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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China invested $3.4b in Tibet

December 29, 2009

BEIJING Dec 28, 2008 (AFP) - BEIJING invested a record 16 billion yuan (S$3.4 billion) this year in Tibet, whose economy suffered severely after waves of unrest in March, Chinese state media reported on Sunday.
 
Tibet's industrial economic growth fell 11 per cent on year in 2008's first half while fixed asset investment dropped 10.3 per cent due to the violence, Xinhua reported, citing the Tibetan Development and Reform Committee.
 
To prop up the economy, Beijing in July ordered special subsidies and incentives focusing on sectors such as tourism and infrastructure development, the report said.
 
Beijing counters critics' charges of opression in Tibet by pointing to its its investment in the region. It said in 2008 it put more money into the region than any year since economic planning began there in 1951.
 
Tensions came to a head on March 14 when violence erupted in the Tibetan capital Lhasa against Chinese rule, before spreading to other areas of western China with Tibetan populations.
 
The development committee said the increased investment had borne fruit and estimated that overall the region's economy would grow 10.1 per cent from last year to 39.2 billion yuan, Xinhua said.
 
Jin Shixun, a committee official, said investment would continue to increase alongside Beijing's various efforts to boost consumption during the economic slowdown.
 
Fixed asset investment is expected to rise 15 percent in 2009, Xinhua said.
 
Tourism plummeted after the unrest when the government sealed off the Himalayan region to tourists.
 
Authorities only allowed foreign tourists back at the end of June.
 
As a result, only 340,000 travellers went to Tibet between January and June this year, according to previous state media reports, a dramatic drop from the same period in 2007 when more than 1.1 million people visited.
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