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'Son of Tibet' revels in plateau's bright future

(China Daily)    10:34, March 27, 2019

Thubten Khedrup (left) inspects a training program that teaches women sewing skills in Nepal in December, 2018. [Photo/China Daily]

A political adviser from the autonomous region has spent two decades helping to raise living standards. Qiang Lijing and Dronla report for Xinhua.

As a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the nation's top political advisory body, Thubten Khedrup has presented nearly 200 proposals at both the regional and national level.

He was elected as a regional political adviser from the Tibet autonomous region in 1998.

Talking about his many proposals, the 55-year-old Tibetan was proud to mention the selection of the Tibetan antelope as one of the five mascots of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

"I first presented the proposal in 2003 and submitted it again in 2004. Finally, I made it," he said. "To come up with the 1,000-word proposal, I consulted a dozen conservators and experts on the Tibetan antelope-a barometer of the environmental health of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau."

The adoption of the proposal not only made the rare species more widely known to the world, but also drew global attention to Tibet and the effect of global warming in the region.

Doctoral programs

Ten years after he submitted a proposal to launch a doctoral degree program in the region, three programs-offering doctorates focused on the regional economy, Tibet's environment and the Tibetan language-were opened at Tibet University in Lhasa, the regional capital, in 2013.

His proposals did not come from wild thinking in the office, but were based on the stories he heard from ordinary Tibetans and a large amount of data collected by his field research team.

To obtain the latest data on living conditions in Tibet, Thubten Khedrup has visited countless households, temples and monasteries in almost every county in the region.

He also submitted a proposal to the CPPCC calling for the greater promotion of Tibetan medicine. The proposal followed an auto accident in 2002 in which he almost lost his life.

After the accident, Thubten Khedrup was in a coma having sustained blood stasis, or blood stagnation, in his head. However, he miraculously regained consciousness after his mother gave him Tibetan medicine.

After five years' treatment with Tibetan medicine, he recovered and returned to work.

As a political adviser at the national level, he has observed the nation's development from the Tibetan perspective, and has come up with proposals that allow the region to learn from the experiences of other parts of China.

To write a proposal on how Tibet could woo tourists in the low winter season, Thubten Khedrup visited Hainan, China's southernmost province, and Harbin, the famous "ice city" in the northeast, to gain experience.


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