CPC Policies on the Governance
of Xizang in the New Era:
Approach and Achievements
The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China
First Edition 2023
© Foreign Languages Press Co. Ltd, Beijing, China, 2023
Published by Foreign Languages Press Co. Ltd
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I. Full Implementation of the New Development Philosophy
II. Notable Achievements in Cultural and Ethical Development
III. Solid Progress in Ethnic and Religious Undertakings
IV. Sustained and Stable Social Development
V. Stronger Eco-Environmental Security Barrier
VI. Strengthening Democracy and the Rule of Law
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in 2012, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has practiced a people-centered approach to development. With a strategic vision to rejuvenate the Chinese nation, and to ensure that the Xizang Autonomous Region will realize moderate prosperity and modernization together with the rest of the country, the CPC Central Committee has attached great importance to the development of Xizang and focused its attention on the people in the region. The CPC Central Committee held the sixth and seventh national meetings on Xizang in 2015 and 2020 respectively, at which it established the guiding principles, overall requirements and priority tasks, pointing the way to lasting stability and quality development, meeting the people's aspirations for a better life, and realizing socialist modernization in the region.
The seventh National Meeting on Xizang has outlined the CPC guidelines for governing Xizang in the new era as follows:
• Uphold CPC leadership, socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the system of regional ethnic autonomy;
• Adhere to the strategy that stability in Xizang is paramount in the governance of the border areas and the country as a whole;
• Focus on safeguarding national unification and strengthening ethnic unity;
• Govern Xizang in accordance with the law, bring prosperity to Xizang and its residents, unite them in one mind, and lay a solid foundation for its long-term growth;
• Address both domestic and international imperatives;
• Focus on improving people's lives and strengthening unity in socio-economic development;
• Facilitate ethnic exchanges, communication and integration;
• Adapt religion to China's realities, and handle religious affairs in accordance with the law;
• Prioritize eco-environmental protection;
• Strengthen the Party, especially its political foundations.
These guidelines, grounded on the practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the actual situation of Xizang, demonstrate a keen understanding of work related to Xizang. They encapsulate the CPC's past successes in stabilizing Xizang and its plans for future development. Embodying Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, these guidelines provide answers to a series of questions on the future direction and strategy in governing Xizang and are to be followed in all undertakings related to the region.
Following the CPC's guidelines for governing Xizang in the new era, and with nationwide support, officials and the peoples of the various ethnic groups in the autonomous region have worked together and achieved all-round progress and historic success in various undertakings. Significant progress has been made in stabilizing the social environment, achieving rapid economic progress, and strengthening the Party organization in Xizang, which has led to a better life to its people, amity among all ethnic groups and religions, cultural prosperity, sound ecological systems, and secured borders. Together with the rest of the country, people in Xizang have witnessed the tremendous transformation of the Chinese nation from standing up and becoming prosperous to growing in strength, and are now embarking on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects.
I. Full Implementation of the New Development Philosophy
The main driver of the CPC's endeavors is the people's aspirations for a better life. Xizang has followed the people-centered approach to development and applied the new development philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development in full. It is addressing imbalanced and insufficient development, optimizing the industrial structure, and boosting growth. Xizang had long been plagued by poverty, but absolute poverty has now been eradicated. The region has now achieved all objectives for development set in the 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020) as scheduled, and the economy is robust.
– Sustainable, sound and rapid economic development
The economy has witnessed solid and steady growth. Seeing that the market plays the decisive role in the allocation of resources and the government better fulfills its functions, Xizang has extended the reform of the economic system, and coordinated the tasks of sustaining growth, promoting reform, making structural changes, improving people's lives, preventing risks, and ensuring social stability. As a result, the economy is growing more dynamic. In 2022 Xizang's GDP reached RMB213.26 billion, an increase by a factor of 2.28 compared with that in 2012 at constant prices, representing an average annual growth rate of 8.6 percent. Its economic growth rate ranked among the highest in China. The industrial structure is being rationalized and the capacity for endogenous development has been significantly increased.
High-quality development has been realized in agricultural industries that leverage local strengths. Developing highland barley industry, high-quality animal husbandry, and protected agriculture have been treated as priorities. The days are gone when the Tibetan people lived at the mercy of the elements. A large number of industrial bases have been built for agriculture and animal husbandry adapted to local conditions, such as the cultivation of high-quality highland barley, the production of edible oil, pollution-free vegetable planting, standardized dairy cattle scale farming, and yak and Tibetan sheep farming. In 2022, the total output value of farm and livestock products processing reached RMB6 billion.
Progress has been made in industrial development. Secondary industry has achieved strong growth, and a modern industrial system with local characteristics has been established. From 2012 to 2022, the added value of industry increased by a factor of 2.77, and both the depth and breadth of industrial chains were extended. In 2022 the number of industrial enterprises of designated size (enterprises with a turnover exceeding RMB20 million per annum) expanded by 1.1 percent over the previous year, and the number of hi-tech firms reached 15.
There is greater vitality in the tertiary industry. With the support of the central government, Xizang is being transformed into a world-class tourist destination. The Tibetan Shoton Festival in Lhasa, Mount Qomolangma Cultural Tourism Festival in Xigaze, Yalong Cultural Tourism Festival in Shannan, Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival, and Nagqu Horse Racing Festival have all become flagship tourist attractions. From 2012 to 2022, the number of tourists to Xizang climbed from 10.58 million to 30.03 million, with revenues from tourism surging by a factor of 3.2 from RMB12.65 billion to RMB40.71 billion. Zhaxi Qoiden community of Changzhu Township in the city of Shannan is a base for promoting Yalong Zhaxi Xoiba Tibetan Opera, an item on the national intangible cultural heritage list. As more tourists go to the community to appreciate the opera, locals have begun to operate household hotels, which have become a major source of income. Nima Tsering, a leading performer of Tibetan Opera, said: "In the old days, we performed Tibetan Opera to please the serf owners. Today, we do it to help ourselves and others live a better life."
Further progress has been made in reform and innovation. To expand reform of the rural land system, a significant effort has been invested in improving the management systems of land contracts, the transfer of rural land use rights, and ownership registration. In 2014, farmers and herders in Baidui Village of Quxu County received their immovable property rights certificates, which means they have the right to use contracted land. This was the first time in the history of Xizang that land certificates had been issued to villagers. A project developing new types of agricultural business entity is under way, and the leading role of family farms and professional cooperatives has been given full play in rural reform.
Reform of state-owned enterprises and state capital has been extended and efforts have been made to strengthen, expand, and increase the returns on state capital. By 2022 the total assets of state-owned enterprises in Xizang had increased by a factor of 14.05 compared with 2012. The tax and business environment has been optimized. Reform of the system separating operating permits from business licenses has been advanced to simplify procedures and to reduce time for business registration. The number of different market entities in Xizang has grown from 124,400 in 2012 to 437,600 in 2022. Innovation drives development. The added value of Xizang's digital economy has increased by more than 10 percent.
Investment and financial services have brought more benefits to the people. From 2012 to 2022, a total of RMB1.73 trillion in financial subsidies from the central government went to Xizang. With the financial support of the state, investment in fixed assets increased by a factor of 3.33 times between 2012 and 2022. The investment focused on infrastructure, public services and other fields that could reinforce the foundations of Xizang's economic and endogenous development. A large number of major engineering projects related to long-term development have been set up over time, greatly improving the people's working and living conditions. A total of RMB465 billion has been invested. Private investments are thriving. The system of financial institutions continues to improve, and a multi-level, diverse, and multi-functional financial system has taken shape for banking, securities, insurance, and other relevant activities. The role of finance in supporting economic and social development has expanded significantly.
