《西藏的发展与进步》白皮书(中英文)

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《西藏的发展与进步》白皮书(中英文)
 
西藏的发展与进步
(2013年10月)
中华人民共和国国务院新闻办公室
 
  目 录
 
  前 言
 
  一、西藏发展进步是历史的必然
 
  二、经济发展与民生改善
 
  三、政治进步与人民当家作主
 
  四、文化保护和宗教信仰自由
 
  五、社会变迁与各项事业的发展
 
  六、环境保护与生态文明建设
 
  结束语
 
  前 言
 
  西藏,位于青藏高原南半部,地处中国的西南边疆,是中华人民共和国的一个自治区。
 
  西藏自古以来就是中国的一部分。20世纪50年代之前,西藏处于政教合一的封建农奴制统治之下,神权至上,官家、贵族、寺院三位一体,牢牢控制着西藏的资源和财富,人民灾难深重,毫无自由可言。那时的西藏社会如同欧洲中世纪一样黑暗、落后。
 
  西藏步入现代文明始于1949年中华人民共和国的建立。历经和平解放、民主改革、自治区成立、改革开放等重要历史发展阶段,西藏走上了与全国一道快速发展的轨道。经过半个多世纪的发展,今天的西藏与20世纪50年代以前相比有着天壤之别。西藏人民获得了自由、平等和尊严,充分享受着现代文明成果,正为建设团结、民主、富裕、文明、和谐的社会主义新西藏而团结奋斗。
 
  西藏的发展与进步,符合人类社会发展规律,符合西藏各族人民的共同愿望,是中国全面发展进步的必然结果。西藏的发展与进步,是人类社会追求正义与幸福的进取精神和创造能力的胜利,是历史的必然。
 
  一、西藏发展进步是历史的必然
 
  当代西藏的发展进步,内生于自身特殊的社会历史逻辑,植根于中国国家的发展进步迈向,并与世界现代文明发展相适应。1959年之前,西藏的社会形态是典型的政教合一的封建农奴制度,西藏的发展进步正是在封建农奴制的废墟上发端的。
 
  1959年之前的西藏社会
 
  对1959年之前的西藏社会状况,人们曾有过许多描述,这里仅做部分节选,从中可略窥旧西藏黑暗、落后之一斑。
 
  原英国《每日邮报》驻印度记者埃德蒙.坎德勒在1905年出版的《拉萨真面目》中写道:
 
  旧西藏“具有中世纪的性质”,“实行的是封建制度”。“喇嘛是太上皇,农奴是他们的奴隶”。“人民还停留在中世纪的年代,不仅仅是他们的政体、宗教方面,在他们的严厉惩罚、巫术、灵童转世以及要经受烈火与沸油的折磨方面是如此,而且在他们日常生活的所有方面也都不例外”。“藏人如牛似马地劳累,而赢来的却是为数甚微的生活必需品”。拉萨“这座城市脏得无法形容,没有下水道,路面也没有铺砌石块。没有一栋房子看上去清洁干净或经常有人打扫。下雨之后,街道就成了一洼洼的死水塘,猪狗则跑到这些地方来寻找废物渣滓”。
 
  英国藏学家查尔斯.贝尔在20世纪40年代撰写的《十三世达赖喇嘛传》中写道:
 
  “西藏的刑法是严厉的。除了罚款和监禁外,鞭笞也是常事。在审判过程中,受到鞭打的不仅是被判有罪的人,而且还有被告甚至见证人。对严重违法者,既使用颈枷也使用手铐。颈枷是戴在脖子上的一块沉重的方木块。对杀人犯和惯偷惯盗,则使用铁质脚镣。对很严重的罪或屡次犯罪,诸如谋杀、暴力抢劫、惯偷或严重的伪造罪等,则要剁手(齐手腕),割鼻,甚至挖眼睛。而挖眼睛又多半用于某些政治上的滔天大罪。往昔那些犯有谋杀罪的人被装进皮口袋,缝起来,给扔进河里”。
 
  加拿大藏学家谭.戈伦夫在1987年出版的《现代西藏的诞生》中写道:
 
  “过去统治西藏的是一种异乎寻常的封建的神权政治。……封建庄园主则垄断了处理所有地方事务的权力”。“绝大多数西藏人都是农奴”。“农奴被‘拴在’他们主人的手中。……他们毫无权利,即使要走进寺院,要结婚,也要征得主人的同意。如果分属于不同领主的两个农奴结了婚,所生男孩要归父亲的领主;如果是女孩,要归母亲的领主。要想离开庄园,哪怕是一小会儿,也要得到领主许可才行。如果想出门远行,朝拜寺庙或想做一点小买卖,都需要得到领主的同意”。“在西藏历史上,变换阶级成分的可能性很小。对大多数农奴来说,他们不得不接受出生时的农奴地位”。“没有证据证明西藏是一个乌托邦理想的世外桃源”。
 
  曾在1949年之前担任过当时中国政府蒙藏委员会驻藏办事处官员的沈宗濂和柳陞祺在1953年出版的《西藏与西藏人》中写道:
 
  “操纵拉萨政权的人物只来自不足一百家贵族中的上层和同等规模的僧侣集团。在他们看来,广大西藏人民不过是‘砍柴挑水的苦力’。这些特权人物生活在一种封闭状态,隔绝于世界潮流之外,忽视西藏社会蕴藏着的巨大力量,仍流连在一个僧侣、封建的独裁统治的残阳夕照之下,他们恰恰是因为西藏百姓的无知和对政治的冷漠才得以存在的。但历史必将加速前进,这个特权阶级必然在快速变革的世界中土崩瓦解”。
 
  几百年来,由于保守落后的农奴制,加之封闭的地理环境,西藏社会发展处于凝滞状态。至20世纪中叶,在人类向现代文明大步前进之际,西藏依然远远隔绝于世界潮流之外。
 
  西藏发展进步的历程
 
  藏地方政府签订《关于和平解放西藏办法的协议》,西藏实现和平解放,从此迈上与全国人民同发展共进步的历史轨道。
 
  1959年是西藏历史发展的分水岭。这一年,西藏地方反动上层发动的旨在维护封建农奴制的武装叛乱失败,中央政府发布命令解散西藏地方政府,西藏各族人民发起民主改革运动,一举推翻延续几百年的政教合一的封建农奴制度,开启了西藏历史上最为广泛、最为深刻、最具进步意义的社会变革。民主改革,百万农奴翻身解放,在西藏历史上首次实现人人平等、自由的基本人权,为日后的发展进步奠定了经济、政治和社会基础。
 
  1965年,西藏自治区成立,人民代表大会制度、民族区域自治制度等在西藏最终确立,西藏社会制度实现了从政教合一的封建农奴制度向人民当家作主的社会主义制度的跨越。伴随新型政治制度的建立和民主政治观念的传播,西藏百万农奴和旧时封建贵族等都成为享有平等权利的现代公民,行使平等参与国家事务管理和自主管理本民族本地区事务的政治权利,极大调动了人民创造美好生活的积极性和创造性。
 
  1978年以后,西藏和全国一道进入改革开放和现代化建设新时期,经济社会发展呈现新局面。中央政府提出加快西藏发展、在中国四个现代化建设中走进前列的目标,并根据西藏实际,制定了新时期西藏工作的指导思想和特殊优惠政策,大力支援西藏建设,有力推进了西藏的发展进步。
 
  进入21世纪,西藏的发展进步驶入历史快车道。2010年1月,中央召开第五次西藏工作座谈会,会议提出西藏下一步发展的目标,即到2015年,保持经济跨越式发展势头,农牧民人均纯收入与全国平均水平的差距显著缩小,基本公共服务能力显著提高,生态环境进一步改善,基础设施建设取得重大进展,各民族团结和谐,社会持续稳定,全面建设小康社会的基础更加扎实;到2020年,农牧民人均纯收入接近全国平均水平,人民生活水平全面提升,基本公共服务能力接近全国平均水平,基础设施条件全面改善,生态安全屏障建设取得明显成效,自我发展能力明显增强,社会更加和谐稳定,确保实现全面建设小康社会的奋斗目标。西藏迎来更美好的发展前景。
 
  西藏发展进步是人类正义的胜利
 
  ——西藏的发展进步符合人类社会的发展规律。由传统的农牧业经济到现代市场经济,由政教合一到政教分离,由专制到民主,由迷信到科学,由封闭到开放,是人类社会普遍的发展规律。西藏60多年的发展正是遵循了这个规律和总趋势。目前,尽管西藏的总体发展水平与全国其他省区市还有一定差距,但已经拉近了距离,大体上实现了同步发展。从人类大历史的角度观察,西藏在短短几十年时间里由封建农奴制社会一跃跨入现代文明社会,创造了一个地区现代化发展的典范。
 
  ——西藏的发展进步是中国发展进步的必然结果。西藏的命运始终与祖国的命运紧密相连。近代以后,中国社会面临整体性的现代化转型,西藏作为中国不可分割的一部分,同样遵循中国社会变革的大逻辑。在西藏和平解放过程中,中国共产党领导人毛泽东即提出把旧西藏“改造为人民民主的西藏”的重大命题。60多年来,西藏发生的前所未有的深刻变化,正是在全国政治制度、经济制度、社会制度、文化制度等建立和发展的大背景下实现的。
 
  ——西藏的发展进步符合西藏各族人民的根本利益。西藏的发展进步是西藏人民的事业。60多年来,西藏的发展进步始终以人民根本利益为依归,表现为社会的发展进步与个人的发展完善的内在统一,通过推动社会发展进步不断创造更加丰富的社会财富,努力满足人民日益增长的物质和精神文化需要。西藏的发展进步实质是人的发展和人民主体性的实现,是尊重和保障人权的一次伟大实践。西藏的发展表现为人民不断获得自由和解放的过程,表现为从以神为本到以人为本的转变,是人民摆脱宗教神权奴役、追求做人尊严和价值的胜利。西藏人民是西藏发展进步的最大受益者。
 
  二、经济发展与民生改善
 
  发展经济是确保西藏各族人民的基本权利,特别是生存权和发展权的重要途径。西藏现代经济的建立和发展,为各项事业的发展奠定了坚实的物质基础。
 
  经济发展使人民生活水平不断提高
 
  和平解放后,中央政府把帮助西藏发展经济、提高人民生活水平、改变贫穷落后面貌放在首位,制定了一系列特殊优惠政策,推动经济建设取得巨大成就。目前,西藏已初步建立起较为完善的社会主义市场经济,实现了经济总量的历史飞跃,并持续保持较快的经济发展势头。西藏地区生产总值由1951年的1.29亿元增加到2012年的701亿元,年均增长8.5%,人均生产总值达到2.29万元。1994年以来,西藏地区生产总值连续19年实现两位数以上增长,年均增速12.7%。
 
