LHASA - Vice-president Xi Jinping on Wednesday called on people from the religious circle in Tibet to "stay clear of" separatist forces.
Speaking to more than 100 monks during his visit to the Jokhang Temple, a key Tibetan Buddhism monastery in Lhasa, Xi said Tibet has been an inalienable part of China since ancient times and people from the religious circle have helped maintain social stability, national integrity and ethnic unity.
"The Party and the government will not forget your positive contributions," Xi said, urging them to carry on the patriotic spirit, stay in line with the Party and the government, and strive for Tibet's development and the improvement of the people's living standards.
Xi's remarks came a day after he addressed a mass rally in Lhasa to mark the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet and emphasized the fight against separatist activities led by the Dalai Lama group.
The vice-president also said on Wednesday that the "pairing-up" support program launched by the central government in 1994 reflects the superiority of the socialist system.
Xi made the remarks during a speech at a symposium on the program, in which the central government organizes officials, teachers, doctors and other specialists nationwide to support the economic and social development of Tibet.
"Since the 'pairing-up' support program was launched, related provinces, municipalities, central government departments and major State-owned enterprises have provided personnel, materials, and financial and technological support to Tibet, which have tremendously promoted Tibet's economic, social and cultural development," he said.
The program has enhanced exchanges and communication between people from inland provinces and people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, Xi added.
Xi said the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China and the regional government have led local people to make progress in all respects and safeguarded national unity, national security and ethnic unity.
He said that cadres who came from inland provinces to work in Tibet have made significant contributions to Tibet's reform, development and stability.
He stressed that the support program must be further adhered to and constantly improved.
"Safeguarding and improving people's livelihoods should always be the top priority in the "pairing-up" support program," Xi added.