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Tibet's anti-poverty feat points to institutional strength: article

(Xinhua)    14:19, March 28, 2020

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) -- China's Tibet Autonomous Region has basically eradicated absolute poverty, a feat that shows the institutional strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics, according to an article published Saturday.

Saturday marks the Serfs' Emancipation Day. Sixty-one years ago, more than 1 million people, or 90 percent of the region's population at that time, were liberated from the feudal serfdom.

By far, Tibet has taken all counties off the poverty list. "Without the right path, there is no way people can get rid of poverty," said the article by Ding Yong, a professor of Xizang Minzu University.

Before democratic reform in 1959, most Tibetans lived in an extremely poor and closed society. The average life expectancy was merely 35.5 years.

After the democratic reform, Tibet Autonomous Region was founded and took the socialist path under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. The region was completely freed of the shackles of feudal serfdom.

Tibet practices the socialist market economy, implements a new development concept, and pushes for high-quality growth. Its economic output has been substantially raised. Gross regional product has rocketed to over 160 billion yuan (22.7 billion U.S. dollars) last year from 129 million yuan in 1951. With modern transport, energy, telecommunications systems, Tibet embraces galloping economic development, the article said.

Giving full play to the role of the people, Tibet has seen improved productivity. Democratic reform abolished the bondage of serfs to the landowners. In accordance with the Constitution and laws, people of all ethnic groups in Tibet fully enjoy the right to vote and to stand for election, equally participate in the administration of state and local affairs, exercise autonomy over local affairs, and are masters of the country, society, and their own fate, the article said.

Tibet has steadfastly upheld ethnic unity and created social conditions for development. With over 40 ethnic groups living in the region, the region has strengthened the socialist ethnic relationship featuring equality, solidarity, mutual assistance and harmony.

The people-centered approach ensures that the local people share the fruits of development. In 2019, the per capita disposable income of urban residents was 37,410 yuan, and that of the rural people reached 12,951 yuan. The Tibetan people enjoy 15-year free education. An urban-rural medical service network has been established. The average life expectancy has risen to 70.6 years.

Meanwhile, flourishing culture has removed barriers for development in Tibet, the article said. In old Tibet, the people, who were creators of social material wealth, were deprived of almost all cultural rights.

Tibet has also vigorously developed cultural undertakings and industries, established a public cultural system covering both urban and rural areas, and ensured that the people's new expectations for culture are constantly met.

Mobilizing resources for major undertakings and forming combined strength to develop productivity are essential to Tibet's poverty reduction, the article said.

With the care of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the aid of the whole country, Tibet has accomplished many things that were wanted but did not get done, and solved many problems that were on the agenda but remained unsolved, injecting strong vitality into the region's development and progress, according to the author.

With an average altitude of more than 4,000 meters, Tibet has harsh natural conditions and is prone to natural disasters such as floods, gales, snowstorms and geological disasters, with low productivity levels in history. Separatist and sabotage activities plotted by the 14th Dalai Lama clique disturbed the region's development, the article said.

Under such natural, historical and social conditions, it would be impossible to lift all the population out of poverty without the guarantee of a superior social system, the article said.

"The abolition of feudal serfdom 61 years ago ushered in a new era in Tibet's history and was the starting point for it to overcome poverty. This is one of the reasons why we mark the emancipation of 1 million serfs," the article said.

The 14th Dalai Lama and his clique tried to deny democratic reform and reverse history, but the Tibetan people, who have grown rich, will disagree, it said.

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

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