  人民生活不断改善,生活质量不断提高。2012年,全区农牧民人均纯收入达到5719元,连续10年保持两位数以上的增长,城镇居民人均可支配收入达到18028元。2006年以来实施的以安居工程为突破口的社会主义新农村建设,惠及广大农牧民。截至2012年底,全区累计建成40.83万户安居房,占农牧民总户数的88.7%。2013年底前,所有农牧民将住进安全适用的房屋。2012年,西藏农牧民人均居住面积为28.77平方米,城镇居民人均居住面积为36.14平方米。水、电、路、讯、气、广播电视、邮政等农村综合配套设施建设逐步完善,乡镇通邮率、乡镇通公路率和行政村通公路率分别达到90%、99.7%、94.2%。累计解决193万农牧民的安全饮水问题,15万户农牧民用上了清洁的沼气能源,农牧区碘盐覆盖率达到95%以上。
 
  随着人民生活逐步富裕,消费结构开始多样化,冰箱、彩电、电话、电脑、洗衣机、摩托车、手机等消费品进入了寻常百姓家。2012年,西藏城镇每百户居民中拥有汽车、摩托车分别为27辆和16辆,冰箱、彩电、电脑、洗衣机分别为86台、129台、63台、88台。在国家统计局、中国邮政集团公司和中央电视台联合举办的“CCTV经济生活大调查”中,拉萨市连续5年被评为中国幸福指数最高的城市。
 
  坚持绿色发展和可持续发展
 
  旧西藏只有农牧业和手工业,且处于十分落后的自然经济状态。经过西藏各族人民的不懈努力,已经建立起具有西藏特点的现代经济体系。西藏坚持以人为本的理念,重视绿色发展和可持续发展,严格限制高能耗、高污染、高排放行业发展,把经济社会发展与环境保护统一起来,切实保护西藏各族人民的长远利益。
 
  农牧业是西藏的传统产业,也是基础产业。多年来,西藏农牧区实行休养生息政策,通过下放生产经营自主权、免征农业税、增加投入、增加科技含量以及加快推进综合生产能力等措施,使农牧业实现了全面持续发展。近年来,粮食总产量保持在90万吨以上。积极打造高原特色农产品基地,第一产业增加值由1959年的1.28亿元增加到2012年的80.38亿元,年均增长4.7%。
 
  旧西藏没有现代工业。通过60多年的发展,西藏的现代工业从无到有,从小到大,逐步发展起来。如今,已建立起一个包括能源、轻工、纺织、机械、采矿、建材、化工、食品加工、民族手工业、藏医药等20多个门类的现代工业体系。工业总产值从1956年的0.014亿元增加到2012年的105.91亿元。特色优势产业不断发展壮大,第三产业发展迅速。2012年接待国内外游客1058.4万人次,其中境外游客19.49万人次,旅游总收入达到126.5亿元。2012年三次产业结构为11.5∶34.6∶53.9。
 
  现代化和城镇化不断提高人们的生活质量
 
  旧西藏没有一条现代意义上的公路,现在以公路、航空、铁路、管道运输建设为重点的综合交通运输体系逐步完善。2012年,西藏次高级以上路面里程达到8896公里,公路通车里程达到6.52万公里,基本实现县县通公路、乡乡通公路,其中62个县通油路。2006年,青藏铁路建成通车,结束了西藏不通铁路的历史。拉萨至日喀则铁路预计2014年建成通车。2011年,西藏第一条高速公路拉萨至贡嘎机场专用公路建成通车。截至2012年底,西藏已建成通航机场5个,9家航空公司在藏运营,开通国内航线34条,初步形成了以拉萨贡嘎机场为干线,以昌都邦达、林芝米林、阿里昆莎、日喀则和平机场为支线的机场布局。和平解放前,西藏仅有一座125千瓦、只供少数上层贵族享受的小电站,而今西藏电力发展迅速,以水电为主,地热、风能、太阳能等多能互补的新型能源体系全面建成。2012年,西藏电力装机总容量达到123万千瓦,用电人口覆盖率达到100%。拉萨市城市供暖试点工程开通运行,2012年底实现40%的供暖目标。旧西藏人背畜驮、驿站式传递的落后状态已彻底改变。目前,已经建成遍布全区的光缆、卫星和长途电话网,全区县以上基本实现3G通信技术全覆盖,基本实现乡乡通宽带、村村通电话。2012年,电话用户数达到276万户,普及率为91部/百人;互联网用户数达到147万户,普及率为33.3%。
 
  城镇化使西藏各族人民更多分享现代文明发展带来的成果。和平解放前,西藏只有少量人口居住点,城镇只有拉萨、昌都、日喀则等少数地方,拉萨城区不足3平方公里。近年来,西藏坚持走集约、智能、绿色、低碳的新型城镇化道路,加快构建以拉萨市为中心,以地区所在地为支点,以县城、边境城镇、特色文化旅游城镇为网络的城镇体系,提高产业和人口集聚能力。2012年,西藏设有两个市和140个建制镇,城镇化率达22.75%。
 
  对外开放加快了西藏的发展
 
  改革开放30多年来,西藏通过深化改革和扩大开放积极推动全区商业、对外贸易和旅游产业加快发展,不仅增强了与内地的交流,同时也加强了与世界的联系和合作。1993年,西藏与全国一道开始建立“框架一致、体制衔接”的社会主义市场经济体制,深化物资、粮食、日用消费品等领域价格流通改革并全面进入市场。目前,西藏已经深深融入全国统一的市场体系,来自全国和世界各地的商品源源不断地进入西藏,丰富着城乡市场和百姓生活。西藏的名、优、特产品及民族手工业产品,大量进入全国市场。
 
  西藏与世界的经济联系日益密切。2012年,全区进出口总额为34.24亿美元,是1953年0.04亿美元的850多倍,年均增长12.1%。截至2012年底,西藏实际利用外资4.7亿美元。西藏立足区位优势,加强与印度、尼泊尔等周边国家的友好合作,实施面向南亚的陆路贸易大通道建设,建设吉隆、樟木、亚东、普兰和日屋口岸,大力发展边境贸易。
 
  三、政治进步与人民当家作主
 
  经过民主改革和实行民族区域自治,西藏彻底摆脱了政教合一的封建农奴制度,建立起人民代表大会制度和民族区域自治制度,西藏各族人民真正成为国家、社会和自己命运的主人。随着中国社会主义民主政治的发展和完善,西藏的民主制度不断健全,民主形式日益丰富,有序政治参与渠道不断扩大。
 
  确立了人民代表大会制度
 
  人民代表大会制度是中国人民当家作主的根本政治制度。在中国,人民通过全国人民代表大会和地方各级人民代表大会行使国家权力。1965年9月,西藏自治区第一届人民代表大会第一次会议在拉萨召开,人民代表大会制度从此在西藏正式确立。在西藏,自治区行政机关、审判机关、检察机关都由自治区人民代表大会产生,对它负责,受它监督。自治区重大事项由区人民代表大会决定。自治区行政机关负责执行区人民代表大会通过的法规、条例、决议、决定。通过各级人大代表,西藏各族人民行使管理国家事务和地区事务的权利。在今天的西藏,凡年满18周岁的公民,不分性别、职业、家庭出身、民族、宗教信仰、受教育程度、财产状况和居住期限,都依法享有选举权和被选举权。西藏各族人民直接选举县(区)、乡(镇)人民代表大会的代表,这些代表又选举出自治区人民代表大会和出席全国人大会议的代表。西藏的门巴、珞巴等人口较少民族在全国人大及西藏各级人大中均有自己的代表。在自治区、地(市)、县(区)、乡(镇)四级人大换届选举中,参选率不断提高。在2012年四级人大换届选举中,参选率达94%以上。
 
  藏族和其他少数民族的人大代表始终在全区各级人大代表中占有绝对多数。2012年经过直接和间接选举产生的34244名四级人大代表中,藏族和其他少数民族代表31901名,占93%以上,门巴族、珞巴族、纳西族、回族、壮族等均有自己的代表。目前,在全国人大代表中,西藏自治区有20名代表,其中12名为藏族公民,门巴族、珞巴族公民各1名。自治区十届人大常委会组成人员44名,其中藏族和其他少数民族25名,常委会主任、副主任14名,其中藏族和其他少数民族8名。妇女的社会地位明显提高。西藏自治区人民代表大会中的妇女代表占代表总数的25.4%,各级政府公务员中妇女占34.49%。
 
  建立了政治协商制度
 
  多党合作和政治协商制度是中国的一项基本政治制度。社会主义协商民主是中国人民民主的重要形式。1959年12月20日,中国人民政治协商会议第一届西藏委员会第一次会议在拉萨召开,宣告政协西藏委员会成立。从此,中国共产党领导的多党合作和政治协商制度在西藏确立,为西藏各阶层、各界人士都能在政治生活中充分表达意见和发挥作用提供了保障。西藏自治区党委和政府通过人民政协就经济社会发展中的重大问题和涉及群众切身利益的实际问题广泛协商,广集民智,把政治协商纳入决策程序。西藏自治区政协广泛吸收西藏各界、各族人士参加,注重和体现委员人选的广泛性和代表性。各级政协委员广泛团结各人民团体和各族各界人士,认真履行政治协商、民主监督、参政议政职能,深入调查研究、建言献策,是推进西藏建设的重要力量,为促进西藏经济发展和社会进步作出了重大贡献。目前,西藏共有全国政协委员29名,其中藏族和其他少数民族26名。2008年至2012年,中国人民政治协商会议第十届西藏自治区委员会共收到提案1507件,并已全部办复。
 
  实行了民族区域自治制度
 
  在少数民族聚居地方实行民族区域自治,是中国的一项基本政治制度,也是中国解决国内民族问题的基本政策。西藏各族人民除了享有宪法和法律规定的普遍性的政治权利,还享有民族区域自治的特殊性的政治权利。按照《中华人民共和国宪法》和《中华人民共和国民族区域自治法》的规定,西藏自治区享有广泛的自治权利,包括立法权、对国家有关法律的变通执行权、使用民族语言文字的权利、人事管理权、财政管理权和自主发展文化教育权等。
 
  西藏自治区自1965年成立以来,自治区人民代表大会及其常委会先后制定了290多部地方性法规和具有法规性质的决议、决定,对多项全国性法律制定了适合西藏特点的实施办法。例如,西藏自治区分别于1981年和2004年制定变通条例,将《中华人民共和国婚姻法》规定的男女法定婚龄分别降低两岁,并规定对执行变通条例之前已经形成的一妻多夫和一夫多妻婚姻关系,凡不主动提出解除婚姻关系者,准予维持。再如,在执行全国性法定假日的基础上,西藏自治区还将“藏历新年”、“雪顿节”等西藏传统节日列入自治区的节假日。在全区干部队伍中,藏族及其他少数民族占70.53%,其中县乡两级领导班子中,藏族和其他少数民族占73.03%。西藏自治区成立以来,历届人民代表大会常务委员会主任和人民政府主席由藏族公民担任。民族区域自治制度在西藏的贯彻实施,使西藏各族人民的政治、经济、社会、文化等各项权利得到可靠的保障。
 
