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Tibet striving to narrow income gap - local official
( 2003-10-29 09:16) (Xinhua)

The Tibetan local government is striving to enrich farmers and herdsmen in order to narrow the income gap of its residents, a top local legislator told a visiting US diplomat here Tuesday.

Legqog, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Congress, made the remark while meeting with Jehrey Moon, new US consul general to Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province which neighbors Tibet.

The gross domestic product of Tibet reached 15.9 billion yuan ( 1.92 billion US dollars) in 2002, Legqog said, adding the average income of urban residents and farmers or herdsmen hit 7,762 yuan and 1,521 yuan respectively.

"There is still a big income gap, but the region's authorities are striving to enrich the farmers and herdsmen," Legqog said.

The 117 key projects in Tibet laid out by the central government have made major progress and Tibet is developing fast, Legqog said, adding that it was a remarkable change compared with its past history.

Moon, who visited Tibet in 1984, said that he witnessed the great steps forward Tibet has made under the leadership of the central government.

The US official said he hopes the United States and China could enhance exchanges and cooperation.

The two sides also exchanged views on economic and religious issues and the preservation of traditional culture.

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