Exchange and cooperation with other parts of the country and the world has been strengthened. Exchange and cooperation with neighboring regions has been strengthened. Xizang has actively integrated itself into regional economic circles, including the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, the greater Shangri-La Economic Circle, the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia-Qinghai Economic Circle, and the Yangtze River Economic Belt. It has worked to transform itself into a vital channel for the country's increasing opening up towards South Asia. Integrated reform of customs clearance has been launched, and the South Asia Standardization (Lhasa) Research Center has been established. The Gyirong cross-border economic cooperation zone was set up with the approval of the State Council. The comprehensive bonded zone in Lhasa has passed acceptance review. Gyirong Port has been expanded as an international highway port, realizing the bilateral opening up of China and Nepal. In 2022, the total value of Xizang's foreign trade stood at RMB4.6 billion, and its trading partners covered 95 countries and regions. Events such as the Forum on the Development of Xizang, International Symposium of the Xizang Think Tank, China Xizang Tourism and Culture Expo, and the Trans-Himalaya International Extreme Cycling Race have become important platforms for promoting exchanges, mutual learning and cooperation between Xizang and the rest of the world.
Nationwide support for Xizang development has delivered remarkable results. Paired-up assistance from other parts of the country has made consistent progress. Between 1994 and 2022, a total of 11,900 officials and professionals were dispatched in ten groupings to assist Xizang. Coordination among provinces, cities and state-owned enterprises that assist Xizang has been intensified, and new models have been piloted in coordinated development, industrial cooperation, and management of paired-up assistance. Efforts have been made to coordinate assistance in the forms of financial aid, technical support, poverty alleviation, and facilitation of industrial development and employment, as well as sending teams of medical and educational professionals. The model of assistance has changed from one mainly relying on external support, such as providing funds and launching projects, to a self-sustaining model including developing industries, offering technical support, and nurturing talent. During the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), 17 provinces and municipalities launched 1,260 projects to assist Xizang, representing a total investment of RMB20 billion.
– Improved infrastructure
There has been considerable progress in transport infrastructure. Based on highways and supplemented by railways, aviation, and pipelines, a comprehensive transport system has been developed and steadily improved. By early 2022, the total road length exceeded 121,400 km, including 1,105 km of high-grade highway. A road network covering the whole of Xizang has been formed, with 20 national highways as the foundation, supported by 36 provincial highways together with many border roads and rural roads. The railway network was extended from 701 km in 2012 to 1,359 km in 2022. The Golmud-Lhasa section of the Qinghai-Xizang Railway has been renovated. The Ya'an-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Xizang Railway is under construction, and the Lhasa-Nyingchi section has entered service. The Fuxing high-speed train series is now operating in Xizang and reaches as far as Lhasa. The pipeline network transported 31 million tonnes-km in 2022. Tibet Airlines has been successfully launched, with 154 international and domestic routes connecting 70 cities. In 2022, passenger throughput handled by the Xizang Autonomous Regional Administration of CAAC reached 3.35 million.
Major breakthroughs have been made in the construction of the power grid. Xizang has made a historic shift in electrical power from rationing to surplus output. The Qinghai-Xizang, Sichuan-Xizang, central Xizang, and Ngari electric transmission lines have been built. Major electricity grid projects in western and southwestern regions have provided Xizang with ample supply of power. A safe and reliable power grid covers all counties/districts and main towns/townships in Xizang. The grid, described by the local people as a "grid of light, livelihood and happiness", has transmitted more than 13 billion kWh of clean energy-generated electricity. Now, 96.5 percent of villages have access to three-phase power supply. Electricity consumption increased from 2.88 billion kWh in 2012 to 11.98 billion kWh in 2022, recording one of the fastest rates of growth in China for many years. The Ngari power grid, operating in isolation for a long time, has now been connected with the central Xizang power network, and thus becomes part of the integrated regional network.
Further progress has been made in water conservation facilities. During the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), total investment increased by 52 percent compared with the previous period, and several landmark water conservancy projects were completed. The Lalho project was selected as one of the top 10 water conservancy projects in China. The Pondo and Lalho water conservation projects are generating electricity and providing irrigation. The Xianghe River water conservation project and the supporting irrigation facilities are under construction. More local people are benefiting from water conservation. Flood control and disaster reduction efforts have become more effective and the eco-environment of Xizang's rivers and lakes has steadily improved. Safe drinking water is now available in most rural areas. The capacity to provide secure water supplies in urban and rural areas has been significantly increased.
Digital infrastructure has made remarkable progress. The autonomous region's e-government websites, unified basic cloud platform and big data control center are largely complete. Xizang has actively participated in the national move to channel more computing resources from its eastern areas to its less developed western regions. It has built its first cloud computing center, and received the title of national green data center. A total of 8,099 5G base stations and nearly 312,600 km of fiber-optic cables have been built. 5G networks now cover all counties/districts and main towns/townships in Xizang. All 3A-level (and above) scenic spots now have mobile signal coverage. Optical fiber broadband, 4G, radio and TV signals cover almost all administrative villages. Modern cloud and network integration has enabled local people to connect with the world online.
– Eradication of absolute poverty
Xizang has eradicated absolute poverty. It has implemented five key measures – new economic activities, relocation from uninhabitable areas, recompense for eco-protection, education, and social assistance for basic needs – through which people have been lifted out of poverty. By the end of 2019, through the basic strategy of targeted poverty alleviation, the autonomous region had lifted 628,000 registered poor residents and 74 counties/districts out of poverty. This represented victory in the battle against extreme poverty that had plagued Xizang for thousands of years. The per-capita income of those lifted out of poverty reached RMB13,800 in 2022, growing faster than the per-capita disposal income of rural residents. Those people lifted out of poverty have reliable access to food, clothing, housing, education and medical care, more harmonious living and working conditions, more convenient infrastructure and basic public services, and a proper social security system.
Rural revitalization has accelerated. Since 2021, Xizang has built a total of 300 beautiful and livable villages and created and certified 505 demonstration villages. Efforts have been made to develop high-standard farmland through mechanical deep tillage, build state-level demonstration farms for standardized livestock and poultry husbandry, and provide all townships with comprehensive service centers for agriculture and animal husbandry. The number of new rural collective economic organizations reached 6,172, resulting in higher-level and larger-scale agricultural production. The region has developed local highland industries and green and organic farming. Xizang now hosts four special industrial clusters, seven modern agricultural industrial parks, and eighteen towns with strong farming industries. The region has consolidated and expanded the outcomes of the fight against poverty. More than 200,000 former victims of extreme poverty have found jobs outside their hometowns. A total of 173 intangible cultural heritage workshops have been built, offering opportunities for people who have been lifted out of poverty to work at or close to their homes. Xizang is turning a new page in all-around rural revitalization.
– Promotion of common prosperity
Xizang has seen a rapid rise in incomes. By 2022, the per-capita disposable income of urban residents has risen to RMB48,753 from RMB18,363 in 2012, representing a 2.7-fold increase. The per-capita disposable income of rural residents more than tripled from RMB5,698 in 2012 to RMB18,209 in 2022. The income ratio between urban and rural residents dropped from 3.22 in 2012 to 2.67 in 2022, narrowing the income gap. The per-capita disposable income of the region's residents as a whole rose to RMB26,675 in 2022 from RMB8,568 in 2012, representing the country's highest growth rate for eight consecutive years since 2015.
The consumer market has been more buoyant. The retail sales of consumer goods increased by a factor of 2.3 from RMB31.84 billion in 2012 to RMB72.65 billion in 2022. In 2022, total freight turnover reached 13.09 billion tonnes-km, effectively expanding links between centers of production and centers of consumption. The revenue of Xizang's postal services (excluding direct revenue of postal savings banks) reached RMB744 million, and 178.83 million courier delivery packages had been handled in 2022, including 12.19 million express delivery packages. Nineteen large national e-commerce and express delivery businesses have settled in Xizang, and cold chain storage space stands at 113,000 square meters. E-commerce services are available at city, county, township and village levels. In 2022, online retail sales reached RMB9.14 billion.
