20 October 2021
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has presented 21 provinces, regions and municipalities of China to the world to date. While each of them was splendid in its unique way, today’s event will scale a new height and will be unsurpassable. What we are presenting here today is the Tibet Autonomous Region, a region with the highest altitude and known as the roof of the world. Together with Secretary Wang Junzheng and Acting Chairman Yan Jinhai, I welcome you to this majestic and beautiful snowy plateau to discover its past and present journey of rejuvenation and development, and get an in-depth glimpse of its amazing charm.
This year is significant for the development of Tibet. Seventy years ago, with the unremitting efforts of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Tibet achieved peaceful liberation, and embarked on the bright path of socialism straight from the dark and backward feudal serfdom, creating the political miracle of a “thousand-year leap”. Under the CPC leadership in the ensuing 70 years, all ethnic groups in Tibet have steadily fostered a strong sense of a community of the Chinese nation, forged ahead in unison and with the same goal in mind, and further created the development miracle of a “thousand-year leap”. This has brought about historic transformation in economic and social development as well as people’s livelihood in Tibet.
Tibet today is a successful epitome of China’s leapfrog development. Over the past seven decades, Tibet’s economic output has grown by more than 300 times. The per capita disposal income of rural residents has seen an over 400-fold increase. The average life expectancy has more than doubled from 35 years to 72 years. This year, the people in Tibet, together with all ethnic groups across the country, have started to enjoy a happy life of moderate prosperity in all respects as scheduled.
Tibet today is a vivid portrayal of China’s progress in democracy and human rights. People of all ethnic groups enjoy full and equal rights in the political, economic, social and other aspects. In Tibet, ethnic minorities account for as many as 90 percent of the members of various levels of People’s Congresses and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Freedom of religious belief and minority cultures are fully protected and steadily developing.
Tibet today is an important window of China’s opening-up and cooperation. From 2016 to 2020, Tibet received nearly 160 million visits by Chinese and foreign tourists. The China Tibet Tourism and Culture Expo, the Forum on the Development of Tibet, China, the Trans-Himalaya Forum for International Cooperation and other international conferences are growing with vigorous dynamism. The Belt and Road cooperation with China’s neighboring countries has produced fruitful outcomes.
General Secretary Xi Jinping made an inspection tour in Tibet last July on the occasion of celebrating the 70th anniversary of the peaceful liberation. He made it clear that we must fully implement the CPC guidelines for governing Tibet in the new era, and write a new chapter featuring long-term stability and high-quality development in this region of snow-capped mountains and plateau. An important mission of China’s diplomacy is to facilitate domestic development and promote opening-up of Chinese localities. The MFA will resolutely implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, provide more support for the opening-up and development of Tibet, and make greater contribution to building a prosperous, happy and beautiful Tibet.
We will continue to support Tibet in promoting economic and social development. The MFA will leverage its unique strength to help Tibet develop industries with its distinctive features and consolidate its gains in ending abject poverty. We will take more concrete steps to stabilize, strengthen and develop the border areas, and raise the people’s living standards, so as to increase the sense of fulfillment, happiness and security for people of all ethnic groups.
We will continue to support Tibet in expanding opening-up and cooperation. We will help Tibet deepen its Belt and Road cooperation with neighboring countries, support Tibet in hosting the China Tibet Tourism and Culture Expo and the Trans-Himalaya Forum for International Cooperation, and provide more international exposure for its ethnic cultures including Tibetology, Tibetan medicine and Tibetan pharmacy.
We will continue to support Tibet in becoming a pioneer in international ecological conservation. We will further promote Tibet’s engagement in international exchanges and cooperation on ecological conservation, present its achievements in building an ecological civilization and its contributions to the world, and support Tibet in establishing national demonstration areas of ecological civilization, so as to protect this sacred land that means so much to the whole humanity.
We will continue to support Tibet in maintaining security, stability and ethnic unity. We oppose all separatist attempts to undermine security or jeopardize stability in Tibet. All foreign friends with an unbiased and objective position are welcome to visit Tibet. But we will absolutely not accept any attacks or slanders against the development and progress of Tibet.
After seven decades of profound changes, Tibet has taken on a completely new look. Progressing from backwardness to development, from poverty to prosperity, and from isolation to openness, a new socialist Tibet brimming with vigor and vitality now stands tall in the vast land of China. The remarkable achievements of Tibet represent an inspiring chapter in China’s journey of national rejuvenation and an important testament to the uniquely Chinese path to modernization. China’s opening-up and development have always been closely linked to the world. We will, through our own development, continue to offer new opportunities and create new areas for world development. At the recent session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping solemnly put forward the Global Development Initiative. This is another major public good and cooperation platform that China provides to the international community. We look forward to working with all countries to deliver on the Initiative, to keep building a global community of development with a shared future, and to create a bright future of greater peace, stability and prosperity for the world.