  扩大了城乡基层民主
 
  在中国,基层民主是人民当家作主的一种有效形式,是扩大公民政治参与的重要途径。经过多年探索,西藏逐步发展形成了具有中国特色、西藏特点的农牧区基层民主制度。在西藏,村民自治制度与民族区域自治制度相结合,推动了基层民主建设制度化、规范化,保障了基层群众参政议政的权利,调动了基层群众政治参与的积极性。1959年7月5日,山南地区克松村的443位农民成立了西藏第一个农民协会,标志着西藏基层民主建设的开端。1993年,颁布《西藏自治区实施〈中华人民共和国村民委员会组织法(试行)〉办法》,全区村委会选举步入规范化轨道。目前,西藏95%以上的村建立了村民代表会议制度,并不断健全以村规民约、村民自治章程为主体的民主管理制度和以村务公开为主要内容的民主监督制度。村务公开、民主管理实现全覆盖,全区90%以上的村设立公开栏,保障群众的知情权、参与权、决策权、监督权。在西藏第七届村(居)委会换届中,有168.68万人进行选民登记,直接参加选举的选民有149.52万人,参选民众踊跃投票,参选率达到88.7%,共选出村(居)委会成员26335人。城市基层民主政治不断完善。西藏192个城市社区全部建立了社区居民代表大会、社区居委会等社区组织,社区居民自治有充分的组织保证。
 
  新型民族关系得到确立和巩固
 
  西藏自治区以藏族为主体,有藏族、汉族、回族、门巴族、珞巴族、纳西族以及夏尔巴人、僜人等40多个民族。在漫长的历史长河中,西藏各民族共同开发了西藏高原,共同缔造了西藏历史,成为中华民族历史的重要组成部分。中华人民共和国成立后,确立并实施以民族平等、民族团结、民族区域自治和各民族共同繁荣为基本内容的民族政策。和平解放60多年来,国家的民族政策在西藏全面贯彻落实,既消除了导致民族不平等的政治、经济和社会等方面的因素,也消除了西藏地方的阶级差别和人身依附关系,各民族间建立起平等、团结、互助、和谐的社会主义新型民族关系。
 
  在发展社会主义市场经济的推动下,西藏与全国、藏族与其他民族以及西藏自治区内部的自主性人口流动更趋频繁,各民族之间相互往来、相互包容、相互融合成为民族关系的主流。在各民族公民到西藏经商、务工、交流、朝佛、旅游的同时,大量藏族公民从西藏以及四川、云南、甘肃、青海四省的藏族聚居区涌入内地大城市经商、务工、求学、谋职、交流、旅游。根据中国藏学研究中心2011年开展的内地藏族流动人口课题研究,目前在北京、上海、成都、广州、西宁、兰州、昆明等中国大城市,都有为数不等的藏族人口流动或者定居生活。其中,成都市区有户籍藏族人口3万多人,无户籍常住性藏族流动人口在15万至20万之间,在成都市多个县市区已经形成了数个藏族聚居区。西藏自治区政府大力推进民族团结宣传教育,每年9月集中开展民族团结宣传月活动,每年召开一次民族团结进步表彰大会,积极开展民族团结进步创建活动。
 
  四、文化保护和宗教信仰自由
 
  西藏文化是中华民族文化的重要组成部分,以其独特魅力吸引着世人。多年来,中央政府和西藏自治区政府倾力保护和弘扬西藏优秀传统文化,大力发展社会主义先进文化,努力建设中华民族特色文化保护地,使西藏文化得到了保护与发展。
 
  保护和发展藏语言文字
 
  藏语文学习使用受到法律保护。《中华人民共和国宪法》、《中华人民共和国民族区域自治法》和《中华人民共和国国家通用语言文字法》均明确规定,保障少数民族使用和发展本民族语言文字的自由。西藏自治区先后颁布实施《西藏自治区学习、使用和发展藏语文的若干规定(试行)》、《西藏自治区学习、使用和发展藏语文的若干规定(试行)的实施细则》和《西藏自治区学习、使用和发展藏语文的规定》,将学习、使用和发展藏语言文字工作纳入法制化轨道。
 
  西藏教育系统推行以藏语文授课为主的双语教学体系。目前,所有农牧区和部分城镇小学实行藏汉语文同步教学,主要课程用藏语授课。中学阶段也同时用藏语文和汉语授课,并在内地西藏班中学开设藏语文课。截至2012年底,西藏实施双语教学的小学在校学生282914人,占小学在校生总数的96.88%;中学在校学生177981人,占中学在校生总数的90.63%。现有双语教师23085人,各级各类学校有藏语专任教师3700人。
 
  藏语文在政治生活中得到广泛应用。各级人民代表大会通过的决议、法规,西藏各级人民政府及所属部门发布的正式文件和公告都使用藏、汉两种文字。在司法诉讼程序中,对藏族诉讼参与人都使用藏语文审理案件,法律文书也使用藏文。目前,自治区党委、人大、政府、政协办公厅翻译室,各地(市)编译局和所有县翻译室都实现了办公自动化。全区每年的翻译总量达6000多万字。各单位的公章、证件、表格、信封、信笺、稿纸、标识以及机关、厂矿、学校、车站、机场、商店、宾馆、餐馆、剧场、旅游景点、体育场馆、图书馆等的标牌和街道、交通路标等,均使用藏、汉两种文字。
 
  藏语文类精神文化产品更加丰富。西藏共有14种藏文杂志、10种藏文报纸。西藏人民广播电台开办有42个藏语(包括康巴语)节目、栏目,藏语新闻综合频率每天播音达21小时,康巴语广播频率每天播音18小时,西藏电视台藏语卫视24小时播出节目。2012年,西藏自治区出版藏文书籍780种,印数达431万册。
 
  藏语文使用迈入信息化。藏文字符计算机编码已通过国家标准和国际标准。国内自主开发的藏文编辑系统、激光照排系统、电子出版系统得到广泛应用。通过互联网和手机等藏语文平台,浏览阅读、收听、收看国内外新闻和各类资讯,成为众多藏语文用户日常生活的一部分。
 
  国家在保护和发展藏语言文字的同时,也在包括民族地区在内的全国各地公民中推广汉语普通话。《中华人民共和国国家通用语言文字法》规定:“国家推广普通话,推行规范汉字”、“公民有学习和使用国家通用语言文字的权利”,以“促进各民族、各地区经济文化交流”,“国家通用语言文字的使用应当有利于维护国家主权和民族尊严,有利于国家统一和民族团结,有利于社会主义物质文明建设和精神文明建设”。在中国,任何个人和组织都不能以保护和发展本民族语言文字为借口,抵触或反对推广、学习和使用国家通用语言文字。
 
  保护和弘扬优秀文化遗产
 
  文物古迹得到有效保护。西藏自治区先后颁布《西藏自治区人民政府关于加强文物保护的布告》、《西藏自治区文物保护管理条例》等法规和规定,文物保护工作日益法制化、规范化。目前,西藏有各类文物点4277处(其中国家级55处、自治区级210处),馆藏文物232万件(套)。布达拉宫、罗布林卡、大昭寺被列入世界文化遗产名录,拉萨、日喀则、江孜被列为国家级历史文化名城,西藏博物馆被列为国家一级博物馆。2000年以来,中央先后投入资金20.4亿元,实施了一系列重点文物保护维修工程。其中,布达拉宫、罗布林卡、萨迦寺三大重点文物保护维修工程投资3.8亿余元。
 
  非物质文化遗产得到有效保护、传承和发展。西藏自治区及各地市成立了民族文化遗产抢救、整理和研究机构,对民间文化艺术遗产进行全面普查。先后编辑出版了《中国戏曲志?西藏卷》、《中国民族民间舞蹈集成?西藏卷》、《中国民族民间器乐曲集成?西藏卷》等十大文艺集成志书,收集整理民族音乐、歌曲、曲艺一万余首,文字资料3000多万字。目前,西藏有非物质文化遗产项目近800个,传统戏剧演出机构80多个,传承人1177名。其中,藏戏和《格萨尔》史诗被列入联合国教科文组织人类非物质文化遗产代表作名录,藏族唐卡、藏族造纸技艺等75个项目被列入国家级非物质文化遗产代表作名录,68名传承人被认定为国家级非物质文化遗产项目代表性传承人,323个项目和227名传承人入选自治区级名录,158部珍贵古籍入选国家珍贵古籍名录。文化部和西藏自治区先后命名了5个国家级民间艺术之乡、19个自治区级民间艺术之乡、2个特色艺术之乡。
 
  大力发展藏医药事业
 
  西藏自治区把藏医药事业发展作为医疗卫生工作的战略重点,制定出台了《关于加强藏医药工作的决定》、《西藏自治区人民政府关于进一步扶持和促进藏医药事业发展的意见》等一系列重要文件,使藏医药学得到保护和发展。西藏各级藏医医疗机构注重发挥特色优势,开展了藏医药特色专科、专药等方面的研究和实践。大力开展藏医药典籍、文献挖掘整理工作,编辑出版了《四部医典大详解》等宝贵文献。目前,西藏有藏医医疗机构19所,在50多所县医院设有藏医科,藏医服务网络基本覆盖全区。藏药生产由手工作坊向现代工业化生产迈进,藏药加工实现标准化、规范化、规模化。目前,西藏注册的20家藏药生产企业全部通过了GMP(优良制作标准)认证,能够生产360多个藏药品种,一些藏药产品销往全国各地和部分国家,藏药产值达数亿元。现代藏医学已经走向全国和世界,服务越来越多的人。
 
  尊重和保护民族风俗习惯
 
  国家尊重和保障西藏各族人民按照自己的传统风俗习惯生活和进行社会活动的权利,尊重和保障他们按照自己的意愿进行正常的宗教信奉、祭祀活动以及参加重大的宗教和民间节日活动的自由。西藏各族人民在保持本民族的服饰、饮食、住房的传统方式和风格的同时,在衣食住行、婚丧嫁娶各方面也吸收了不少新的现代文化习俗。拉萨雪顿节、日喀则珠峰文化艺术节、山南雅砻艺术节、林芝大峡谷文化旅游节、昌都康巴艺术节、那曲恰青赛马节、阿里象雄文化艺术节等节庆得到恢复和创新,成为地域性民族文化品牌。三八妇女节、五一劳动节、六一儿童节、十一国庆节等全国乃至世界性的新兴节庆集会越来越受欢迎,形成了既有民族特色又有时代精神的新风俗、新习惯。在物质生活日益改善的条件下,每个节日都是群众精神上的一次盛宴,增加了越来越多的休闲娱乐内容。与亲朋好友一起过林卡是西藏百姓的休闲首选,表演歌舞的朗玛厅、遍布大街小巷的甜茶馆等是业余娱乐的主要场所。
 
