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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibet: The Hidden Facts

December 29, 2009

Written by Partha Gangopadhyay    
Australia.TO - Sydney
December 28, 2008
Tibet was the prize, remains a prize and unfortunately, the Chinese are sitting there because It can generate 250,000 MWe of electricity.
Tibet was the prize:
The Anglo-American elite knew why, so did the Chinese. And who cares for the people whether it is feudalism, or dictatoriship of the proletariate or democratic-feudalism [as in the the US and the UK]. Tibet was the prize, remains a prize and unfortunately, the Chinese are sitting there because It can generate 250,000 MWe of electricity. I have only recently completed my energy research work, including quite a detailed mapping of how nations plan to milk the Himalayas. Other resources are:
"China's Ministry of Land and Resources has announced monumental new resource discoveries all across Tibet. The findings are the culmination of a secret seven-year, $44 million survey project, which began in 1999. More than 1,000 researchers were divided into 24 separate groups and fanned out across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to geologically map the entire Tibetan region. Their findings have lead to a discovery of 16 major new deposits of copper, iron, lead, zinc and other minerals worth an estimated $128 billion. These discoveries add to Tibet's proven deposits of 126 minerals, with a significant share of the world's reserves in lithium, chromite, copper, borax, and iron. "Lack of resources has been a bottleneck for the economy," Meng Xianlai, director of the China Geological Survey, had once complained in his statements. The discoveries in Tibet "will alleviate the mounting resources pressure China is facing."
Tibet is now said to hold as much as 40 million tons of copper — one third of China's total, 40 million tons of lead and zinc, and more than a billion tons of high-grade iron. Among the Tibet discoveries is China's first substantial rich-iron supply. A seam called Nyixung, is alone expected to contain as much as 500 million tons. That's enough to reduce Chinese iron import by 20 per cent. The new copper reserves are no less substantial. A 250-mile seam of the metal has been found along Tibet's environmentally sensitive Yarlung Tsangpo Gorge. One mine there, called Yulong, already described as the second-largest reserve in China, is now estimated to hold as much as 18 million tons, according to the government news site Xinhua and could soon become the largest copper mine in the country, helping to feed China's increasing demand of the metal used for electrical wiring and power generation. China, which until now has imported much of its copper from Chile, is estimated to hold 5.6 per cent of the world's copper and is its seventh largest producer.
The riches that China expects to extract from Tibet in the near future, perhaps better explains the money that China annually spends on Tibet than the empty claims of modernizing Tibet.
In fact, an official web site of China has itself disclosed that "Once-quiet, northern Tibet has become a scene of bustle and excitement since a number of inland enterprise marched into the region in response to the government call for speeding up the development of western China. Northern Tibet has more than 200 mining areas with 28 kinds of mineral ores, and is rich in oil and hot springs."
The China National Star Petroleum Corporation and the China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation have recently dug up the first oil well in the Lunpola Basin, which has a proven oil reserve of three million tons. This reserve is in addition to the over one million tons of crude oil that Amdo's oil fields produce per year. Further, the Chinese have opened two alluvial gold mines in Nagqu and built a gem processing plant in Lhasa. Soinam Dorje, an official of the Nagqu Prefecture, has welcomed inland and foreign investors to exploit the gold, oil and antimony resources on the plateau of northern Tibet. This also goes far to explain the need to invest in infrastructure all over Tibet. Apart from its rich mineral wealth, Tibet has many other resources that may provide China the edge in its race to emerge as the world's richest economy.
The volume of timber that China has taken away from Tibet itself far exceeds the amount that it has spent to build the infrastructural facilities in Tibet. In 1949, Tibet's ancient forests covered 221,800 sq km. By 1985 they stood at 134,000 sq km — almost half. Most forests grow on steep, isolated slopes in the river valleys of Tibet's low-lying south-eastern region. The principal types are tropical montane and subtropical montane coniferous forest, with spruce, fir, pine, larch, cypress, birch, and oak among the main species. The tree line varies from 3,800 mt in the region's moist south to 4,300 mt in the semi-dry north. Tibet's forests were primarily old growth, with trees over 200 years old predominating. The average stock density is 272 cubic mt/ha, but U-Tsang's old growth areas reach 2,300 cubic mt/ha — the world's highest stock density for conifers. Once pristine forests are reached, the most common method of cutting is clear felling, which has led to the denudation of vast hill sides. Timber extraction until 1985 totaled 2,442 million cubic mt, or 40 per cent of the 1949 forest stock, worth $54 billion.
Deforestation is a major source of employment in Tibet: in the Kongpo area of the TAR alone, over 20,000 Chinese soldiers and Tibetan prisoners are involved in tree felling and transportation of timber. In 1949, Ngapa, in Amdo, had 2.20 million hectares of land under forest cover. Its timber reserve then stood at 340 million cubic mt. In the 1980s, it was reduced to 1.17 million hectares, with a timber reserve of only 180 million cubic mt. Similarly, during 30 years, till 1985 China exploited 6.44 million cubic mt of timber from Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. As new roads increasingly penetrate remote areas of Tibet, China is finding new excuses to increase the rate of deforestation in the region. "
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