

Zhang Yongsheng, researcher of economics with the Development Research Center of the State Council

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