  不断提高公共文化服务水平
 
  近年来,西藏自治区不断加大投入,加强文化基础设施建设,通过实施广播电视“村村通”、“户户通”,建设县乡村图书馆及文化馆站(室),开展有线电视数字化,推广数字图书馆,建设公共电子阅览室,以及实施农家书屋、寺庙书屋、“春雨工程”全国文化志愿者边疆行等文化惠民工程,切实保障人民群众的文化权益。到2012年底,已建群众艺术馆8座、图书馆77座、博物馆2座、县级综合文化活动中心73个、乡镇综合文化站239个、村文化室500余座,文化信息资源共享工程自治区中心1座、县级分中心73座、乡镇基层点103个、村级服务点3000多个,初步形成了从自治区到地(市)、县、乡、村的文化设施网络格局。2012年,自治区完成5.05万户农牧民的广播电视“户户通”建设任务,全区85%以上的农牧户实现“户户通”。拉萨市区131个单位(小区)完成有线数字电视整体转换,建成5个地市核心分平台。全面实现农牧区电影放映数字化,在农牧区放映公益电影13万余场。2012年,全年译制电视节目突破1万小时、电影75部。全区已建立农家书屋5451个、寺庙书屋1700多个,实现所有行政村有农家书屋、所有藏传佛教寺庙有寺庙书屋。全区有10个专业文艺团体,20多个县级民间艺术团,160余支业余文艺演出队和民间藏戏团队,有各门类文化艺术工作者4000余人,以藏族为主的文化艺术队伍不断发展壮大。专业艺术团体不断加大艺术创作力度,推出京剧与藏戏《文成公主》,大型歌舞《多彩哈达》、《天上西藏》、《西藏春天》,话剧《解放,解放》、《扎西岗》,电影《唐卡》等等。西藏对外文化交流日趋频繁。60年来,先后派出团(组)360多个,近4000人(次),访问了50多个国家和地区,在海外110多个城市进行了文化交流演出,接待30多个国家和地区的200余名专家学者赴藏演出、讲学和举办展览。尊重和保护宗教信仰自由中国宪法规定,宗教信仰自由是公民的一项基本权利。西藏是一个藏传佛教、苯教、伊斯兰教和天主教等多种宗教并存的地区,在藏传佛教内部还存在不同教派。经过民主改革,西藏废除政教合一制度,实行政教分离,去除被封建农奴制度玷污了的东西,恢复宗教的本来面目,实现了真正的宗教信仰自由和不同宗教、不同教派间的宗教宽容。中央政府和西藏自治区政府充分尊重公民的宗教信仰自由权利,各种宗教、各个教派都平等地得到尊重和保护,正常的宗教活动和宗教信仰依法受到保护。目前,西藏有各类宗教活动场所1787座,住寺僧尼
 
  4.6万余人,活佛358名。藏传佛教是西藏大多数群众信奉的宗教。寺庙学经、辩经、晋升学位、受戒、灌顶、修行等传统宗教活动正常进行,每逢重大宗教节日都循例举行各种活动。活佛转世作为藏传佛教特有的传承方式得到国家的尊重,目前已有40多位新转世活佛按历史定制和宗教仪轨得到认定。
 
  在今天的西藏,旅游者不难发现悬挂的经幡、刻有佛教经文的玛尼堆以及从事宗教活动的信教群众。信教群众家中普遍设有经堂或佛龛,转经、朝佛、请寺庙僧尼做法事等宗教活动正常进行。西藏自治区及其7个地市均设有佛教协会,中国佛教协会西藏分会办有佛学院、印经院和藏文会刊《西藏佛教》。寺院的壁画、雕刻、塑像、唐卡、经卷、法器、佛龛等宗教文化载体,得到保护和修缮。大量宗教文献典籍得到抢救、整理、出版。各寺庙的传统印经院得到继承和发展,现有木如寺印经院、布达拉宫印经院等大型传统印经院近60家,年印经卷6.3万种,民间经书销售摊点20家。在宗教管理上,国家坚持政教分离的方针,依法加强对宗教活动的管理,宗教不得干预国家行政、司法和教育,任何个人或组织不得利用宗教从事违法活动。
 
  五、社会变迁与各项事业的发展
 
  西藏的发展是全面的发展。伴随政治经济制度的变革,西藏社会也相应发生由传统向现代的整体性变迁,人民的受教育权利、就业权利、健康权利、社会保障权利得到进一步保障,各项事业呈现欣欣向荣的景象。
 
  科学教育事业迅猛发展
 
  在旧西藏,除藏医、天文历算外,现代意义上的科研机构和科研人员处于空白。目前,西藏拥有国有独立科研机构33所,民营科研机构10所,自治区、地(市)、县(市、区)三级农牧业科研和技术推广机构184个,国家级和自治区级农业科技园区、重点实验室29个,国家级高新技术企业27家,自治区级科技型中小企业46家,国家级创新型企业和企业技术中心5家。目前,西藏有专业技术人员56264人,其中,少数民族43552人,占总数的77.41%;高级专业技术人员2870人(包括1名中国工程院院士、244名享受政府特殊津贴专家、16名有突出贡献中青年专家、3名国家杰出专业技术人才),中级专业技术人员13869人,初级专业技术人员36216人。他们在农牧业生产、工业生产、藏药产业、新能源、旅游业、文化创意、民族手工业等领域的科技创新和成果转化方面发挥了积极作用。2012年,科技对经济增长的贡献率达到35%,对农牧业增长的贡献率达到42%,科学技术普及率达到85%。
 
  在旧西藏,接受教育的绝大多数是贵族子弟,占总人口95%的农奴和奴隶没有受教育的权利,青壮年文盲率高达95%。现在,西藏已建立起一个涵盖学前教育、基础教育、职业教育、高等教育、成人教育、特殊教育等完整的现代教育体系。从1985年开始,实施对接受义务教育阶段教育的农牧民子女包吃、包住、包学习费用的“三包”政策,先后12次提高补助标准,惠及51.04万人。2007年,在全国率先实现9年免费义务教育,2012年又在全国率先实现15年免费教育(学前教育3年、小学6年、初中3年、高中3年)。截至2012年底,全区有小学在校生292016人,小学适龄儿童入学率达到99.4%;初级中学在校生130266人,初中入学率达到98.6%;普通高级中学在校生47825人,中等职业学校在校生18291人,高中阶段入学率达70.2%;在校本专科生33452人、研究生1079人,高等教育毛入学率达到27.4%。全国20个省、直辖市的26所学校开办内地西藏初、高中班(校),有60所重点高中招收户籍为西藏的学生,48所国家级示范中等职业技术学校、170所高等学校招收西藏班学生,累计招收初中生42040人,高中(中专)生47492人,高校本专科生16100人。目前,内地西藏班(校)在校生总数42460人。扫盲人口覆盖率达到100%,青壮年文盲率下降到0.8%,15周岁以上人口人均受教育年限达到8.1年。
 
  公民的劳动和工作权利得到保障
 
  民主改革以来,西藏各行各业不断兴起,就业领域不断扩大,对劳动者的知识技能要求也不断提高。政府部门通过加强免费职业技能培训、打造劳务品牌、提高转移就业的组织化程度、优化进城务工环境等方式,大力促进农牧民就近就地就业。通过开发公益性岗位,开展“送政策、送岗位、送技能、送服务”等就业援助方式,妥善解决“零就业”家庭、残疾人等各类就业困难群体的就业。近年来,公益性岗位共安置各类就业困难人员19867人,动态消除了零就业家庭。积极为城乡劳动者和用人单位搭建双向交流选择平台。2012年,农牧区劳动力转移就业突破45万人。2012年,14153名高校毕业生实现了就业,高校毕业生就业率达到98.36%。通过设立最低工资标准、加大劳动合同和集体合同制度推行力度、推进劳动监察和调解仲裁、完善劳资纠纷案件预防和处置机制,多举措维护劳动者合法权益。2012年,西藏城镇新增就业2.5万人,城镇登记失业率控制在2.6%以内,社会就业较为充分。
 
  人民健康水平不断提高
 
  在旧西藏,仅拉萨、日喀则有规模很小的少数官办藏医机构、私人诊所和民间藏医。目前,已建立以拉萨为中心,遍布全区城乡的藏医、西医、中医相结合的公共医疗卫生服务体系,实现了“一村一卫生室”的目标。2012年,西藏有各级各类医疗卫生机构6660个,床位8352张;卫生人员21558人,其中卫生技术人员达9336人。医疗机构诊疗和住院人次分别达到1012万人次和14.55万人次。以免费医疗为基础的农牧区医疗制度覆盖全区农牧民。农牧民免费医疗经费补助标准,从1993年的年人均5.5元提高到2012年的年人均300元。西藏自治区政府安排专项资金2300万元,建立了农牧民群众大病补充医疗保险。在全国率先实现城乡居民免费健康体检,经费补助标准逐步提高,目前为年人均300元。2012年,对1032名先心病儿童实行免费救治。目前,西藏建立起了81个预防控制机构,在全区实施免疫规划,不断完善疫情报告和监测体系,基本遏制住了鼠疫、结核病、麻风病、大骨节病、碘缺乏病,麻疹、白喉、百日咳、破伤风、脊髓灰质炎等传染病发病率大幅度下降。碘盐覆盖率达96.59%,基本消除了碘缺乏病。2012年,西藏实施1000个行政村农牧民体育健身工程。加强城市综合体育健身功能区、城镇综合性健身体育场馆建设,确保农牧区有健身场地和器材。推进科学健身工程,加强基层体育组织、社区体育俱乐部、全民健身站点等服务网络建设,增强百姓的健康水平,提高生活品质。西藏一直实行宽松的生育政策,对占总人口80%以上的农牧民不限制生育数量。政府倡导晚婚晚育、优生优育、科学文明的婚姻生活。
 
  在旧西藏,由于经济落后、新生儿成活率低、医疗条件差、僧尼人口比重大等因素,人口增长长期处在停滞状态。和平解放以来,西藏人口由1951年的114.09万人增长到2010年的300.2万人,其中,藏族人口271.6万人,占总人口的90%以上;其他少数民族人口4万多人,占总人口的1.3%;汉族人口24.5万人,占总人口的8%。2012年,西藏人口达到308万人。西藏人均寿命从1951年的35.5岁提高到现在的68.17岁,孕产妇死亡率和婴儿死亡率均大幅下降,人民的健康水平大幅提升。
 
  社会保障体系日益完善
 
  近年来,西藏的社会保障体系日趋完善,老有所养、病有所医、困有所助成为现实。到2012年底,以基本养老保险、基本医疗保险和失业、工伤、生育保险为核心的覆盖城乡居民的社会保障体系在西藏全面建立,全区各项社会保险参保总人数达到239.7万人次。2012年,兑现各项社会保险23.8亿元。西藏城乡最低生活保障覆盖对象不断增加,低保补助标准不断提高。2012年,西藏城镇居民有48047人享受政府最低生活保障,农村居民有32.9万人享受政府最低生活保障,补助标准分别为每人每月400元、每人每年1600元。五保(保吃、保穿、保医、保住、保葬)供养标准大幅提高,2013年达到每人2600元。城乡医疗救助累计救助困难群众近12万人(次),城乡医疗救助资金累计落实20575万元。城乡困难群众临时生活救助共救助6925户(次),支出临时救助资金776.2万元。资助特困学生6432人,发放资助金1676.9万元。截至2012年8月,累积向全区城乡394636名低保、五保、优抚对象发放价格临时补贴,共支出12606.9万元。关心关爱广大僧尼,将寺庙在编僧尼全部纳入社会保障体系,实现了医疗保险、养老保险和最低生活保障全覆盖。僧尼年满60周岁的按月领取养老金,标准为每月120元,尼姑年满60周岁、僧人年满65周岁的终身享受基本医疗保险。
 
  六、环境保护与生态文明建设
 
  西藏是中国重要的生态安全屏障。多年来,中央政府和西藏自治区政府坚持科学发展,统筹经济社会发展与环境保护,把环境保护与生态建设作为现代化建设的一项重要内容,大力提倡生态文明,建设美丽西藏。目前,西藏是世界上环境质量最好的地区之一,大部分区域仍处于原生状态。
 
