Over the past 60-odd years, Tibet has finished a course of historical journey that would normally take several centuries or even a millennium for the human society to complete. It has written a spectacular chapter in the history of mankind. At present, Tibet presents a picture mixing traditional and modern elements, featuring economic and political progress, cultural prosperity, social harmony, sound ecosystem and a happy and healthy life for the local people. We may gain valuable enlightenment from Tibet’s extraordinary journey.
–Tibet’s development can’t be separated from the choosing of a right path. Over the past 60-odd years, by adhering to the path of socialism in the arms of the Chinese nation, the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet have become masters of their own country, society and fate, and Tibet has made the dramatic change from a place of poverty and backwardness to one of prosperity and civilization. Practice shows that only by adhering to the leadership of the CPC, the socialist system and the system of regional ethnic autonomy, can Tibetans become and remain the masters of their own affairs, and can the fundamental interests of the Tibetan people be safeguarded and developed. In the future, too, this path will remain essential to Tibet’s development.
–Tibet would not have this development and progress without the support of the Central Government and the assistance of the rest of the country. The superiority of China’s state system and the fine tradition of mutual help of the Chinese nation have given a strong impetus to the development of Tibet. The Central Government has always attached great importance to the development of Tibet, and the well-being of all ethnic groups in this autonomous region. It has mobilized the strength of the whole nation, made preferential policies, and provided enormous support in manpower, materials and funds to promote the development and progress of Tibet. From 1952 to 2012 the Central Government appropriated a total of 454.34 billion yuan to Tibet as financial subsidies, taking up 96 percent of the accumulated fiscal expenditures of the local government since it was founded. The Central Government has planned to complete 226 major projects in Tibet in the five years from 2011 to 2015 in sectors relating to the improvement of people’s well-being, infrastructure construction, industries with local characteristics and ecological environment, with a total investment of 193.1 billion yuan, 71.5 percent of which will come from the Central Government. After the Fifth Tibet Work Forum held by the Central Authorities in 2010, the Central Government approved the amount of aid funds to be provided to Tibet by 17 provincial and municipal governments involved in the paired-up support program for Tibet, based on one-thousandth of the fiscal revenue of each. And a mechanism has been established to ensure stable increase of the funds.
–Tibet’s development can’t be separated from the concerted efforts of all ethnic groups in Tibet. In the final analysis, credit should be given to the creative power of the people in Tibet. At all stages in the history of Tibet, relying on their wisdom and the awareness that they are the masters of their own affairs, people of all ethnic groups have destroyed the old and established the new, and brought about fundamental changes in the region, giving impetus to historical development.
–Tibet’s development can’t be separated from opening up and foreign cooperation. Isolation used to be the prerequisite for the feudal serfdom under theocracy that lasted several hundred years in old Tibet, hindering the development of this region. Over the past sixty years or more, however, Tibet has implemented opening up, enhanced exchanges and communications with the rest of China and other countries, and absorbed the achievements of other civilizations to enrich and improve itself.
The development and changes in Tibet are obvious to everyone. Any fair-minded person would be filled with amazement, and anyone who cares about Tibet will be pleased to see all this. However, a handful of people just turn a blind eye to the facts, and attack and deny Tibet’s development path and modernization drive that people of all ethnic groups strive for.
The 14th Dalai Lama and his clique in exile are conducting separatist activities for a long time to sabotage the development and stability of Tibet. After the failure of their armed rebellion in 1959, they fled abroad and began to harass China’s borders for years. In recent years, they have put forward the so-called concepts of “Greater Tibet” and “a high degree of autonomy,” which in fact go against China’s actual conditions, and violate the Constitution and relevant laws. Their true aim is to overthrow the socialist system and the system of regional ethnic autonomy that is practiced in Tibet, and rock the systemic foundations that have ensured the development and progress of Tibet.
There are some others in the world who intentionally distort the past and present of Tibet due to their ideological bias or out of consideration for their self-interests. They created a “Shangri-La” myth, wishing to keep Tibet in a backward primitive state forever. The development and progress of Tibet over the past 60 years or so has proved that the people in Tibet and the people of the rest of the world have equal right to enjoy the achievements of modern civilization, to improve the quality of life and to choose their own way of life.
At present, people of all ethnic groups in Tibet and in the rest of the country are making combined efforts in fighting for the great renewal of the Chinese nation. We have every reason to believe that, in the course of this, the Tibet Autonomous Region will have a better future.