II. Notable Achievements in Cultural and Ethical Development
We must make a concerted effort to fully implement CPC policies on the governance of Xizang in the new era and boost the morale and confidence of all ethnic groups. To better meet the new expectations of the people of all ethnic groups for a rich intellectual and cultural life, Xizang has vigorously promoted mainstream socialist values, inherited and protected its fine traditional culture, and developed a system of public cultural services. As a result, its cultural undertakings have flourished, its cultural industries have developed, and the core socialist values have taken root in the hearts of the people.
– Promotion of mainstream social values
The guiding role of core values has been strengthened. Xizang has consistently built consensus and pooled strengths with the common ideal of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. It has issued the Decision on Implementing the Guidelines on Cultivating and Practicing the Core Socialist Values. The region has upheld the core socialist values, studied and implemented the essence of General Secretary Xi Jinping's speeches, and combined the core socialist values with the implementation of major policies, decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee, with the efforts in promoting reform, development and stability, and with major thematic publicity and educational campaigns. The region has increased educational activities on the history of the Party, the history of the PRC, the history of reform and opening up, the history of socialist development, and the history of the ties between Xizang as a region and the country as a whole, and helped officials and people of all ethnic groups in Xizang to develop a sound understanding of our nation and our country, and of history, culture and religion. This has all helped to inject strong impetus into the efforts to build a new socialist Xizang.
Revolutionary culture and education have been promoted. In 2021, the building of a new memorial hall dedicated to the liberation of the million serfs in Xizang was completed. A number of exhibitions, museums and sites have been designated as education bases for patriotism, providing more resources for cultivating the core socialist values. They include the Aid-Tibet Exhibition Hall, the Memorial Hall on the Spirit of Builders of the Two Plateau Highways, the Potala Palace Snow City Series Exhibition Hall, the Site of the Battle Against British Invaders in Gyangze, the Revolutionary Site of Linzhou Farm in Lhasa, the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery of Nyemo County, the Red Building of the Party Committee of Zamu County (today's Bomi County), Chamdo Revolutionary History Museum, the Site of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) 18th Army Barracks of Gamtog in Jomda County, the Memorial Hall of the Advance Company of the PLA in Gertse County.
– Revitalization of fine traditional culture
Historical and cultural heritage is under effective protection. Xizang now boasts three state-level historical and cultural cities, five such towns and four such villages. Eighty villages have been added to the List of Traditional Chinese Villages. Twenty-nine villages were awarded the title of ethnic-minority villages with cultural significance. A total of 4,468 sites of historical or cultural interest of all types have been examined, registered and protected by the local county or district government. Xizang has 2,373 cultural relics protection units under the protection of governments at different levels, 70 of which are key units under state protection. The Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa (including the Potala Palace, Norbulingka, and Jokhang Temple) are registered on the World Heritage List. Xizang has formulated a protection plan for key cultural relics units under national-level protection including the Potala Palace, Norbulingka, Jokhang Temple, and Pala Manor. It has completed major protection projects including those on the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, and launched special actions to monitor cultural relics. A project dedicated to protecting important antiques in Sakya Monastery and Samye Monastery has been completed. Xizang is carrying out ongoing restorations to historical architecture and murals in Puncogling Monastery, Tolin Monastery, Khorzhak Monastery, among others. It also carries out projects to preserve precious sites of historical interest such as Tangkar Monastery, the main Hall of Riwoche Monastery, and Sera Monastery. Since 2013, over 100,000 precious cultural relics of all kinds have been carefully protected through digital archiving. The tea leaves and the brocade with characters meaning "marquis" and bird and animal patterns unearthed during archaeological excavations in the Gurujamu Cemetery in Gar County of Ngari Prefecture prove clearly that more than 1,800 years ago, western Xizang had already established close ties with other parts of the country through the ancient Silk Road. The archaeological excavation of Sangmda Lungga tomb site in Zanda County was named one of the top 10 new archaeological discoveries in China in 2020. The rich archaeological findings fully testify to the splendor of Chinese civilization.
Tibetan medicine has been protected and developed. In 2019, the state invested RMB1 billion in the construction of a new campus of the University of Tibetan Medicine, which has trained over 7,000 medicine professionals. As of early 2022, Xizang hosted 49 public institutions of Tibetan medicine; 94.4 percent of town/township health centers and 42.4 percent of village health clinics in the region provided Tibetan medicine services. Tibetan medicines are now being produced on a commercial basis, and the production of Tibetan medicine has been scaled up, standardized, and regulated. Over the years, more than 300 ancient documents on Tibetan medicine have been collated and published. More than 600 volumes of rare ancient books have been collected, and the Four Medical Classics, a masterpiece in Tibetan medicine, has been included in the Memory of the World Asia Pacific Regional Register.
Tibetan classics and intangible cultural heritage (ICH) are under proper protection and utilization. In 2013, the state launched a priority cultural project – Library of Chinese Classics: Tibetan Volume. According to the plan, the project would take 15 years to collect and publish important Tibetan classics for the period from the Tubo Kingdom (618-842) to the peaceful liberation of Xizang in 1951. This is yet another landmark project in protecting and promoting Tibetan traditional culture. The central government and the Xizang local government had earmarked over RMB325 million between 2012 and 2022 for protecting ICH items on the national representative list in Xizang, recording the knowledge and skills of the bearers of ICH items on the national list, training ICH practitioners, and building facilities for ICH protection and utilization. There are 106 ICH items on the national representative list with 96 bearers, and 460 items on the regional list with 522 bearers. Three items – Gesar, Tibetan Opera, and the Lum medicinal bathing of Sowa Rigpa of Xizang – have been registered on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The study and use of the Tibetan language and script are guaranteed by law. The Tibetan language is widely used in fields such as health, postal services, communications, transport, finance, and science and technology. Both standard Chinese and the Tibetan language can be found on public facilities, signage and advertisements. Radio and television programs in both languages are available at any time. Courses in both languages are taught in primary and secondary schools. By the end of 2022, Xizang had 17 periodicals and 11 newspapers in the Tibetan language, and had published 45.01 million copies of 7,959 Tibetan-language books. In 2015, the national standard Information Technology – Vocabulary in the Tibetan Language was officially released. In 2018, the National Committee for the Standardization of Tibetan Terminology issued The New Tibetan Terms Approved Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which contains nearly 1,500 new terms. Issued in 2022, The New Tibetan Terms Approved Since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Chinese-Tibetan) contains 2,200 new terms.
– Vigorous development of public cultural undertakings
The public cultural service system continues to improve. There is a five-tiered network of public cultural service facilities in place, at the levels of village/community, town/township, county/district, city/prefecture, and the autonomous region. There are now libraries, people's art halls and museums in all of Xizang's cities/prefectures, all-purpose cultural centers in the counties/districts, cultural activity stations in towns/townships, and cultural activity halls in villages/communities. Xizang boasts 10 professional performing art troupes, 76 art troupes at the county/district level, 153 part-time Tibetan Opera troupes, 395 performing teams at the township level and 5,492 at the administrative village level, with over 100,000 professional and amateur performers. Digitized movie projection is fully achieved in rural areas in Xizang. The region has 478 sets of digital movie projection facilities and holds more than 63,000 movie screenings every year. A total of 6,263 centers (stations) for promoting cultural and ethical progress in the new era have been set up at the village, township and county levels. The region has carried out programs to keep fine traditional Chinese culture alive and strong at the grassroots level, upgraded cultural facilities at the village/community level, and built 100 village-level cultural demonstration bases.
Cultural and artistic creation has flourished. With Chinese culture in mind, a number of outstanding literary and artistic works have been created, highlighting the spirit of the time and reflecting Tibetan features. They have proved popular with the general public. They include the song and dance gala Bitter Turns Sweet when the CPC Comes, Tashidelek to Our Country, and Affection of the Tibetans for the CPC, dramas such as Our Common Home and The North Yard of Barkhor Street, the Tibetan opera Tsering Lhamo, the Story of Tibetan Incense, and the musical theater Galsang Flowers at the Roof of the World. Among them, the drama An Unblessed Birth, the song and dance gala Affection of the Tibetans for the CPC, the dance Exuberant Plateau, the square dance Forging Ahead in the New Era, and the Tibetan opera Celebrating the New Year performed by children have won national awards.