  西藏高原的环境与生态受自然气候变化影响
 
  科学研究表明,过去100年,全球气候进入变暖期。由于西藏高原的特殊海拔高度,其所经历的气候变暖过程比周围地区更为强烈。1961年至2007年,西藏高原的平均增温幅度每10年超过了0.3℃,是全球平均增温幅度的2倍。随着气候变暖,冰川呈现加速退缩趋势,过去30年来整个青藏高原冰川面积年均减少约131平方公里;高原多年冻土呈现区域性退化,表现为季节冻结深度减小,融化深度增大。
 
  在气候变暖影响下,西藏高原生态系统发生了显著的变化。自20世纪80年代至今,西藏高原植被的返青期提前、枯黄期推迟,生长季平均延长约10天。植被盖度呈总体微弱上升态势,净初级生产力增加了约11%。由于净初级生产力的显著增加,高寒生态系统碳汇呈增加态势。1980年至2002年,西藏高寒生态系统形成平均每年2300万吨的净碳汇,约占中国陆地植被碳汇增加量的13%,其中高寒草地生态系统形成平均每年1760万吨的碳汇,西藏高原植被生态系统已成为中国重要碳汇地区之一。目前,西藏植被总体变好,但存在区域差异。在降水减少的南部地区生态系统退化,在降水增加的北部地区生态系统改善。随着国家大型生态工程及其生态补偿政策的实施,人类活动强烈影响区的生态退化得到了有效遏制,高原生态安全屏障功能也得到了进一步增强。
 
  加强生态环境保护与建设的立法和规划
 
  多年来,在国家的环境保护和生态文明建设总体框架内,西藏始终处于重要位置。国务院在1998年和2000年制定的《全国生态环境建设规划》和《全国生态环境保护纲要》中,将青藏高原冻融区作为全国八大生态建设区之一,进行专门规划,提出明确的建设任务和建设原则。2010年,国务院发布的《全国主体功能区规划》中,25个国家重点生态功能区有2个位于西藏,分别为“藏东南高原边缘森林生态功能区”和“藏西北羌塘高原荒漠生态功能区”,面积分别为97750平方公里和494381平方公里,总面积接近西藏的二分之一。2009年,国务院通过《西藏生态安全屏障保护与建设规划(2008-2030年)》,争取到2030年基本建成西藏生态安全屏障,生态安全保障作用得到充分发挥。西藏自治区编制实施了《生态环境建设规划》、《水土保持规划》、《农牧区环境综合整治规划》、《城镇饮用水水源地环境保护规划》、《重金属污染综合防治“十二五”规划》、《“一江四河”流域污染防治规划》、《生态功能区划》等一系列生态环境保护与建设规划,对西藏的生态环境保护与建设进行全面规划和部署。同时,还开展了生态环境现状调查、生态功能区划、土壤污染状况调查、生态补偿研究、自然保护区基础调查、生态环境十年变化(2000-2010年)遥感调查与评估等生态环境保护基础性工作,为环境保护与生态文明建设工作的开展提供科学依据。
 
  西藏的环境保护与生态文明建设事业在法制化的轨道上不断发展,形成了比较系统的地方性环境保护法规体系。西藏自治区人民代表大会、自治区人民政府及政府有关部门颁布实施了《西藏自治区环境保护条例》、《西藏自治区实施〈中华人民共和国草原法〉细则》、《西藏自治区实施〈中华人民共和国野生动物保护法〉办法》以及《西藏自治区人民政府实施〈国务院关于落实科学发展观加强环境保护的决定〉的意见》等一系列关于环境保护和生态文明建设方面的地方性法规、规章以及规范性文件。
 
  生态文明建设成效明显
 
  生物多样性与重要生态区得到有效保护。西藏共建立各类自然保护区47个,其中,国家级9个、自治区级14个、地县级24个。保护区面积达到41.37万平方公里,占全区国土面积的33.9%,居全国之首。西藏125种国家重点保护野生动物、39种国家重点保护野生植物在已建的自然保护区中得到了较好的保护。比如,国际动物研究界认为早已灭绝的西藏马鹿,20世纪90年代被重新发现,种群还在不断扩大。藏羚羊种群数逐年增加,目前已达15万只左右。黑颈鹤数量为7000只左右。西藏建立了22个生态功能保护区(国家级1个)、8个国家森林公园、3个国家湿地公园、4个地质公园(国家级2个)、3个国家级风景名胜区。美国前总统卡特在为《走进西藏:生物多样性与保护事业》一书所写的序言中这样评价西藏的环境保护事业:“在过去的20年中,世界上还有哪个地方可以将40%的面积划出用于自然保护?要扭转一个濒危物种不断减少的数量又谈何容易?然而勤劳的西藏人做到了。”
 
  林业和草原生态建设成效显著。严格控制森林的采伐规模。江达、贡觉、芒康3县实施总面积达3.1万平方公里的天然林保护工程,全面停止了天然林商品性采伐。实施全区重点区域生态公益林建设工程,建立了曲水、扎囊、日喀则、狮泉河等治沙试验示范区。在风沙危害和水土流失严重的金沙江、澜沧江、怒江上游及雅鲁藏布江流域的28个县实施退耕还林工程,全区已完成造林面积8.37万公顷,封山育林面积33.87万公顷,退耕还林以每年1.92万公顷的速度递增。西藏森林覆盖率已上升到目前的11.91%。合理利用和保护草原,确保草原生态良性发展。对天然草地开展围栏和水利建设,实施草场承包经营责任制。按照以草定畜的原则,划定轮牧期和禁牧区,建设人工草地,改良退化草地,实施退牧还草工程。截至2012年底,西藏有天然草地面积8511万公顷,其中,可利用天然草地面积6910万公顷。开展公益林补偿和草原生态保护奖励机制试点工作。
 
  水土保持与地质灾害防治不断加强。开展了水土保持监测网络建设。近年来,先后实施聂拉木县樟木镇滑坡治理、琼结县县城滑坡泥石流治理、林芝地区八一电厂二级电站后山滑坡泥石流灾害治理、拉萨市流沙河泥石流治理等地质灾害治理工程。
 
  农村环境保护和生态创建工作进展顺利。从2010年开始在全区7地(市)、74县(市、区)的4761个行政村开展人居环境建设和农村环境综合整治工作。截至2012年底,已经安排2500个村实施了农村人居环境建设和环境综合整治试点项目。通过推广利用清洁能源,减少了天然植被的樵采,有效保护了农牧区的生态环境。实施了沼气、太阳能及小型风力发电等农村能源建设项目。完成21万户沼气池建设,推广太阳灶39.5万台,推广太阳能户用系统1万余套,太阳能集中供暖面积达到1万平方米。风光互补发电总装机容量达到220千瓦。
 
  城镇饮用水安全保障工作扎实推进。完成了全区城镇饮用水水源地环境现状调查,建立饮用水水源地基础信息档案,设立饮用水水源地环境保护专项资金,实施水源地环境保护工程。
 
  全面开展生态西藏创建。西藏自治区政府提出了构建西藏生态安全屏障、建设生态西藏、美丽西藏的目标。拉萨市开展了国家环境保护模范城市创建工作,林芝地区开展了生态林芝建设,山南、那曲地区分别提出了建设“生态美好模范区”和“生态草原地区”的构想。拉萨、那曲、林芝、山南等四个地(市)先后在97个乡镇和221个行政村开展了自治区级生态乡镇和生态村创建工作。截至2012年底,已命名22个自治区级生态村。
 
  西藏是当今世界最为清洁的区域之一
 
  当前,西藏高原是除南极和北极之外,地球上最洁净的环境本底区,大气环境干净透明,各类污染物质的含量与北极地区相当,污染物种类较少,浓度较低。西藏大气重金属元素含量接近于全球大气元素浓度的背景值,拉萨大气重金属含量也远低于人口聚集区和工业化地区。西藏非城市地区大气中PM2.5的年平均质量浓度为10微克/立方米,拉萨市大气中PM2.5的年平均质量浓度为14.58微克/立方米,远小于中国《环境空气质量标准》中35微克/立方米的规定,较人类活动密集区低十几倍。西藏全区主要江河湖泊水质状况保持良好,达到了我国规定的水体环境质量标准(GB3838-2002),其重金属含量处于世界河流-湖泊生态系统的背景水平,没有受到人类活动的污染。西藏土壤中重金属含量继承了其成土母质的特点,1979年到2009年的30年间土壤重金属含量没有发生明显的改变。
 
  结束语
 
  在过去的60多年时间里,西藏走完了人类社会需要几百年甚至上千年才能走完的历程,书写了人类历史上壮丽的篇章。今天的西藏,经济发展,政治进步,文化繁荣,社会和谐,生态良好,人民生活幸福安康,一个传统与现代交相辉映的新西藏正呈现在世人面前。回顾西藏走过的不平凡历程,留下了许多宝贵而深刻的启示。
 
  ——西藏的发展进步离不开选择一条正确的发展道路。60多年来,正是在中华民族大家庭的怀抱里,坚持走社会主义道路,西藏各族人民才真正成为国家、社会和自己命运的主人,西藏才实现了由贫穷落后到富裕文明的转变。实践证明,只有坚持中国共产党的领导,坚持社会主义制度,坚持民族区域自治制度,才能真正实现和保障西藏人民当家作主,才能实现好维护好发展好西藏人民的根本利益。在未来的岁月里,西藏的发展进步依然离不开这条道路。
 
  ——西藏的发展进步离不开中央政府的支持和全国人民的帮助。中国国家制度的优越性和中华民族互帮互助的优良传统,为西藏的发展进步提供了强大动力。中央政府历来高度重视西藏的发展,十分关心西藏各族人民的福祉,举全国之力支援西藏,以优惠的政策和强大的人力、物力、财力支持,推动西藏的发展进步。1952年至2012年,中央财政对西藏安排各项补助达4543.4亿元,占西藏地方财政成立以来累计支出的96%。2011年至2015年,中央政府围绕改善民生、基础设施、特色产业、生态环境等重点领域,共规划建设226个重大项目,5年计划完成投资1931亿元,其中中央政府投资占71.5%。2010年中央第五次西藏工作座谈会后,中央政府按照省市财政收入的千分之一核定了17个援藏省市的援助资金量,并建立了稳定增长机制。
 
  ——西藏的发展进步离不开各族人民的团结奋斗。西藏的发展进步,追根究底源自人民的创造。在西藏历史发展的各阶段,各族人民以自己的聪明才智和主人翁精神,破旧立新,改天换地,创造一个又一个新鲜事物,推动历史不断向前。
 
  ——西藏的发展进步离不开对外开放合作。封闭曾经是旧西藏政教合一的封建农奴制延续数百年的重要条件,也是西藏发展进步需要破除的障碍。60多年来,西藏向全国和世界敞开胸襟,加强与国内其他地区和世界各国的交流交往交融,吸收来自外部的先进文明成果,不断丰富和完善自身。
 
  西藏的发展进步有目共睹,任何不持偏见立场的人都为之惊叹不已,任何真正关心西藏的人都为之欢欣鼓舞。但是,也有少数人不仅对西藏的发展进步视而不见,反而大肆攻击,否定西藏的发展道路和西藏各族人民为之奋斗的现代化事业。
 
  长期流亡海外的十四世达赖集团,一直从事分裂祖国和破坏西藏发展稳定的活动。在1959年武装叛乱失败后,又对中国边境地区进行多年武装袭扰。这些年,又鼓吹“大藏区”、“高度自治”,这些主张完全违背中国国情,违反中国宪法和法律,实际上是想推翻西藏的社会主义制度和民族区域自治制度,动摇给西藏带来发展进步的制度基础。
 
  在国际上,还有一些人,出于意识形态偏见和自私自利的扭曲心态,刻意歪曲西藏的昨天和今天。他们凭空杜撰了一个“香格里拉”神话,希望西藏永远处于原始落后状态。西藏60多年发展进步的事实证明,西藏人民与世界人民一样,有权享受现代文明发展成果,有权提高自己的生活质量,有权选择自己的生活方式。
 
  当前,西藏各族人民与全国人民一道,正在为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而奋斗。西藏的明天会更加美好!
 
