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Tibet priorities ecology over development projects

(Global Times)    09:09, March 11, 2017

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has suspended approval of mining projects amid a push to prioritize ecological preservation over economic development.

At a Friday press conference expounding on the development of Tibet on the sidelines of the two sessions, Losang Gyaltsan, chairman of the standing committee of the Tibet People's Congress, said environmental protection overrides development in Tibet.

"No mining projects have been approved throughout the period under two leaderships in Tibet … No matter how profitable a project is, if it causes pollution, the government would turn it down," Losang Gyaltsan told the press on Friday, adding that no polluting enterprise has been introduced into Tibet in the past four years.

Yun Dan, head of Tibet's department of forestry, told the press conference that the protection of endangered species in Tibet has been greatly strengthened.

He noted that the number of Tibetan antelope has risen from between 50,000 to 70,000 in 1995 to over 200,000 today.

The demand for the fur of Tibetan antelope, which is used to make the luxury shahtoosh shawls, has almost driven the animal to the brink of extinction.

Fifteen National People's Congress (NPC) deputies from Tibet attended Friday's press conference. Qi Zhala, chairman of Tibet, and Guo Guo, the mayor of Lhasa, the region's capital, also attended the meeting.

Wu Yingjie, the Party chief of Tibet, said at the meeting that Tibet is open to all media outlets when a US reporter asked him whether Tibet would lift its travel restrictions on foreign press and if so, when.

Tibet is open to foreign journalists so long as they report on the autonomous region in an objective and fair manner, Wu said, adding that the region welcomes journalists to report on the good life of the local people, ethnic solidarity and religious harmony.

Meanwhile, a report released by the Tibetan government on Friday hailed social stability and religious harmony in the region, citing over 1,700 ethnic and religious activities held there in a peaceful and orderly manner, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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