This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Democratic reform of Tibet. With the efforts of the people of the Autonomous Region, Tibet has witnessed a historic transformation from the old feudal serf system to a socialist system. And with assistance from the central government and other provinces, the Autonomous Region´s infrastructure has been improved and its economy continues to develop.
Now: In 2008, Farmers and herdsmen´s average net income per capita reached over 3,000 yuan. The average disposable income per capita for Tibetan urban residents hit over 12,000 yuan,or about over 1,850 US dollars." 200,000 farming and herding households have moved into new homes.
Before the reform: Farmers and herdsmen had no means of production and were in debt nearly all their lives. More than 90 percent of the people had no houses of their own. Living conditions for farmers and herdsmen were extremely bad.
Tibet´s oldest woman, Arme Tsering, celebrated her 118th birthday Monday at home in the northeastern suburbs of Lhasa.
China has exerted great efforts to preserve the culture of Tibet, ranging from Tibetan Buddhism to folk customs.
The Tibet Autonomous Region government will spend six billion yuan on the construction of highways across the plateau region in 2009.
"Whether people believe in religion or not and in which religion they choose to believe are all at their own choices," said Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak, a living Buddha.