"Morale-building is of utmost importance in the maintenance of stability. Some people are still ignorant about Tibet. In fact, the masses in Tibet are positive about and supportive work of the Party and the government." Qiangba Puncog an NPC deputy and Chairman of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said in an interview with China Youth Daily on March 5.
At present, with the support of the Party and the government, local governments in Tibet are exerting more effort to deal with issues concerning people in agricultural and pastoral areas. These include water supply, power supply, road repair, house renovation and "free food, free board and free education" for children, with the aim of maintaining stability, continuing growth and expanding domestic consumption.
Qiangba Puncog noted, "The farmers and herdsmen enjoy many kinds of subsidies, which is more than that of any other region in China."
Since the "3.14" incident last year, the economic recovery of Tibet has been affecting the hearts of Chinese people. All provinces (including autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) have done their utmost to offer their assistance to economic construction in Tibet.
At the end of 2008, the financial crisis that swept the world imposed new pressures on Chinese economic development. Under the circumstances, some people suspected that support of construction in Tibet would be lessened.
"In the short term, the economic crisis has yet to bottom out. However, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will continue to support the development of Tibet, together with other relevant departments of State Council."
While attending the panel discussion of the Tibetan delegation to the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress Du Ying, Vice-Minister of the NDRC, said, that in accordance with the Plans for Ecological Environment Protection and Construction in Tibet for the coming 21 years, the State will invest 15 billion yuan for the protection of the ecological environment in Tibet.
Qiangba Puncog disclosed that, Tibet has reached a consensus with the State Grid Corporation of China, to jointly build the "Qinghai-Tibet Power Expressway" on the basis of consideration for environmental protection.
He said, the Qinghai-Tibet power grid will not only solve issues of electricity supply for farmers and herdsmen on border areas in Tibet, it will also make the best use of particular advantages Tibet has in resources to supply other parts of China with extra electricity.
During the panel discussion held by the Tibetan delegation on the afternoon of March 5, Dawa Tashi, NPC deputy and commissioner for the Administrative Office of the Ngari Prefecture, provided some figures: In 1978, annual per capita income in the Ngari Prefecture was 140 yuan, but last year it reached 2,770 yuan. In 1978, gross retail sales totaled 7 million yuan, and last year it reached over 300 million yuan. In the past, it took at least 10 days to travel from Ngari to Lhasa, now it takes only two days by train, and it will take only two hours when a flight opens next year. Readers in Ngari used to receive newspapers one month after the publishing date, now they can browse daily newspapers directly online.
During the interview, Qiangba Puncog expressed full confidence in the overall stability of today's Tibet and its future. "The situation in Tibet is stable and there will not be any major unrest. Violent incidents might hinder our development in the short term, but in the long run, these incidents will not affect Tibet's development."
By People's Daily Online