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Why can't Tibetan people enjoy modern civilization?
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10:22, September 04, 2007

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All kinds of cultures are exchanging and melting. Why can't Tibetan people enjoy modern civilization?

Some people enjoy the modern civilization including a higher living standard and various technological progresses themselves, but hope other people always live in closed and primitive status. They themselves sit in comfortable cars while hoping others still to ride donkeys; they live in modern houses but hope others to live in caves. This kind of psychology is not normal, nor healthy. Deng Xiaogang, Vice Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region made these arguments during a recent press conference on relations between Qinghai-Tibet Railway and the protection of Tibetan traditional culture.

Naqu Cargo Transportation Center will be built with an investment of 1.5 billion yuan (about 750 million US dollars). The project will be completed by October 2008. With a covering area of 8000 mu or 533 hectares, the center will include five functional areas including processing area, oil loading and unloading area and large amount raw material area.

Upon one year operation of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, Deng Xiaogang said the operation of the Railway has greatly improved the transport condition in Tibet and decreased cost, increased the capacity of goods supply and broken the bottleneck of transport which restricted the development in Tibet.

The goods transportation from and to Tibet has greatly increased and provided solid support for the fast development of Tibet.

It also provided a more secure and stable basis for sustainable development in Tibet. Since the beginning of the operation of the railway last July, a total of 2.6 million people and 13 million tons of goods have been transported and 660 thousand tons of goods have been transported into and out of Tibet, about 94 percent of it is into Tibet.

Being the largest operating geothermal power plant in China, Yangbajing geothermal power plant is situated in Dangxiong county, 90 kilometers northwestern Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. With an altitude of 4300 meters above sea level and an area of geothermal area of 17 square kilometers, the plant is the largest geothermal steam field in China. Since the operation of the railway, tourists to visit the power plant increased by 60% from last year.

Deng Xiaogang said the operation of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has accelerated the resource development and special industry's development in Tibet. It marks that Tibet has entered the era of "railway economy".

More people came to invest in Tibet and large number of people came to visit Tibet as tourists. From January to July this year, there have been 1.71 million tourists in Tibet, 74% more than the same period last year. Among them, about 94, 000 tourists are from abroad. The revenue from tourism has increased 78.1% from last year.

Deng Xiaogang said the operation of the railway also greatly promoted the opening up level in Tibet. A new pattern of opening up is being formed. The railway has strengthened the contacts between Tibet and surrounding countries and regions so that Tibet has become a front line of reform and opening up in southwestern China. During the first half of this year, the region's foreign trade volume increased by 60.4% from the same period of last year.

The railway has also promoted the exchange and melting between traditional Tibetan culture and other cultures as well as modern cultures so that Tibetan people have broaden their outlook and renewed their views. There are great changes in Tibet.

An actress with Niangre Folk Art Troupe, a self-organized non-professional art troupe performs. Its 66 artists are all herdsmen in the local area. With more and more tourists coming to Tibet after the railway's operation, the troupe has signed a lot of contracts of performance for various hotels, restaurants, recreational centers and tourist spots in Lhasa. They have performed 1200 times, twice as much as last year. In Tibet, there are 18 such kind of art troupes and 500 spare time performance teams and 160 Tibetan Opera Troupe.

From the present operation of the economy in Tibet, it has become obvious that the operation of the railway has promoted the sustained economic growth in Tibet. During the first half of this year, the total GDP growth reached 14.7%, 2.2% more than that of last year, 3.2 percentage point higher than the national average.
This also marks the highest growth over the past ten years. The past year experience proved that the railway line is the line of economy, unity, happiness and ecology for Tibetan people.

By People's Daily Online

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