  (注:PM2.5为PM右下角加2.5)
 
 
Development and Progress of Tibet
Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
October 2013
 
  Contents
 
  Foreword
 
  I. The Development and Progress in Tibet Is the Inevitable Result of History
 
  II. Economic Growth and Improvement of the People's Livelihood
 
  III. Political Progress -- the People Are the Masters of Their Own Fate
 
  IV. Cultural Preservation and Freedom of Religious Belief
 
  V. Social Changes and Development of All Undertakings
 
  VI. Environmental Protection and Ecological Improvement
 
  Concluding Remarks
 
  Foreword
 
  Tibet is located in the southern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and stands at the southwestern border of China. It is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China.
 
  Tibet has been an integral part of China since ancient times. Prior to the 1950s, Tibet was a society of feudal serfdom under theocratic rule, a society characterized by a combination of political and religious powers. Government officials, aristocrats and monasteries collectively maintained tight control over Tibet's resources and wealth, and the Tibetan people lived in dire misery without any freedom. At that time, Tibet was as dark and backward as medieval Europe.
 
  The founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 marked Tibet's entry into modern civilization. After a series of important historical stages, from its peaceful liberation and democratic reform to the establishment of the autonomous region and the reform and opening-up drive, Tibet has steered itself into a fast lane of development together with the rest of China. Half a century later, Tibet is a world totally different from its old self before the 1950s. The Tibetan people have gained freedom, equality and dignity, and are fully enjoying the fruits of modern civilization. They are working hard in unison toward the building of a united, democratic, affluent, culturally and ethically advanced and harmonious socialist society in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
 
  The development and progress in Tibet is in accord with the rules for the development of human society, and reflects the mutual aspirations of the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet. It is the natural result of the overall development and progress of China as a whole. The development and progress of Tibet mirrors the victory of human society' s enterprising spirit and creativity in the quest for justice and happiness, and has proved the inevitability of history.
 
  I. The Development and Progress in Tibet Is the Inevitable Result of History
 
  The development and progress in modern Tibet results from the innate logic of its social and historical environment, and has its roots in China' s progress in a larger context. Its development is in line with the advance of world' s modern civilization. Prior to 1959, Tibet was a typical society of feudal serfdom under a theocracy, characterized by a combination of political and religious powers. The development and progress in Tibet began right from the ruins of feudal serfdom.
 
  Tibetan society prior to 1959
 
  There is plenty of literature describing the situation of Tibetan society before 1959. From the following excerpts one can have a glimpse at the darkness and backwardness of old Tibet.
 
  In his 1905 book The Unveiling of Lhasa, former British journalist in India Edmund Candler, who worked for the Daily Mail, recorded the details of the old Tibetan society:
 
  Old Tibet "is governed on the feudal system. The monks are the overlords, the peasantry their serfs." "...at present, the people are medieval, not only in their system of government and their religion, their inquisition, their witchcraft, their incarnations, their ordeals by fire and boiling oil, but in every aspect of their daily life." "... he toils a lifetime to win by his own labour and in scanty measure the necessaries ..." Lhasa was "squalid and filthy beyond description, undrained and unpaved. Not a single house looked clean or cared for. The streets after rain are nothing but pools of stagnant water frequented by pigs and dogs searching for refuse."
 
  In Portrait of A Dalai Lama: The Life and Times of the Great Thirteenth, a 1940s work by Charles Bell, the British Tibetologist made observations of the harsh punishments in Tibet: "At the same time the Tibetan criminal code is drastic. In addition to fines and imprisonment, floggings are frequent, not only of people after they have been convicted of an offence, but also of accused persons, and indeed witnesses, during the course of the trial. For serious offences, use is made of the pillory as well as of the cangue, which latter is a heavy square wooden board round the neck. Iron fetters are fastened on the legs of murderers and inveterate burglars. For every serious or repeated offences, such as murder, violent robbery, repeated thefts, or serious forgery, the hand may be cut off at the wrist, the nose sliced off, or even the eyes gouged out, the last more likely for some heinous political crime. In former days those convicted of murder were put into a leather sack, which was sewn up and thrown into a river."
 
  The Canadian Tibetologist A. Tom Grunfeld published The Making of Modern Tibet in 1987. In it he wrote:
 
  "Tibetans were ruled by an unusual form of feudal theocracy.... The heads of the feudal estates maintained a monopoly of power over all local matters. Serfs were 'tied' to their masters.... So powerless were they that they required permission to enter a monastery and even to marry. If two serfs of different lords married, the male offspring reverted to the father's lord, while the female offspring went to the mother's. Permission to leave the estate - even for the briefest period - for such matters as family visits, pilgrimages or for some sideline trading required the consent of the lord. Historically there was very little class mobility in Tibet, and for the most part serfs were forced to accept the position they found themselves in upon birth. There is no evidence to support the images of a utopian Shangri-la."
 
  Two Chinese officials, Shen Zonglian and Liu Shengqi, who worked at the Chinese government' s Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission's Tibet office before 1949, wrote in their 1953 book Tibet and Tibetans:
 
  "The men who have been running the Lhasa government are drawn from the top class of fewer than a hundred still flourishing noble families and an ecclesiastical hierarchy of equal size. To them the Tibetan masses are the 'hewers of wood and drawers of water.' Cut off completely from world trends and from all the dormant social forces in Tibet, and basking in the waning sunshine of a theocratic-feudalistic autocracy, this privileged class can exist only on the ignorance and political lethargy of the Tibetans. Their privileged status is bound to collapse in this fast-changing world, and the process is only going to be accelerated."
 
  For centuries Tibetan society was mired in stagnation due to its backward serfdom and the isolated geographic location of Tibet. By the middle of the 20th century, when humanity was leaping toward modern civilization, Tibet still lagged far behind the rest of the world.
 
  Milestones of Tibet's development and progress
 
  The founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 opened up new prospects for the nation's development and progress on an unprecedented level. In 1951, the Central People's Government and the local Tibetan government signed the Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, signifying the beginning of Tibet's development and progress together with the people of the whole nation.
 
  The year 1959 marked a turning point in Tibet's history. In that year the reactionary upper ruling strata of Tibet failed in an armed rebellion to perpetuate feudal serfdom, and the Central Government publicly announced the dismissal of the Tibetan local government. Meanwhile the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet launched a sweeping democratic reform to overthrow Tibet's feudal serfdom system under theocracy that had been in place for hundreds of years, ushering in a social reform that was considered the most extensive, profound and progressive in Tibetan history. The democratic reform liberated about a million serfs and slaves, and brought the basic human rights of equity and freedom to the Tibetan people for the first time in history. It laid the necessary economic, political and social foundation for the region' s future development and progress.
 
  In 1965, the Tibet Autonomous Region was founded, and the systems of the people's congress and regional ethnic autonomy were established. These events marked the leap forward for Tibetan society from a feudal serfdom under theocracy to socialism, with the people becoming their own masters. With the establishment of the new political system and the dissemination of ideas on democratic politics, the former serfs and slaves as well as the feudal aristocrats all became modern citizens who enjoy equal rights and exercise their political rights to equally participate in the management of state affairs and the affairs of their local ethnic groups autonomously. In this way, the Tibetan people were greatly motivated to use their enthusiasm and creativity to build a better future.
 
  At the end of 1978, Tibet initiated the reform and opening-up drive toward modernization along with the rest of the country, ushering in a new stage of economic and social development. The Central Government set lofty goals for Tibet, striving to quicken its development and advancing it to the front row of the "four modernizations." In light of the local conditions, the government decided on guiding principles for the work in Tibet in the new era and issued favorable policies for Tibet's development. These moves vigorously contributed to the development and progress in Tibet.
 
  In the 21st century, Tibet has entered the fast lane of development. At the Fifth Symposium on Work in Tibet held in January 2010, the Central Authorities set the goals for Tibet's development in the next stage. The objectives for 2015 are to maintain the pace of leapfrog economic development, significantly narrow the gap between the per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen in Tibet and the national average, significantly increase Tibet's ability to provide public services, further improve the ecosystem, greatly develop Tibet's infrastructure, achieve unity and harmony among all ethnic groups, maintain social stability, and make a more solid foundation for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The objectives set for 2020 are to raise the per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen in Tibet so that it will be close to the national average, comprehensively raise the living standards of the people, improve its basic public services to approach the national average level, comprehensively improve infrastructure conditions, achieve significant results in creating an ecological security screen, greatly increase Tibet's capabilities for self-development, make Tibetan society more harmonious and stable, and ensure that a moderately prosperous society in all respects is established. With these goals achieved, better prospects for development will emerge in Tibet.
 
  Development and progress in Tibet is the victory of human justice
 
  - The development and progress of Tibet is in accordance with the rules for the development of human society. From traditional agriculture and animal husbandry to a modern market economy, from the integration of political and religious powers to their separation, from autocracy to democracy, superstition to science, and isolation to openness - these are the generic laws for the development of human society. Over the past 60 years of its development, Tibet has unfailingly followed these rules and the general trend. Today, despite the existing gaps in the level of development between Tibet and other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China, Tibet has narrowed the distance and basically realized synchronized growth with the rest of the country. Observed from the macro perspective of human history, Tibet has leapt from a feudal serfdom society into one with a modern civilization within a matter of only a few decades, creating an outstanding example of regional modernization.
 
  - The development and progress of Tibet is inevitably connected with the overall development and progress of China. The fate of Tibet has always been closely linked to the fate of China. Since the advent of modern times, Chinese society has been challenged by the daunting task of comprehensive transition to modernization. Tibet, as an inalienable part of China, also follows the general logic of social reform in the country. During the process of peaceful liberation of Tibet, Mao Zedong, leader of the Communist Party of China, set the course for transforming old Tibet into a "people's democratic Tibet." The profound and unprecedented changes in Tibet over the past 60 years have been consequently realized through the establishment and progress of the political, economic, social and cultural systems of the nation as a whole.
 
