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China FM: Tibet´s development "better than ever"

Source: Xinhua | 04-09-2008 11:41

Special Report:   3.14 Tibet Riots

BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) -- China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu on Tuesday introduced policies adopted by the central government on Tibet, saying the autonomous region's development was "better than ever".

The central government practices a regional ethnic autonomy system in Tibet, and guarantees the democratic rights of Tibetans. As an ethnic minority, Tibetans also enjoy preferential treatment in laws and policies, Jiang told a regular press conference.

She said the government also exercised a preferential policy of mobilizing the whole nation to help the development of Tibet. The central and local governments and institutions at all levels have given great financial, material and personnel support to Tibet.

The gross local production maintains a consecutive growth rate of over 12 percent for many years with the per capita GNP amounting to 12,000 yuan (1,714 U.S. dollars), higher than the average national level, Jiang said.

The central government has not collected tax from Tibet for years, yet each year it invested billions of yuan in the construction and development of Tibet.

With regard to the religious freedom enjoyed by Tibetans, Jiang said freedom of religious belief is respected by the government and protected under the law. All regular religious activities are practiced in a normal way.

Moreover, the central government attaches great importance to preserving and growing the Tibetan culture.

Tibetan Buddhism has been well protected in China, said Jiang. The central government has invested huge funds in the preservation and maintenance of monasteries and religious sites, including the Potala Palace and other temples. It had also set up more than 50 institutes on Tibetan studies nationwide.

The central government had also made efforts on the collection and publication of Tibetan Buddhism classics, including the Tibetan Tripitaka.

Concerning the Tibetan language, Jiang said both Tibetan and Chinese were taught and used in Tibet, with the Tibetan language the primary language.

The Tibetan language had become the first language used by an ethnic minority group in China for which an international standard had been set up, she added.

"A lot of facts show the social, economic and cultural development in Tibet is better than ever," Jiang said. "A small number of rioters and saboteurs could never represent the Tibetan people, nor the people all over China."


Editor:Zhang Ning