Xizang has seen rapid development in public sports. Various public sport events have taken place, with traditional ethnic sports promoted and mountain sports popularized. The region has gradually improved its performance in competitive sports. Athletes from Xizang won 231 medals at international and domestic events during the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020). At the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, athlete Dobjee won the bronze medal in the men's marathon – the best result that China had ever achieved in this event in the Asian Games. At the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, Sonam Chodron achieved the best result in China's history in two events: skiing and mountaineering women's individual cross-country race and short distance race. At the 14th National Games in 2021, the Tibetan delegation won three gold medals, one silver and two bronze. At the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, two athletes from Xizang qualified for the competition, representing a breakthrough in competitive sports for the region.
Radio, film, TV, and publishing are expanding rapidly. The coverage rates of radio and TV programs are both well over 99 percent of the population in Xizang. Movies like Life of Budag, My Himalayas, Seventy-seven Days, and Fall in Love, TV drama Happy Home, and documentaries Hello, New Xizang, Our Stories in Xizang, and The Party Shines upon the Border have been produced. By the end of 2022, Xizang had 74 digital cinemas with 191 screens in total. In 2022, cinemas in Xizang netted total box-office receipts of RMB37.23 million with around 879,700 tickets sold. Efforts have been made to build and make good use of integrated media centers in cities, prefectures, counties and districts, and to build and promote the use of the integrated media platform "Everest Cloud" of the Xizang Autonomous Region. Many excellent cultural documentaries have been produced and broadcast. More than 15,000 hours of radio programs, 7,300 hours of TV programs, and more than 80 movies are translated or dubbed from and into minority languages every year. There are 40 printing enterprises and 219 publishing institutions of various types, releasing nearly 2.32 million copies of periodicals and 2.71 million copies of books, with total sales exceeding RMB1.29 billion. Over 5,400 rural libraries and over 1,700 monastery libraries have been built. All this effectively promotes the prosperity and development of the press and publishing business in Xizang and continues to enrich the scientific and cultural knowledge of farmers and herders.
– Sound development of the cultural industry
The cultural industry is prosperous and dynamic. The Decision of the General Office of the Xizang Autonomous Region on In-Depth Integration of Culture and Tourism to Accelerate the Development of a Cultural Industry with Distinctive Characteristics has been made and implemented. The region has introduced preferential financing and taxation policies to attract investment and provided policy support to cultural enterprises of all categories registered in the region. The region offers incentive funds and supporting funds to help them. By the end of 2022, more than 8,000 cultural enterprises had registered in Xizang, employing over 70,000 people, and the added value of cultural and related industries reached RMB6.33 billion. A total of 344 cultural demonstration parks and bases had been set up at four levels across the region. Seven associated enterprises were listed among the 2021 Top 100 Private Enterprises in the Xizang Autonomous Region, and four among the 2021 Top 20 Private Employers in the Xizang Autonomous Region. One has been nominated four times for China's Top 30 Cultural Enterprises.
Key cultural programs have been launched. During the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), 91 key cultural projects were successfully implemented, with a total investment of nearly RMB50 billion. The cultural e-commerce platform Treasures in Xizang, Xizang Creative Culture and Tourism Industry Park, Xizang Publication and Cultural Industry Park, and Mount Qomolangma Creative Culture and Tourism Industry Park, among others, have been instituted or built. Many characteristic cultural projects, such as the Tibetan epic drama Princess Wencheng and the stage play Princess Jincheng, have hit the market. Cultural products such as animations, films, television programs, and Thangka, which are rooted in Tibetan culture and capture distinct ethnic features and the characteristics of the times, have been well received by the public.
III. Solid Progress in Ethnic and Religious Undertakings
Developing a stronger sense of the Chinese nation as one community is the Party's top priority in managing ethnic affairs in the new era and a strategic task in governing Xizang. Committed to this mission, the region has strengthened its work related to ethnic affairs and consolidated the socialist ethnic relationship of equality, solidarity, mutual assistance, and harmony. It manages religious affairs in accordance with the law, fully guarantees freedom of religious belief, maintains harmony and stability in the religious field, and helps religion to adapt to the socialist society.
– Heightening the sense of Chinese identity
A shared sense of belonging for the Chinese nation has been consolidated. Xizang has compiled and published textbooks and readers on ethnic solidarity and progress, such as The Readers on Building a Stronger Sense of National Identity. Communication platforms featuring internet plus ethnic solidarity have been launched. The One Nation One Dream campaign was conducted in an effort to guide all ethnic groups to understand that they are in a community with shared joys and sorrows, and weal and woe. During major celebrations such as the Serf's Emancipation Day, the Peaceful Liberation Day of Xizang, and the Month for Promoting Ethnic Solidarity and Progress, Party and government departments, schools, enterprises, public institutions, and urban and rural communities organize popular activities such as knowledge contests and cultural performances on ethnic solidarity and progress. A theme park has been built to present a visual image of the Chinese nation as one community, creating a strong bond among all ethnic groups and inspiring them to move forward in unity and solidarity.
Exchanges, communication and integration among ethnic groups have been strengthened. Local communities in the region have formed multi-ethnic neighborhoods, where people of various ethnicities reside, learn from each other, and enjoy life together. A number of exemplary multi-ethnic harmonious neighborhoods (residential communities/families) mixing Han, Tibetan, Hui, and Mongolian people, such as the Wabaling community in Lhasa, have emerged. Puna Village in Qewa Township of Rinbung County, Xigaze City, is a newly established settlement of 59 households from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The villagers spontaneously included the term "solidarity" into the community regulations and agreed to host a solidarity forum annually for consultation on common development.
China has promoted mutual learning and common progress among students of all ethnicities. In 17 provinces and municipalities that provide assistance to Xizang, employment service and liaison offices have been set up for graduates of Xizang universities to find employment or business opportunities beyond their own region. The graduate employment rate has been maintained above 95 percent for years. Large household businesses in crop and animal farming, entrepreneurs, and agriculture-related businesses are encouraged to invest in Xizang. The autonomous region today is a place for unity, common prosperity and development among all ethnic groups.
– Further promoting ethnic solidarity and progress
Work to facilitate ethnic solidarity and progress has been carried out effectively. Efforts have been made to establish model communities of ethnic unity and progress to promote exchanges and integration of various ethnic groups. Tours have been organized to such cities and counties. In 2020, the region promulgated the Regulations on Building a Model Region for Ethnic Solidarity and Progress in the Xizang Autonomous Region. In 2021, the Plan for Building a Model Region for Ethnic Solidarity and Progress in the Xizang Autonomous Region (2021-2025) was introduced. At the national level, 140 groups and 189 individuals in Xizang were honored by the State Council as models of ethnic solidarity and progress. Seven cities/prefectures including Lhasa were recognized as national demonstration cities. The story of Raidi, recipient of the national honorary title Outstanding Contributor to Ethnic Solidarity, was widely disseminated. People across the region were encouraged to emulate sisters Drolkar and Yangzom as models of the times for ethnic solidarity.
The fight against infiltration, subversion and secession continues. In accordance with the general requirements of safeguarding national security and the region's specific circumstances, and upholding the rule of law in the governance of the region, Xizang adopts a proactive approach to combat secessionism. The reactionary nature of the Dalai Group has been exposed and denounced, and the regional government relies closely on the people of all ethnicities to resist all forms of secession and sabotage. It is now deeply rooted in the people's minds across the region that unity and stability are a blessing, while division and unrest lead to disaster. They are ever more determined to safeguard the country's unity, national sovereignty, and ethnic solidarity.
