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Look at Tibet growth without tainted glasses

Updated: 2015-02-09
By Yang Minghong ( China Daily )

The Human Rights Watch annual report misinterprets the Chinese government's supportive policies in the Tibet autonomous region as acts to pauperize the Tibetan people by making them dependent on State subsidies. In fact, those who prepared the report have deliberately overlooked that the Chinese government's program has improved public services, including medical care and elder care, and alleviated poverty and created jobs in the region.

Monks and nuns in the region used to rely on temples and donations for their medical expenses, and common people did not have enough money to receive even the basic medical treatment. But now a central government plan allows Tibetan farmers and herdsmen to pay 10 yuan ($1.6) each as annual medical insurance premium to receive medical treatment worth 340 yuan; the rate for urban residents is 60 yuan for 360 yuan worth of medical care.

Also, Tibetans can decide to become part of the medical insurance scheme in either their place of residence or place of birth, and the government will allocate more funds to provide them with better healthcare and bring more people under the medical insurance net.

Tibet is the first region in China where people were given a subsistence allowance. The amount of the allowance increased from 130 yuan in 1997 to 1,700 yuan in 2013, and the number of people receiving it rose from 2,348 to 49,920. By 2007, all villages in Tibet were covered by the scheme, with farmers and herdsmen, whose annual average income was less than 800 yuan, benefiting from it. By 2013, about 329,000 farmers and herdsmen, whose income was less than 1,750 yuan a year, were getting on average 440 yuan per head per month. And from 2012, monks and nuns with monthly income below 400 yuan have been getting 400 yuan a month as subsistence allowance.

China's social pension insurance scheme was also first implemented (in 1987) in Tibet. The region has more than 200,000 senior citizens, all of whom are covered by the urban and rural pension insurance schemes. From 2013, elderly people in urban areas have been getting 120 yuan a month as basic pension. And monks and nuns above 60 years of age have been receiving a similar amount as pension from 2012.

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