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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."

Chinese immigrants to boost Tibet's urban population?

December 3, 2009

(, Dec02, 2009)

The permanent population of Tibet
Autonomous Region (TAR) will reach 3.4 million over the next 11 years,
with 1.46 million living in urban areas, reported China?s party
mouthpiece People?s Daily online Dec 1, citing the region's Construction
Department. It was not explained, however, how much of these figures
will be due to Chinese immigration.

Significantly, the report said that the TAR?s urbanization rate would
rise to 43 percent from 22.61 percent at present. The boom in the
region?s urban population has so far been due to the massive influx of
Chinese immigrants, a trend set to be accelerated under the ongoing
development and modernization drive there.

The TAR covers an area of 1.2 million sq km and had a population of 2.81
million at the end of 2006, according to China?s official census.
However, the census did not take into account a huge population of
unregistered Chinese immigrants, many of them permanent settlers.

"By 2020, Tibetans will lead a life as well off as people in other parts
of the country. But now, as 70 to 80 percent of the Tibetans are farmers
and herdsmen, it is hard to achieve the target by relying only on the
primary industry," Lu Fangying, deputy director of the TAR?s
Construction Department, was quoted as saying.

The suggestion that by 2020 the TAR will be like any other part of
China, with its urban population boosted by large scale Chinese
immigration, can only fuel resentment and sense of alienation from the
local Tibetans.

The above projections are based on the Urban System Plan for Tibet
Autonomous Region (2008-2020), drafted by the China Academy of Urban
Planning and Design, the report, sourced from Xinhua, said.

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