– Fully guaranteeing the freedom of religious belief
Religious activities are carried out in an orderly manner. The region today hosts over 1,700 sites for Tibetan Buddhism activities, approximately 46,000 Buddhist monks and nuns, four mosques, about 12,000 native Muslims, and one Catholic church with over 700 believers. Over 1,700 religious and folk activities including the Shoton Festival, Butter Lamp Festival, Saga Dawa Festival, and the walks around lakes and mountains help to preserve the solemn traditional rituals and demonstrate new vitality with modern cultural elements. Reincarnation of living Buddhas is a practice recognized and respected by the government at all levels. In 2007, the State-Issued Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism stipulated the principles that should be followed, the conditions that should be met, and the application and approval procedures that should be implemented. It also specified that reincarnated Tibetan living Buddhas, including Dalai Lamas and Panchen Rinpoches, must be looked for within the country, decided through the practice of lot-drawing from the golden urn, and receive approval from the central government. The reincarnation of living Buddhas has been carried out in an orderly manner ever since. In 2016, an online system has been launched to help obtain information about living Buddhas. By the end of 2022, 93 newly reincarnated living Buddhas have been approved and recognized.
Public services at monasteries and temples have been effectively guaranteed. Much work has been done since 2015 to promote the construction of medical clinics in monasteries and temples, train doctor-monks, improve the social security system for monks and nuns, raise their social security benefits year by year, and provide them with social public services. The government provides over RMB26 million per annum to cover medical insurance, pension schemes, subsistence allowances, accident injury insurance, and health check expenses for all registered monks and nuns. Great efforts have gone into improving infrastructure in monasteries and temples to modernize study and living conditions for monks and nuns; most monasteries and temples now have access to roads, telecommunications, electricity, water, radio and television.
– Conducting Tibetan Buddhist activities in an orderly manner
Law-based management of religious affairs has made steady progress. Fully implementing the Party's basic policy on religious affairs, Xizang has guided Tibetan Buddhism in adapting to socialist society, and moved faster to improve the institutions and standards for managing religious affairs in accordance with the law. Measures of the Xizang Autonomous Region on Implementing the Regulations on Religious Affairs, Measures of the Xizang Autonomous Region on the Management of Major Religious Activities and Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Measures on the Management of Living Buddha Reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhism have been issued and implemented to safeguard the legal rights and interests and order of religious society, properly resolve religion-related differences and disputes, improve monastery management, and promote religious harmony.
Tibetan Buddhist studies and the training of adepts have been strengthened. In the context of Xizang's actual situation, efforts have been made to raise awareness among religious groups that activities must be carried out in accordance with laws and regulations, and to promote efforts to standardize, institutionalize, and modernize the internal management of Tibetan Buddhist society. While promoting the integration of traditional and modern education, degrees and titles, new efforts have been made to standardize the three-level title system and cultivate patriotic and knowledgeable talent in monks and nuns. As of the end of 2022, 164 monks had been accredited as Geshe Lharampas and 273 monks had earned the highest Thorampa ranking. From 2016 to 2022, the Xizang branch of the Buddhist Association of China held annual meetings on the interpretation of Tibetan Buddhist sutras; the China Tibetology Research Center hosted annual seminars on the interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism doctrines and published 11 books, such as Interpretive Notes for Tibetan Buddhism Doctrines (Trial Edition) and Collections of Studies on Interpretive Notes for Tibetan Buddhism Doctrines, promoting in-depth study on the precepts and doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism.
IV. Sustained and Stable Social Development
The CPC policies on the governance of Xizang in the new era have emphasized the importance of accurately understanding the present work in Xizang, strengthening social governance, and safeguarding national security, social stability, and the people's wellbeing. With a focus on safeguarding national unification and strengthening ethnic unity, the local government of Xizang has constantly improved its working mechanisms and governance capacity. All of this is helping to lay a solid foundation for long-term development. As a result, Xizang has enjoyed sustained and steady social development, and the people's sense of gain, fulfilment and security continues to grow.
– All-round progress of social undertakings
Educational undertakings have achieved high-quality development. A modern education system encompassing preschools, primary and secondary schools, vocational and technical schools, institutions of higher learning, and continuing and special education institutions is in place. Progressively since 2012, Xizang has eliminated the problem of students dropping out of school. It has established a student financial assistance system covering all stages of education for every student from disadvantaged families. From 2012 to 2022, the central government invested more than RMB251.51 billion in Xizang's education. At present, the region has 3,409 schools of various types and at various levels, hosting over 944,000 students. The gross enrollment rate for preschool education has reached 89.52 percent. The completion rate for compulsory education has reached 97.73 percent. The gross enrollment rate in senior high schools is 91.07 percent. The results of the seventh national census showed that the number of college or university graduates per 100,000 inhabitants in Xizang had risen from 5,507 in 2010 to 11,019 in 2020. New entries into the region's workforce now have an average of 13.1 years of education.
Greater efforts have been made to ensure decent housing. Xizang has stepped up the construction of government-subsidized affordable homes in urban areas and the relocation of people in rural areas. It spares no effort in the renovation of dilapidated residential areas, shanty towns, and dilapidated rural houses. It is also increasing the supply of public rental houses. The region has launched a project to ensure heating in urban areas, especially in the five county seats located across cold and high-altitude areas and border areas. Since 2016, the central government has provided RMB1.71 billion in subsidies to help 43,600 households in farming and pastoral areas who fall into the four categories[The four categories are registered poor households, households entitled to subsistence allowances, severely impoverished rural residents cared for at their homes with government support, and impoverished families of individuals with disabilities. – Tr.], including registered poor households, to renovate their sub-standard homes. It has also supported the renovation of sub-standard homes and improved the earthquake resistance of rural housing for key groups including the newly registered low-income group in rural areas. In 2022, the per-capita living space of urban residents in Xizang reached 44.82 square meters, and that of farmers and herders 40.18 square meters. The people enjoy a steady improvement in housing conditions.
Public health services have been strengthened. The region provides a comprehensive public healthcare system covering regular basic medical services, maternity and childcare, disease prevention and control, and Tibetan medicine and therapies. The assistance by medical professionals in groups to Xizang has made remarkable progress. Relevant provinces and municipalities have offered pairing-up assistance to Xizang, helping the region build six more Grade-A tertiary hospitals, train 1,165 medical teams with a total of 3,192 local medical workers, and plug 2,219 gaps in medical technology. Local patients can now obtain treatment for more than 400 serious diseases within the region and for more than 2,400 moderate diseases within the prefectural-level administrative units where they live; victims of minor diseases can receive timely treatment at county-level hospitals. The death rate of women in childbirth dropped to 45.8 per 100,000 in 2022 from 5,000 per 100,000 in the early 1950s, and the infant mortality rate declined from 430‰ to 7‰. Over the same period, average life expectancy has increased to 72.19 years. Endemic diseases such as hydatidosis and Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) and common diseases such as congenital heart disease and cataracts have been eradicated or brought under effective prevention and control. Xizang has effectively curbed the widespread occurrence of KBD through integrated prevention and control measures, such as improving water quality, changing diets, and relocating residents out of endemic areas. KBD has been eliminated in all of the region's 54 counties previously plagued by the disease. Since 2018, no new KBD cases have been detected among children. In 2012, the region launched a program to cure children with congenital heart disease. To date, the program has carried out over 3.66 million screenings. A total of 6,246 children have received interventional or surgical treatment at hospitals in Xizang and other places in the country. The overwhelming majority of those children have been cured.
A basic multi-tiered social security system has been established. Xizang has progressively integrated urban and rural social security networks, and established and improved a fair, unified, and sustained category-specific and multi-tiered social security system that covers all residents and coordinates urban and rural areas. The surveyed urban unemployment rate has remained below the national average and the number of families with no one in work has been steadily reduced to zero. A mechanism to set and regularly adjust the payment standard of basic pension schemes for urban and rural residents has been established, ensuring that it increases in parallel with economic growth. A total of 3.43 million people are covered by basic medical insurance, more than 95 percent of the total population in the region. The maximum reimbursement rate of inpatient medical expenses covered by basic medical insurance has surpassed 90 percent. More Tibetan medicines are being included in the National Essential Medicines List (Ethnic Medicines). A special treatment policy has been extended to cover 38 serious diseases. Patients can now settle their medical bills covered by medical insurance at one time on a cross-provincial basis.