  - The development and progress of Tibet serves the fundamental interests of the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet. The development and progress of Tibet is the cause of the Tibetan people. In the past six decades, the development and progress of Tibet has always centered around the people's fundamental interests. In Tibet the self-improvement of individuals is consistent with the progress of society, with which more social wealth is created and thus meets the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people. Essentially, the development and progress of Tibet reflects man's development and the realization of the people's principal position. It is a great practice for respecting and guaranteeing human rights. The development of Tibet has been a process in which people are gaining more and more freedom on the road to liberation, as well as the transformation from "deity first" to "people first." It marks the victory of the Tibetan people over the shackles of theocracy, and honors their pursuit of dignity and personal value. It is the Tibetan people who have benefited most from Tibet's development and progress.
 
  II. Economic Growth and Improvement of the People's Livelihood
 
  Developing the economy is an important way to ensure the basic rights of all ethnic groups in Tibet, especially their rights to subsistence and development. The establishment of a modern economy in Tibet and its development has laid a solid material foundation for the progress of various undertakings in the region.
 
  Economic growth constantly enhancing people's living standards
 
  Following the peaceful liberation of Tibet, the Central Government has always given top priority to helping Tibet develop its economy, enhance its people's living standards, and change its impoverished and backward situation. It has issued a series of favorable policies, and made great achievements in promoting Tibet's economy. Currently a relatively complete socialist market system has been established in the region, and historical leapfrog development has been realized in terms of economic aggregate. Tibet's economy is growing steadily and quickly. The Gross Regional Product (GRP) of Tibet rocketed from 129 million yuan in 1951 to 70.1 billion yuan in 2012, representing an annual growth of 8.5 percent on average. The per capita GRP reached 22,900 yuan. Since 1994 Tibet has realized double-digit growth for 19 consecutive years, with an annual growth rate of 12.7 percent on average.
 
  Substantial improvements have been made in the people's lives and their living standards. The per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen in Tibet had maintained double-digit growth for 10 consecutive years, reaching 5,719 yuan in 2012. The per capita disposable income of urban dwellers was 18,028 yuan. The building of a new socialist countryside, initiated in 2006, has greatly benefited local farmers and herdsmen, especially through its low-income housing projects. By the end of 2012, a total of 408,300 low-income houses were built, providing housing to 88.7 percent of local households of farmers and herdsmen. All farmers and herdsmen will have moved into safe modern houses by the end of 2013. In 2012, the per capita floor space of farmers and herdsmen was 28.77 sq m, and that of urban dwellers 36.14 sq m. In rural areas, infrastructure has been improved to provide the necessary facilities for the local population, including water, power, transportation, telecommunication, natural gas, radio and television, and postal services. Some 90 percent and 99.7 percent of Tibetan townships now have access to postal service and road network, respectively, and 94.2 percent of administrative villages could be reached by road. A total of 1.93 million farmers and herdsmen now have access to safe drinking water, and 150,000 rural households are using clean biogas. In addition, over 95 percent of rural households use iodized salt.
 
  As life improves, the people are beginning to have more choices in consumption. Refrigerators, color televisions, telephones, computers, washing machines, motorcycles, mobile phones and other consumer goods have entered ordinary households. In 2012, for every 100 urban households in Tibet there were 27 cars, 16 motorcycles, 86 refrigerators, 129 color TVs, 63 computers and 88 washing machines. According to the "CCTV Economic Life Survey" jointly hosted by the National Bureau of Statistics, China Post Group, and China Central Television (CCTV), Lhasa topped the "happiness index" for five consecutive years.
 
  Adhering to green and sustainable development
 
  The economy of old Tibet was supported by farming, animal husbandry and handicrafts, very close to a backward natural economy. With the strenuous efforts of the local people, Tibet has established a modern economic system with local characteristics. Putting the people's interests first and seeking green and sustainable development, Tibet has adopted rigorous measures to rein in energy-extensive, high-pollution and high-emission industries. Integrating socioeconomic progress and environmental protection, Tibet strives to safeguard the long-term interests of its people.
 
  Farming and animal husbandry are Tibet's traditional industries and also the supporting pillars of its economy. For decades such policies have been followed that allow the farmland and grassland to recuperate on a regular basis. And by delegating managerial authority to lower levels, cancelling the old agricultural tax, increasing capital and technical investment, and promoting comprehensive productivity, Tibet has realized balanced and sustainable development in farming and animal husbandry. The annual grain production in recent years stands above 900,000 tons. Tibet is vigorously developing agricultural products with local characteristics, and the added value of its primary industry increased from 128 million yuan in 1959 to 8.038 billion yuan in 2012, growing by 4.7 percent annually.
 
  There was no modern industry in old Tibet, but after more than 60 years of development, modern industry has been established in Tibet from scratch, and it has grown considerably in size. Today Tibet has a modern industrial system comprising over 20 industries, including energy, light industry, textiles, machinery, mining, building materials, chemical industry, food processing, folk handicrafts and traditional Tibetan medicine. The total industrial output value skyrocketed from 1.4 million yuan in 1956 to 10.591 billion yuan in 2012. The major industries with local characteristics have been expanding in scale, and tertiary industry is also growing rapidly. In 2012, Tibet welcomed domestic and overseas tourists on 10.584 million occasions, including foreign visitors on 194,900 occasions. In the same year, the tourism industry in Tibet generated 12.65 billion yuan in revenue. The proportionate layout of Tibet's industrial structure in terms of primary, secondary and tertiary industries was 11.5 : 34.6 : 53.9.
 
  Modernization and urbanization constantly improving people's lives
 
  In the old days Tibet had no roads in the modern sense, but today a comprehensive transportation system including road, aviation, railway, and pipeline transportation is being developed and improved. In 2012 Tibet had 8,896 km of roads with sub-high-grade surface or better, and the total length of road opened to traffic reached 65,200 km. Every county and township now has access to road transportation. Sixty-two counties are accessible by tarmac roads. In 2006 the Qinghai-Tibet Railway began operation, introducing railway transportation into Tibet for the first time in history. The construction of the railway line connecting Lhasa and Shigatse will be completed in 2014. In 2011 Tibet's first expressway opened to traffic, linking Lhasa and Gongga Airport. By the end of 2012 Tibet had five airports, and nine airlines had operations there. Now 34 domestic air routes link Tibet with other parts of China, with Gongga Airport (Lhasa) as the main terminal supplemented by Bamda Airport (Qamdo), Mainling Airport (Nyingchi), Gunsa Airport (Ngari), Heping Airport (Shigatse). Before the peaceful liberation of Tibet only one small power station, with a capacity of 125 kw, provided electricity to the small number of privileged aristocrats. Today's Tibet has a rapidly growing power industry. With hydraulic power as the main energy source, Tibet is also developing geothermal power, wind power, solar power and other new energies that complement each other. In 2012 the total installed generating capacity reached 1.23 million kw, and the coverage of power supply was 100 percent. In Lhasa, the city heating project started trial operation, providing heating to 40 percent of the city's households by the end of 2012. In old Tibet people used to carry goods by themselves or use pack animals, and mail was delivered by courier stations. This is now history. Currently a network of optical cable, satellite and long-distance telephone lines has been established in the region, and all places above county level are now covered by 3G signals. Every township has broadband connection and every village has telephone services. In 2012 the number of households using landline telephone reached 2.76 million, and there were 91 telephones for every 100 persons. The number of households with Internet connections users was 1.47 million, with a coverage rate of 33.3 percent.
 
  Urbanization has brought the fruits of modern civilization to people living in Tibet. Prior to the peaceful liberation of Tibet, only a handful of places were inhabited by any concentration of people, and only Lhasa, Qamdo and Shigatse could be called towns. The area of the town proper of Lhasa then was less than three square kilometers. In recent years Tibet has been promoting intensive, intelligent, green and low-carbon urbanization, which is a new-type urban system that centers on Lhasa City and radiates to prefectures, counties, border towns and towns with cultural attractions, in an attempt to attract more industries and residents. By 2012 Tibet had two cities and 140 towns, with an urbanization rate of 22.75 percent.
 
  The reform and opening-up drive has quickened Tibet's development.
 
  Over the past 30 years or more, through reform and opening up, Tibet has been proactively promoting commerce, foreign trade and tourism. It has increased exchanges with other parts of China as well as communication and cooperation with foreign countries. In 1993 Tibet began to develop the socialist market economy with the rest of the country, developing into a new system within the same framework. Reforms have been carried out in the pricing and circulation of goods and materials, grains, and consumer goods, all of which have entered the market system. Currently Tibet is incorporated into the national market system. Commodities from all over the nation and across the world keep flowing into Tibet, enriching the urban and rural markets as well as the lives of the people. At the same time, well-known and quality products with local characteristics and folk handcrafts are transported to other parts of the country in large quantities.
 
  Economically, Tibet is now more and more closely linked to the world. In 2012 the total volume of its foreign trade reached 3.424 billion U.S. dollars, more than 850 times that of 1953, which stood at 4 million U.S. dollars, with an annual growth rate of 12.1 percent. By the end of 2012 actualized foreign investment in Tibet was 470 million U.S. dollars. Taking advantage of its geographical position, Tibet is strengthening friendly cooperation with India, Nepal and other neighboring countries. To promote border trade, it is building a "commodity passageway" to South Asia via the land route, and has built trading centers in such port cities as Gyirong, Zhangmu, Yatung, Pulan and Riwu.
 
  III. Political Progress--the People Are the Masters of Their Own Fate
 
  Democratic reform and regional ethnic autonomy lifted Tibet out of the old state of feudal serfdom under theocracy and put in place the systems of people's congress and regional ethnic autonomy, under which people of all ethnic groups in Tibet have become the true masters of the country, society and their own fate. With the development and improvement of socialist democracy around the country, Tibet has seen its democratic system growing sounder, forms of democracy becoming more diversified, and channels for orderly political participation being expanded.
 
  Establishing the system of people's congresses
 
  The system of people's congress is a fundamental political system of China that ensures the people's right to be the masters of the country. Under this system the Chinese people exercise state power through the National People's Congress (NPC) and local people's congresses at different levels. In September 1965 the First Session of the First People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region was held in Lhasa, marking the formal establishment of this system in Tibet. Tibet's administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs are all created by the regional people's congress to which they are responsible and by which they are supervised. Major regional affairs are decided by the regional people's congress. Tibet's administrative organs carry out the laws, regulations, rules, resolutions and decisions adopted by the regional people's congress. Through deputies to the people's congress at different levels, people in Tibet exercise their right to manage state and regional affairs. All Chinese citizens living in Tibet who are 18 years old or above, regardless of gender, occupation, family background, ethnicity, religious belief, educational background, financial conditions or length of residence in this region, enjoy the right to vote and the right to be elected. People of all ethnic groups in Tibet directly elect deputies to the people's congresses at the county (district) and township (town) levels, and these deputies then elect deputies to the regional people' s congress and to the NPC. The Moinba and Lhoba ethnic groups, despite their small populations, both have their representatives at the NPC and local people' s congresses at all levels in Tibet. During elections at the regional, prefecture (city), county (district) and village (town) levels, the voter turnout rate has grown steadily over the years. In the 2012 elections at these four levels the voter turnout rate exceeded 94 percent.
 
