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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Rights for development in Tibet respected

January 23, 2009

By People's Daily Online
January 22, 2009
The year 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the democratic reform in Tibet. During the annual NPC and CPPCC sessions of Tibet Autonomous Region, international media were invited to cover the live events for the first time. The snow-covered plateau presented to the world with all the earth-shaking changes in the past 50 years.
It took 50 years for Tibet to undergo the democratic reform and to shift from a reclusive feudal serf society to a civilized society. Throughout this period, it was 50 years of amazing development: the highway system, which has a total mileage of 48,600 km, has taken shape; the total output value has hit 39.2 billion yuan in 2008... No reform could boost to achieve so much in such a short span of time, and this laid solid foundation for the modernization drive in the region.
The development of Tibet has been greatly affected by its geographical location on the roof of the world with harsh natural conditions. Tibet is still one of the underdeveloped regions in China also due to the historical limits emerged from its feudal serf society.
But the development and reform did bring changes to the region: per capita gross domestic product in Tibet in 2007 totaled 12,000 yuan or some 1,700 US dollars, while it was 400 US dollars in neighboring Nepal, 965 US dollars in India and 1,450 US dollars in Bhutan. Tibet has the most dynamic economy in Himalayan regions, and Lhasa is one of the largest and most modern cities in the Himalayans.
Modernization is the tide of world history and the law of development of human society. Realizing modernization is a common task for all countries and regions, an inner demand of social development in Tibet as well as a strong desire for all Tibetans. The 13th Dalai Lama issued new policies to modernize Tibet during his reign. However, the new policy ended in failure largely due to the interference and sabotage of the feudal serf system that integrated religion with politics and imperialism. The peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951 opened a new page for the modernization drive and served as a prelude for the democratic process in the region in 1959.
Declaration on the Right to Development confirms that the right to development is an inalienable human right. It is universal truth that development means modernization. Many people care about the continuing and reviving of Tibetan culture, which need to be in accordance to the development of modern civilization and adaptable to the growth and happiness of all Tibetan people. The Tibetan culture can only be preserved and carried forward when economy is growing and people’s life is improved. The charges that accused the modernization of annihilating ethnic identity in Tibet, fast economic development of inflicting damage on environment in the region and promotion of traditional Tibetan culture of destroying ethnic culture have ulterior motives.
The efforts to democratize and modernize Tibetan culture utterly changed the culture and social distribution system in the region, which helped to preserve and carry out the traditional ethnic culture. Tibetan is the first written language of ethnic minorities to have international standard. The enrollment rate of school-age children in Tibet has climbed to 98.2 percent from previous 2 percent 50 years ago. All these achievements have helped the preservation and development of Tibetan culture, bringing new vitality to the future development of Tibet.
As the development of Tibet became more and more eye-catching, no one could hinder the development of Tibet and the road to modernization will be wider and wider.
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