– Steady achievements in building a safe Xizang
Concrete measures have been taken to achieve a higher standard of social stability. On a journey towards higher-level integrated governance, Xizang continues to strengthen social governance and makes every effort to build safe counties, safe townships, safe communities, safe institutions, safe monasteries, and safe schools. To forestall and defuse risks, Xizang has taken proactive action to meet people's rational demands and resolve their immediate concerns. In dealing with social complaints and disputes, law, fairness and compassion are all taken into consideration to ensure problems are settled in a manner acceptable to all stakeholders. By establishing the "Langza mediation offices", "Snow Lotus mediation offices", and "rural sages mediation teams", Xizang relies on and mobilizes the people to lay the social foundations allowing them to live and work in peace and contentment. Lhasa has been listed among "China's happiest cities" seven times. The safety index of people of all ethnic groups in the region has stayed above 99 percent for years.
– Considerable improvement in social governance
There has been a significant improvement in social governance. Xizang has made consistent innovations to the social governance system. It has released documents such as the Plan for the Pilot Project of Promoting the Modernization of Municipal Social Governance in Xizang, the Opinions on Improving Diversified Dispute Settlement Mechanisms, and the Implementation Plan of the Xizang Autonomous Region for Carrying out Special Campaigns to Improve Rural Governance. The region has made steady progress in establishing a multi-dimensional and intelligent public security system by accelerating the construction of integrated management centers, smart cities and intelligent border defense.
Xizang has implemented a social service and management model at both urban and rural communities known as "household groups" to help maintain social order and increase family income and has carried out a campaign to consolidate the development foundation and benefit the people. It has continued to guide the public towards participating in social governance. As a result, a new social governance pattern led by Party committees, implemented by government departments, based on consultation, coordination and broad participation, and underpinned by the rule of law and science and technology has been established. Efforts have been made to create a social governance community in which all participate and share.
– Steady progress in safeguarding and developing border areas
Efforts have been made to develop border areas and improve people's lives there. Xizang strives to build itself into a demonstration region for safeguarding, developing and bringing prosperity to border areas, with equal emphasis on stability and development. Plans and specific programs for developing villages and towns have been formulated. The measures for realizing moderate prosperity in all villages have been launched in line with the national strategy of rural revitalization. The region has improved infrastructure projects and public service facilities in border areas to ensure that people in farming and pastoral areas can find work near their homes. All these projects have contributed to reinforce the sense of the Chinese nation as one single community. Most villages and towns are enjoying improved infrastructure, flourishing businesses, better eco-environment, congenial living and working conditions, and economic prosperity and cultural development. Encouraged by notable improvement in their lives, the local residents are striving to become the conscientious guardians of the border areas and builders of happy homes.
V. Stronger Eco-Environmental Security Barrier
Xizang is one of China's important ecological barriers. Protecting the natural environment in Xizang will benefit the country and the people for thousands of years to come. In its efforts to become a national or even an international model in advancing eco-civilization, Xizang continues to prioritize eco-environmental conservation, follows a holistic approach to coordinating conservation and development, and pursues green and sustainable development. It will continue to deliver eco-environmental dividends while building a beautiful Xizang.
– Sound eco-environment
Orderly progress has been made in the development of eco-environmental function zones. Through proactive efforts, Changtang, Mount Qomolangma, Mount Kangrinboqe, Gaoligong Mountain and Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon have been included in China's Overall Plan of National Parks, and work to develop the system of nature reserves in Xizang has entered a new phase. Currently, there are 47 nature reserves of different types at all levels, which cover a total area of 412,200 square kilometers. According to the third national survey of territorial land, forests, grasslands, wetlands, water regions and other lands with stronger eco-environmental functions amount to 1.08 million square kilometers. The establishment of the Sanjiangyuan National Park (the section north of the Tanggula Mountain) has contributed to the protection and restoration of the river sources in China, such as the source areas of the Yangtze and Lancang rivers.
Biodiversity on the plateau has gradually improved. From 2016 to 2022, 8.32 million mu (554,666 hectares) of forests were planted in Xizang. It has achieved "double growth" in both forest and grassland vegetation coverage. There are 1,072 terrestrial wild vertebrate species in Xizang, including 65 species of wild animals under national Grade-I protection such as the snow leopard, wild yak, Tibetan antelope, black-necked crane and Yunnan golden snub-nosed monkey, and 152 species of wild animals under national Grade-II protection. Xizang has the largest population of large and medium-sized wild animal species in China. It has recorded 7,504 species of vascular plants; nine of these are under national Grade-I protection, including Cupressus gigantea and Taxus wallichiana, and 148 species are under national Grade-II protection. According to the second national survey on terrestrial animals and plants, the number of Tibetan antelopes increased from over 70,000 in the 1990s to over 300,000, wild yaks from under 10,000 to over 20,000, and black-necked cranes from under 3,000 to over 10,000. The Tibetan red deer, once considered extinct by the international community, has now come back, and its numbers have grown to over 800 from over 200 at the time of its rediscovery. Five new animal species such as the white-cheeked macaque, five new wildlife species in China, and one new wild plant species of Chaetoseris iyriformis Shif have been discovered.
The living environment continues to improve. Since 2016, the proportion of days with excellent or good air quality in Xizang has reached over 99 percent each year. The air quality in main towns and cities has, on the whole, remained excellent or good, and the concentrations of six pollutants in seven prefecture-level administrative units has reached the state Grade-II standards or above. The air quality in the Mount Qomolangma area continues to be rated as excellent or good, reaching the state Grade-I standards. In 2022, Lhasa ranked first among the 168 key cities in China in terms of air quality, and Nyingchi and Qamdo both enjoyed excellent air quality all year round. The major rivers and lakes report good water quality. The water quality of main streams of the Jinsha River, Yarlung Zangbo River, Lancang River and Nujiang River has reached Grade-II standards, that of the Lhasa River, Nyangchu River and Nyang River that run through major towns and cities reached Grade-II standards or above, that of the Rongpo River that originates from Mount Qomolangma reached Grade-I standards, and that of the Pangong Tso, Yamzho Yumco and Nam Co lakes reached Grade-III standards. The quality of the drinking water sources in prefecture-level cities has all reached the required standards. Thanks to its comprehensive control of soil pollution, the soil environment in Xizang is generally maintained in its original natural state and is safe in quality.
– Complementary eco-environmental protection and economic development
The green, low-carbon industry has grown in strength. Xizang has accelerated the building of a national clean energy base, and clean energy now makes up 90 percent of the installed power generation capacity. It has thus contributed to China's targets for peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality. Xizang has developed plateau green farming and animal husbandry, producing 1,014 different pollution-free, green or organic farm products or agro-products with geographical indications. Pagri yak and Yadong black fungus ranked among the Top 100 Farm Produce in China. Gyaca walnuts, Lhünze black highland barley, and Markam grapes have been listed as "pollution-free, green, organic farm products or agro-products with geographical indications", and are beginning to be recognized by more consumers.
Eco-environmental conservation has produced results. The Plan for Protection and Building of Ecological Security Barriers in Xizang (2008-2030) has been implemented. Greening projects for the basins of the Yarlung Zangbo, Nujiang, Lhasa, Nyangchu, Yalong and Shiquan rivers and for areas near residential houses, roads, farmlands and waters have been executed, with emphasis on eco-environmental restoration and green construction. During the construction of the Zam Hydropower Station on the Yarlung Zangbo River, a 2.6-kilometer-long fish migration channel was built, and fry breeding and release events were organized each year on a large scale. All these efforts have effectively secured the living and breeding conditions for rare plateau fish species. During the construction of the Lhasa-Xigaze Railway, fine tree species were selected to ensure the survival of turf and trees and efforts were made to stop and fix the sand dunes near the railway line. In addition, elevated passages were opened at major sections for the migration of wild animals. During the construction of the Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway, the largest winter habitat was well conserved for the black-necked cranes.
