More government investment has poured into Tibet since the region's democratic reform was launched in 1959. Particularly since the reform and opening up, a great number of technical staff from all over the country came to the region, working shoulder to shoulder with local people, to build better homes and improve living conditions on the roof of the world.
PLA soldiers started construction of China’s longest and highest road in the Tibet Plateau in 1950s. Some 110,000 soldiers and workers of 20 different ethnic minorities built a 4,000-km road winding through the plateau 4,000 meters above the sea level. The road, dubbed as the economic artery for the region, has been repaired and maintained many times after democratic reform.
Road mileage in Tibet totals 48,000 km and 89.6 percent of villages and towns now have road access. So far a traffic network linking the neighboring provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjing Uygur Autonomous Region, Qinghai, and neighboring countries of India and Nepal have been created.
CPC Central Committee and central government have put in large amount of investments towards infrastructure in the region, setting many records in China. With a total investment of two billion yuan and installed capacity of 90,000 kw, the pumped storage power plant Yandrok Tso Lake is the largest water reservation project in Tibet. Now 2.1 million locals have access to electricity, accounting for 73 percent of total Tibetan population.
Tibet has long been though of as an “air exclusive zone”. However, China opened an airline route linking Lhasa with the other parts of the country in 1965. The airport has been refurbished many times, making it the highest modern airport in China.
Since reform and opening up, locals have made full use of the geothermal energy and built Yangbajing power station at the foot of Nyenchen Tanglha Mountian near Lhasa. It is China’s first and largest geothermal electricity generator and supplies power to the Tibetan capital and its surrounding areas. The Macala Coal Mine, the first coalmine in the region, can produce 30,000 tons of anthracite annually.
In recent years, more of China’s record achievements are created as the country puts more efforts in western development program and assistance projects. The Qinghai-Tibetan railway, the world’s highest and longest railway, was opened to traffic in 2006. The proven deposit of Yulong Copper Mine is round 6.5 million tons and the potential reserve over 100 million tons. China’s largest project of developing lithium from saline lakes has been set up and the technology of lithium recovery from salt lakes is among the world’s best.
So far the total capacity of various solar power plants in Tibet is around 9,000 kw and the capacity of solar photovoltaic electricity generation tops national level. Now, Chang Tang Nature Reserve replaces Mt. Qomolangma Nature Reserve to be the highest nature reserve on earth. Located some 5000 meters above the sea level, the nature reserve covers an area of some 240,000 square meters. After seven years of hard work, the numbers of endangered species such as Tibet antelope, Tibetan wild ass and wild yak have been greatly increased.
By People's Daily Online