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Poverty figures show Tibetans in absolute minority on own land

June 17, 2010

Tibetan Review
June 15, 2010

China’s poverty alleviation figures show that
Tibetans are a greatly outnumbered minority on
their own land made up of Tibet Autonomous Region
(TAR) and the Tibetan inhabited areas of Qinghai,
Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan. In 2001, when the
official Tibetan population in all these areas
was less than five million, the total number of
those in absolute poverty was 26 million,
according to Fan Xiaojian, director of the State
Council Leading Group Office for Poverty Alleviation and Development.

China said Jun 12 that it will eliminate absolute
poverty in all the Tibetan inhabited areas under
its rule by 2020, reported People's Daily Online,
the country’s party mouthpiece, Jun 13, citing Fan.

By that year, the per capita income growth rate
of farmers and herdsmen in the TAR will be higher
than the PRC national average and that of farmers
and herdsmen in the Tibetan-inhabited areas in
Sichuan province will be higher than the
provincial average level, Fan was cited as saying
at a Jun 12 poverty alleviation and development
work meeting for TAR and Tibetan-inhabited areas in four provinces.

The report cited poverty alleviation as one of
the most important problems during the economic
and social development of the Tibetan-inhabited
areas. The report claimed that the poor
population in these areas had already dropped by
over 50 percent -- from nearly 26 million in 2001
to slightly over 12.1 million in 2009.

China’s latest official census shows the Tibetan
population throughout the PRC to be less than 5
million. With the figures of those in absolute
poverty alone being mentioned as above, the
proportion of the Tibetan population in the
traditional Tibetan areas, taken as a whole, must
have become very small indeed.
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