– New measures to accelerate eco-environmental progress
The autonomous region has continued to improve the eco-environmental governance system. A series of policies, regulations and statutes have been promulgated and implemented, including the Plan on Eco-environmental Protection and Sustainable Development on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Ecological Conservation on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and Regulations on Developing National Eco-civilization Model in the Xizang Autonomous Region. Xizang follows a holistic approach to the integrated conservation and systematic management of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, deserts and glaciers. A responsibility system has been introduced by which the responsibility for protecting rivers, lakes, forests and grasslands is assigned to specific persons with the title of chiefs. Since 2017, Xizang has enforced the strictest water resource administration system and established a "river/lake chief + procurator-general + police chief" coordinating mechanism, to strengthen the management of water bodies and shorelines, keep rivers and lakes healthy, and achieve their sustained utilization. A comprehensive system of forest chiefs has also been introduced across the region to establish a long-term mechanism for the protection and development of forest and grassland resources that addresses problems at source and covers the whole area. Under Party leadership, responsibilities are jointly assumed by local Party committees and governments supported by coordination of relevant departments. Cooperation with neighboring provinces and autonomous regions also has been reinforced in this regard. In 2020, Xizang signed a cooperation agreement with Qinghai and Yunnan provinces on establishing a joint prevention and control mechanism for water pollution emergencies in the upper and lower reaches of inter-provincial river basins. In 2021, it worked out an implementation document with Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps on establishing a cross-provincial cooperation mechanism for judicial eco-environmental protection of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and its surrounding areas, which will facilitate the coordinated protection of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Xizang has also improved the monitoring and performance assessment system and strengthened the auditing of leading officials on their management responsibilities for natural resources. Thirty-five procuratorial liaison offices have been set up in 11 national nature reserves to handle public-interest litigation related to eco-environmental protection and to strengthen the capacity for law enforcement.
Great progress has been registered in scientific surveys and technological breakthroughs. The central government has launched the second comprehensive scientific survey on water, the eco-environment, and human activities on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and conducted a thorough analysis of local environmental changes and their mechanisms. This has generated a number of original theories in international frontier fields of geoscience and life sciences and substantially increased knowledge about the plateau. It has also stepped up efforts to build platforms for scientific research on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and built the Xizang Branch of the National Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Data Center. Research results have provided technological support for protecting the plateau's eco-environment, addressing climate change, preventing and controlling natural disasters, and promoting green development.
Since 2012, the region has conducted research on core technologies and application demos in relation to climate change impact and biodiversity conservation, among others, and a number of innovative applications have emerged. Breakthroughs have been made in the treatment of degraded grassland vegetation – a key technology in research on restoring typical degraded plateau ecosystems. Ten new technologies, methods and techniques have been produced as a result. A demonstration project of a multi-dimensional network of the earth system for ecological conservation, restoration and governance was completed in Lhasa, providing a systematic plan for ecological conservation, restoration and governance. In order to optimize the national system of ecological security barriers and achieve the national goal of carbon neutrality, the region has taken systematic measures to protect and restore mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, deserts and glaciers, and investigated changes in the ecosystems of the Tibetan Plateau and its role as a carbon sink.
Xizang has established its first germplasm resource center and conserved 8,458 items of germplasm covering 2,047 species, a fundamental support to the protection of biodiversity. Researchers have worked out a system for utilizing solid waste and biomass on the plateau with low-carbon energy, which would reduce the costs of solid waste and biomass processing by 15 percent and environmental pollution by more than 75 percent. Research findings have been rolled out in neighboring provinces including Qinghai, generating an overall economic benefit of nearly RMB300 million.
– Eco-environmental dividends
Eco-environmental conservation mechanisms play an increasingly important role. Since 2018, more than RMB4.93 billion have been invested in the integrated protection and restoration of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, deserts and glaciers. An eco-environmental conservation and compensation mechanism has been put in place that covers forest, wetland, grassland, and water ecosystems. The amount paid for eco-environmental compensation in 2012 was RMB3.7 billion and it quickly increased to RMB16.1 billion in 2022.
Xizang has shifted its focus from poverty alleviation to bringing prosperity to local people through eco-environmental conservation. From 2016 to 2022, 537,700 eco-environmental conservation jobs were created on average each year, and a total of RMB12.64 billion was paid in eco-environmental compensation. The development of eco-environmental businesses and the carbon sink economy has helped local people find green jobs or start green businesses. By the end of 2022, the number of rural family hotels and homestays had reached 2,377, receiving 12.74 million visits and generating revenues of almost RMB1.59 billion. Some 64,000 farmers and herders worked directly or indirectly for the rural tourism business, leading to a per capita rise of more than RMB4,500 in income.
An eco-friendly lifestyle has become popular. A new plateau eco-culture has taken shape in which people pursue harmony between humanity and nature and value sustainable development. Nyingchi City has been recognized as a national-level forest city, and 11 cities/counties including the Bomi County in Nyingchi City, the Qonggyai County in Shannan City and Jomda County in Qamdo City have become national eco-civilization demonstration zones. Bayi District in Nyingchi, Lhünze County in Shannan and Dagdong Village of Liuwu New District in Lhasa have been listed as bases for implementing the eco-environmental philosophy that "Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets". Since 2016, thanks to the Research and Development of Key Technologies for Afforestation and Greening Model Demonstration Project in Nagqu Prefecture (now Nagqu City), the region has selected and cultivated some high-resistance tree species, such as Salix bangongensis, Salix cupularis, dragon spruce, and Hippophae gyantsensis, which have been planted on more than 200 mu (about 14 hectares) of land. It is no longer the case that no tree could ever survive in the harsh conditions of Nagqu. Many farmers and herders now plant and protect trees rather than cutting them down. These rich eco-environmental resources are becoming the "real estate for a happy life" that the local people can see and keep.
VI. Strengthening Democracy and the Rule of Law
To ensure that Xizang continues to achieve successful development, the rule of law must be upheld and socialist democracy strengthened across the board. Xizang has always been committed to the Party's leadership, the people's position as masters of the country, and law-based governance. Efforts have been made to ensure the effective implementation of the system of people's congresses, the system of CPC-led multi-party cooperation and political consultation, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of grassroots self-governance. Fresh progress has been made in strengthening the political development in the region, ensuring the right of all people of all ethnic groups to be masters of the region and the country. As a result, all undertakings have advanced in the region.
– Continuous progress in advancing socialist democracy
The strengths of the system of people's congresses have been given full play. Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, two elections have been held in Xizang to elect the regional people's congress, in which more than 90 percent of eligible voters have participated in the county and township-level direct elections, and the participation rate in some places has even reached as high as 100 percent. The institutional mechanism for deputies to the people's congresses to fulfill their duties with due diligence has further improved. The People's Congress of the Xizang Autonomous Region has established and implemented a dual-contact system in which members of its standing committee maintain direct contact with community-level deputies who in turn maintain direct contact with people in their constituencies. Dhawa, deputy from Naiyu Lhoba Township, Mainling City to the People's Congress of the Xizang Autonomous Region, believes that "as an elected deputy, one should do everything possible to serve the people." By coordinating the relevant departments, he has helped build greenhouses for relocated residents in Sangan of Qamdo, ensuring their access to fresh produce in winter. To date, Xizang has instituted 772 "homes of deputies to people's congresses", covering all cities/prefectures, counties/districts, and townships/towns/sub-districts in the region. Some villages have set up deputies' functional centers. These facilities enable deputies to perform their duties on a more regular basis in the intersessional period, which has helped regulate and institutionalize the dual-contact system.
