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The real Tibet as seen by impartial visitors

China Daily | Updated: 2016-07-27 07:29

Editor's note: Over 130 scholars, officials and correspondents from more than 30 countries and regions attended the 2016 Forum on the Development of Tibet in Lhasa, which was hosted by the State Council Information Office and the regional government, on July 7. Following are excerpts from the comments made by some of the attendees:

Tibetan Buddhism has reached its prime, ushering in unprecedented opportunities and all the conditions needed to adapt to socialist society. These opportunities and conditions fall under six categories - social system, freedom of belief, integration of traditional Chinese and religious cultures, monastery management, religious content and cultivation of Tibetan Buddhist talents. Tibetan Buddhism must lay greater emphasis on talent cultivation and self-construction, for it can prosper only by adapting to socialist society.

Drukhang Tubdain Kaizhub, vice-president of Chinese people's political consultative conference in the Tibet autonomous region.

Tibet has become a gateway to the Belt and Road Initiative. As such, it should make the green concept and sustainable development its guiding principle to avoid the damage caused by the creative process. This would help build a green Tibetan autonomous region. During development, it is necessary to protect Tibet's environment not only through preservation of the ecology and eco-friendly growth, but also by protecting nature and biodiversity, in order to allow nature to flourish.

Leung In Sing, president of the Cultural Regeneration Research Society in Canada.

China has greatly improved education in Tibet. It has built hundreds of schools and successfully reduced illiteracy in the region, which helped raise the rate of children's enrollment in public schools to 98.8 percent in 2010.

Tibet is not the Shangri-La that prefers to preserve its traditional culture by opting for isolation in the age of globalization and the internet. Improved school education and professional training have opened up new vistas and offer new opportunities for Tibet's residents. Besides, a qualified graduation system with professional and linguistic capacities and the creation of enough jobs have increased the self-esteem of not only individuals but also the Tibetan ethnic group as a whole.

Markus Rudolph, a member of the Executive Committee for Foreign Affairs, Security, European and Development Policy, CDU Hamburg, Germany.

The narrative of the outside world is prejudiced when it comes to Tibet. But an unbiased study of the region shows how the fruits of economic development and modern civilization are changing the lives of Tibetans.

The region has realized double-digit growth for 21 consecutive years, with an average annual growth rate of 12.7 percent. The overall well-being of Tibetans can be gauged from the fact that the average life expectancy on the plateau has increased to 69-70 years.

In the early years of the liberation of Tibet, the maternal mortality rate was a shocking 5,000 per 100,000 cases. Today it is as low as 298. Similarly, the infant mortality rate has dropped from 430 to 24.53 per 1,000.

Nikhil Agarwal, a senior correspondent at the Kolkata Bureau of Press Trust of India.

Since Tibet has become an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative and lays greater stress on poverty alleviation, it is strongly suggested that the features of the region's cultural products be emphasized and the communication between cultural products and commercial demand be improved.

Moreover, special attention must be paid to make investment and financing more innovative and their promotion through new media in order to highlight Tibet's cultural products. This is a good way to make the cultural products' sector the pillar industry of Tibet, which will boost the soft power of Tibet and help its local ethnic culture play an important role in developing its cultural industry. It will also add vitality to Tibet's ethnic culture and enhance its economic and social development.

Zhao Ling, a professor at the Provincial Party School of Yunnan Province.

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