BEIJING - The development of China's Tibet Autonomous Region has been constantly disturbed and damaged by secessionists, said a veteran Tibetan official here on Wednesday.
Ragdi, former vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, made the remark at a meeting of the Counseling Committee on Development of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
"Tibet is at the forefront of China's battleground with secessionists organized by the Dalai clique and supported by some hostile Western powers," said Ragdi.
He said the regional government has to prepare against social disturbance while addressing development issues in Tibet.
Repeated episodes of violence happened in Tibet between 1987 and 1988, after the 1959 failed rebellion to secede Tibet from the motherland.
"A riot would have occurred in Tibet sooner or later, if not in Lhasa," said Ragdi, referring to the violent riot that occurred on March 14.
At the meeting of the Counseling Committee on Development of the Tibet Autonomous Region, officials and experts considered that Tibet is at the prime time of development. The regional government should seek the golden opportunity to accelerate social and economic development, while maintaining stability.
The central government has planned to invest 77.8 billion yuan (10.23 billion U.S. dollars) in 180 projects in Tibet between 2006 and 2010 to improve local infrastructure and the living and production conditions for local farmers and herdsmen.
The funds used in Tibet's infrastructure construction and for its fiscal expenditure over the last 50 years have mainly allocated by the central government. Nine out of ten yuan spent by local finance of Tibet has come from China's central revenue, according to Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibetan regional government.