The unique advantages of socialist consultative democracy have been further highlighted. Xizang has exercised consultative democracy throughout the process of socialist democracy. It gives full play to the role of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) as a major channel for consultative democracy and its committees as specialist consultative bodies. CPPCC members are encouraged to offer workable suggestions to address major issues related to economic and social development and resolve the people's immediate concerns. The CPPCC is open to representatives from all social sectors and ethnic groups, including those of religious circles, intellectuals who are not CPC members, and people from New Social Groups. There are 440 members on the 12th CPPCC Committee of the Xizang Autonomous Region, 59.3 percent of whom are not CPC members. CPPCC organizations have been established in all the 74 counties/districts in the region. There are more than 8,000 CPPCC members in the whole region; ethnic minority members account for 85.7 percent. Between 2013 and 2022, the CPPCC Committee of the Xizang Autonomous Region received a total of 4,356 proposals, all of which were processed with feedbacks. The CPPCC organizations have urged its members to earnestly perform their duties in political consultation, democratic supervision, and participation in the deliberation and administration of government affairs.
Democracy has been translated into extensive, pragmatic and vivid actions at the grassroots. Grassroots democracy in Xizang has been gradually enriched. The system of villagers' representative meetings has been established, and community residents' congresses or residents' committees have been instituted in urban areas, providing a satisfactory organizational guarantee for grassroots self-governance. In 2019, the Measures of the Xizang Autonomous Region for Transparency in Village Affairs was issued. So far, more than 90 percent of the villages in the region have set up "transparency" bulletin boards, to ensure the right of local people to be informed, to participate in the deliberation of village affairs and in the decision-making process, and to scrutinize the exercise of power.
In 2015, the Regulations of the Xizang Autonomous Region on Workers' Congresses (for Trial Implementation) were promulgated. There are now 8,821 trade unions in the whole region, with 607,000 members in total. Employees in enterprises and public institutions can fully exercise their democratic rights in the decision-making process regarding important matters that concern their immediate interests through democratic management systems such as workers' congresses.
– Full implementation of regional ethnic autonomy
More measures have been adopted to reinforce the system of regional ethnic autonomy. The regional autonomy system ensures the region's right to development in the political, economic, social, cultural and other fields. The People's Congress of the Xizang Autonomous Region and its Standing Committee have also formulated implementation measures for a number of national laws, which have become an important supplement to state legislation. Preferential financial policies have been introduced, such as policies to give the autonomous region the right to retain all its revenues, to receive increasingly higher subsidies from the central government, and to allocate funds earmarked for special projects. The Xizang Autonomous Region relies on its hard-working spirit while benefiting from the caring policies of the central government and support from other parts of the country. It makes judicious use of its own fiscal revenues. To keep pace with the times, Xizang fully implements the autonomy system, regularly updating specific measures and means to exercise autonomy.
The exercise of rights conferred by the Constitution and other laws is fully guaranteed. The offices of chairperson or vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of the Xizang Autonomous Region are occupied by Tibetans, as is the office of the governor of the Xizang Autonomous Region. A total of 89.2 percent of the 42,153 deputies to people's congresses at four levels in the autonomous region are from the Tibetan or other ethnic minorities. Of the 24 deputies of the Xizang delegation to the 14th NPC, 16 were from ethnic minorities, including ethnic groups with small populations such as the Monba people and the Lhoba people. There are 29 members of the CPPCC national committee from Xizang, 25 of whom are from ethnic minorities. The proportion of females among deputies to people's congresses at all levels or members of the CPPCC at all levels has risen considerably. Efforts have been intensified in the training and appointment of ethnic minority officials, which has significantly contributed to prosperity, stability, development, and progress in all respects in Xizang.
– Marked progress in the governance of Xizang in accordance with the law
Significant progress has been made in the development and improvement of the legal framework. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, guided by the strategy that stability in Xizang is paramount in the governance of the border areas and the country as a whole, the autonomous region has formulated and implemented a number of local regulations, government rules and other normative documents, establishing a complete and sound legal system. The region has endeavored to advance the rule of law in terms of both government administration and social governance, by introducing institutions, standards and procedures in the management of regional affairs. As of 2022, the People's Congress of the Xizang Autonomous Region and its Standing Committee had formulated and implemented 160 local regulations and statutory resolutions and decisions of a regulatory nature. They ensure that the rule of law contributes to maintaining stability, facilitating development, protecting the eco-environment, safeguarding the borders, and organizing other matters involving social governance and the people's wellbeing. The People's Congress of Xizang and its Standing Committee have focused on practical issues in light of local realities and features. Based on the region's important role as a national and ecological security shield, the congress has formulated and implemented Regulations on the Establishment of Model Areas for Ethnic Unity and Progress in the Xizang Autonomous Region and Regulations on Developing Ecological Highlands in the Xizang Autonomous Region. Starting from 2021, all the region's cities with subsidiary districts have been accorded local legislative powers. More local legislative bodies and the improved local legislative system have provided legal guarantees for stability and prosperity in Xizang.
Fresh progress has been made in law-based government. The business environment has been steadily improved. The Work Plan of the Xizang Autonomous Region for Building a Sound Administrative Environment and the Implementation Plan of the Xizang Autonomous Region for Promoting the Inter-Provincial E-Government in the Five Southwestern Provinces have been formulated and released. To keep the exercise of power under effective restraint and supervision, several local regulations, government rules and other normative documents have been formulated and released, including the Regulations of the Xizang Autonomous Region on the Supervision of Administrative Law Enforcement, the Regulations of the Xizang Autonomous Region on Discretion over Administrative Law Enforcement and Interim Regulations of the Xizang Autonomous Region on Major Administrative Decision-Making Procedures. Transparency in government affairs in accordance with the law has been promoted, with most government services available online now. These efforts have further optimized government services for the convenience of the people.
New breakthroughs have been made in the building of a law-based society. The General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued the Measures on Accelerating the Building of a Public Legal Service System, further boosting the public legal service system. All judicial administrative offices at the county level and above have launched public legal service entity platforms, gradually extending to the primary-level communities. In 2021 alone, legal aid institutions in the region provided consultation services to people on more than 27,300 occasions and accepted 7,626 legal aid cases, which helped legal aid recipients recover financial losses of RMB98.47 million. The Regulations of the Xizang Autonomous Region on the Awareness-raising and Education on the Rule of Law have been promulgated, and an extensive education campaign has been carried out to raise awareness of the Chinese socialist legal system with the Constitution at the core. Effective public education on the rule of law has been conducted in rural areas, at schools, and in religious facilities to create a culture of respect for the rule of law across Xizang. The region has carried out a vigorous project to encourage villagers to learn about the law, set up WeChat groups for legal services in rural areas, and provided legal advisers to all villages. A campaign to bring legal knowledge and services to the countryside has been executed, in which real-life cases have been used to explain and interpret laws. National pilot villages and communities for democracy and the rule of law have been established. Interpreting laws with vivid cases motivates more people to learn the law, respect it, abide by it, and apply it.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Xizang has experienced a period of unprecedented development and huge change, bringing more tangible benefits to the people. The social and economic progress of Xizang epitomizes the nation's outstanding achievements in development, created on the roof of the world through the Chinese path to modernization.
The region's achievements have proved that to ensure long-term stability and high-quality development in the region, the Party's guidelines on the governance of Xizang in the new era must be fully and thoroughly implemented. The region's development must serve to benefit ethnic unity and progress, to safeguard national unity and oppose separatism, and to improve people's lives and build social consensus, so that people of all ethnic groups in Xizang will have a greater sense of gain, fulfillment and security. To ensure long-term stability, prosperity and high-quality development in Xizang, the four main tasks of ensuring stability, facilitating development, protecting the eco-environment, and strengthening the borders must be successfully and effectively fulfilled.
The Report to the 20th CPC National Congress stated that the central task of the CPC is to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a modern socialist country in all respects, and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. This has set a new goal for Xizang, and will encourage the people of all the ethnic groups in the region to follow a Chinese approach to ethnic issues, and fully implement the Party's policies on the governance of Xizang in the new era, underpinned by a strong sense of the Chinese nation as one single community. Applying the new development philosophy in full, to the letter and in all fields, they will promote ethnic unity and progress on all fronts, and open a new and splendid era of long-term peace and stability and high-quality development in the region.