  Deputies of Tibetan and other ethnic minorities make up the overwhelming majority in the local people' s congresses at all levels. In 2012, among the 34,244 deputies elected directly and indirectly at these four levels, 31,901 were from the Tibetan, Moinba, Lhoba, Naxi, Hui, Zhuang and other ethnic minorities, accounting for more than 93 percent. Among the present NPC deputies, 20 are from the Tibet Autonomous Region, of whom 12 are from the Tibetan ethnic group, one each from the Moinba and Lhoba ethnic groups. Among the 44 members of the standing committee of the tenth regional people's congress, 25 are from the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities; among the 14 chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of the standing committee, eight are from the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities. Women have also seen their social status raised markedly. Female deputies make up 25.4 percent of the total to the Tibet regional people' s congress, while women make up 34.49 percent of all civil servants in governments at all levels.
 
  Establishing the political consultation system
 
  The system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation is a basic political system of China, and socialist consultative democracy is an important form of people's democracy in China. On December 20, 1959 the First Session of the First Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was held in Lhasa, marking the creation of this Committee. It also marked the establishment in Tibet of the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a system that ensures that all the people in Tibet, from all strata and all circles, can fully voice their opinions and play their roles in political life. The CPC Committee and People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region have incorporated political consultation into their decision-making procedure, conducting extensive consultation to solicit the local people's opinions on major issues in social and economic development and concrete problems concerning the people's interests. The CPPCC Tibet committee members come from all circles and all ethnic groups, and are elected on an extensive basis to represent their respective circles or ethnic groups. Uniting all people's societies and people from all ethnic groups and all circles, they diligently perform their duties in political consultation, democratic supervision, and participation in the deliberation and administration of state affairs, and make suggestions based on in-depth investigations or research; as an important driving force for Tibet, they are making great contributions to economic development and social progress in the autonomous region. At present, Tibet has 29 members on the CPPCC National Committee, including 26 from the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities. From 2008 to 2012 the Tenth Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPPCC received 1,507 proposals and has replied to them all.
 
  Implementing the system of regional ethnic autonomy
 
  To carry out regional ethnic autonomy in areas where ethnic minorities live in compact communities is a basic political system of China, and also a basic policy to handle problems concerning ethnic minorities in China. All ethnic groups in Tibet enjoy all the political rights prescribed in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and other laws. In addition, they enjoy political rights specially drawn up for ethnic autonomous regions. According to the Constitution and the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy, the Tibet Autonomous Region enjoys extensive rights of autonomy, including legislative power, flexible enforcement of relevant state laws, right to use the spoken and written languages of the ethnic minorities, right of personnel management, right of fiscal management, and right to independently develop culture and education.
 
  Since the Tibet Autonomous Region was set up in 1965, the regional people's congress and its standing committee have made over 290 local laws and regulations, or resolutions and decisions of a legislative nature, and formulated measures for the flexible implementation of some state laws in Tibet in order to suit local conditions. For example, Tibet made alternative regulations in 1981 and 2004, in which the legally marriageable ages for men and women were both reduced by two years from what was prescribed in the Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China, and polyandrous and polygynous relations that had existed before the regulations took effect would be allowed to continue if no one involved proposes dissolution of the marriage. Another example is that in addition to the national holidays, Tibet has other public holidays, mostly traditional Tibetan festivals such as the Tibetan New Year and Shoton Festival. In the contingent of local officials, 70.53 percent are from the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities, and among county and township leaders, 73.03 percent are from the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities. Since the Tibet Autonomous Region was set up, all the chairpersons of the standing committee of the regional people' s congress and of the regional people' s government have been elected from the Tibetan ethnic group. The system of regional ethnic autonomy ensures that political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet are effectively protected.
 
  Expanding community-level democracy in both urban and rural Tibet
 
  In China community-level democracy is an effective way of ensuring that the people are masters of their own country, and an important way of expanding the political participation of China's citizens. After years of exploration, Tibet has put in place a system of community-level democracy covering both farming and pastoral areas with Chinese and Tibetan characteristics. In Tibet, the villagers' self-governance system and the system of regional ethnic autonomy have helped institutionalize and regulate community-level democracy, guaranteed the people's rights to participate in and discuss state and regional affairs, and aroused their enthusiasm for political participation. On July 5, 1959 a total of 443 peasants of Khesum Village in the Shannan region founded the first association of peasants in Tibet, starting the building of community-level democracy in Tibet. In 1993 Tibet published the Measures for the Tibetan Autonomous Region' s Implementation of the Law of Organizing the Villagers' Committees of the People's Republic of China (For Trial Implementation), ensuring that the election of villagers' committees around the region is conducted according to due procedures. Currently, over 95 percent of the villages in Tibet have established the system of villagers' representative meetings. A democratic management system mainly consisting of village regulations, code of conduct for villagers and self-governance rules, as well as a democratic supervision system that requires village affairs be made known to all villagers are being improved. All villages now make village affairs public and exercise democratic management; and over 90 percent of the villages in Tibet have set up billboards, ensuring the ordinary people's rights to be informed, to participate, to decide and to supervise. During the seventh general election of village (community) committees of Tibet, 1,686,800 people registered, and 1,495,000 voted, making a turnout rate of 88.7 percent; and 26,335 were elected to village or community committees. Community-level democracy has been improving. Tibet's 192 urban communities have all set up community residents' congresses and community committees, providing a solid organizational guarantee for the self-governance of local residents.
 
  Establishing and cementing a new ethnic relationship
 
  In the Tibet Autonomous Region there are over 40 ethnic groups, including those of the Tibetan, Han, Hui, Moinba, Lhoba, Naxi, Sherpa and Deng, with the Tibetan group making up the majority of the population. During the long history of Tibet, these peoples jointly developed the Tibetan Plateau and created the history of Tibet, making it an important part of the history of the Chinese nation. After the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, the Central Government carried out an ethnic policy that stresses ethnic equality and unity, regional ethnic autonomy and the common prosperity of all ethnic groups. For over 60 years since its peaceful liberation, Tibet has fully carried out the state ethnic policy, removing political, economic and social factors that would have resulted in ethnic inequality, while eliminating the class differences and personal bondage relations peculiar to Tibet; thus, it has established a new socialist ethnic relationship featuring equality, unity, mutual-aid and harmony.
 
  Driven by the growing socialist market economy, population movements have become more and more frequent between Tibet and the rest of China, between the Tibetan group and other ethnic groups, and within Tibet; mutual exchanges, tolerance and fusion between ethnic groups has become the mainstream of the ethnic relationship. While people of all ethnic groups go to Tibet for business, work, exchanges, pilgrimages and tourism, numerous Tibetan people leave Tibet and the Tibetan-inhabited areas in Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces, and go to inland cities for business, work, study, exchanges and tourism. The China Tibetology Research Center conducted a research in 2011 to study the migration of Tibetan population in inland China. It found that there are different numbers of Tibetan people, floating or resident, in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xining, Lanzhou, Kunming and other big cities. For example, in the city proper of Chengdu there is a Tibetan population of over 30,000 with registered permanent residence, and 150,000 to 200,000 without registered permanent residence. In addition, areas where Tibetans live in compact communities have appeared in some of the counties and urban districts of Chengdu. The People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region has worked hard to educate local people about ethnic unity. It holds a theme campaign every September to increase awareness of ethnic unity. Every year there is a conference for the commendations of those who have been outstanding in promoting ethnic unity and progress. Many other activities are also organized by the government to promote this theme.
 
  IV. Cultural Preservation and Freedom of Religious Belief
 
  As an important part of Chinese culture, Tibetan culture attracts people from all over the world with its unique charm. Over the years, the Central Government and the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region have worked together to preserve and promote the outstanding traditional Tibetan culture while developing advanced socialist culture, and to protect places of unique folk cultures. Their efforts have reaped fruits, and Tibetan culture is now well preserved and developed.
 
  Preserving and developing the spoken and written Tibetan language
 
  The study and use of the Tibetan language and script are protected by law in China. The Constitution, Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy and Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language have articles protecting the freedom of ethnic minorities to use and develop their own spoken and written languages. The Tibet Autonomous Region enacted the Several Provisions of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Study, Use and Development of the Tibetan Language (For Trial Implementation), Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Provisions, and the formal version, finally making this work solidly law-based.
 
  Bilingual education, with Tibetan as the principal language, is widespread in Tibet. At present, primary schools in all farming and pastoral areas and some urban areas use both Tibetan and Chinese in teaching, but mostly Tibetan for the major courses. Middle schools also use both languages, and Tibetan classes in middle schools in inland areas also have lessons in Tibetan. By the end of 2012 there were 282,914 primary school students and 177,981 middle school students receiving bilingual education, accounting for 96.88 percent and 90.63 percent of the total respectively in Tibet. Now there are 23,085 bilingual teachers, and 3,700 Tibetan language teachers at schools at different levels.
 
  Tibetan is widely used in political life. Resolutions, laws and regulations adopted at people's congresses at all levels, and formal documents and declarations published by people's governments at different levels and their subsidiary departments in Tibet are written in both Tibetan and Chinese. In judicial proceedings, Tibetan is used to try cases involving litigants of the Tibetan group; and the Tibetan language is used in writing the legal documents. Automation has been realized in the translation and interpretation departments of the Party Committee, People's Congress, People's Government and CPPCC office of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and such offices at prefecture and county levels. The word count of translation in Tibet is more than 60 million each year. Both Tibetan and Chinese are used in official seals, credentials and certificates, forms, envelopes and letter paper, writing paper, identifiers, signs of work units, factories and mines, schools, stations, airports, shops, hotels, restaurants, theaters, scenic spots, sports venues, libraries, and street and traffic signs.
 
  More and more intellectual and cultural products in Tibetan are appearing. There are 14 Tibetan-language magazines and ten Tibetan-language newspapers in Tibet. Tibet People's Radio has 42 programs and columns in Tibetan (including Khampa); its Tibetan-language news channel broadcasts 21 hours a day, and its Khampa channel broadcasts 18 hours a day. Tibet TV Station has a Tibetan-language channel broadcasting 24 hours a day. In 2012 some 780 titles of books in the Tibetan language were published in the Tibet Autonomous Region, with a total of 4.31 million copies.
 
  In addition, the use of Tibetan is becoming more and more IT-based. Computer coding of Tibetan characters has met the national and international standards. Tibetan editing, laser phototypesetting and electronic publishing developed independently by China are extensively applied. Through the Internet, mobile phones and other means, Tibetans can read, listen to and watch domestic and international news and get all types of information, which has become part of their daily life.
 
  While preserving and developing the Tibetan language, the State also popularizes standard Chinese around the country, including in regions inhabited by ethnic minorities. According to the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language, "the State popularizes modern standard Chinese and standardized Chinese characters" and "every Chinese citizen has the right to learn and use the standard spoken and written Chinese language" so as to "promote economic and cultural exchanges between ethnic groups and regions." In addition, "The use of the standard spoken and written Chinese language should help maintain state sovereignty and national dignity, safeguard state unification and national unity, and promote socialist material, cultural and ethical progress." In China, no individual or organization shall oppose the popularization, study and use of standard spoken and written Chinese language on the pretext of protecting and developing the language and script of their ethnic group.
 
  Preserving and carrying forward outstanding cultural heritages
 
  Cultural relics and historic sites have been effectively preserved in the Tibet Autonomous Region, which has issued the Notice of the Tibet Autonomous Region People's Government on Strengthening the Protection of Cultural Relics, and Regulations of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Protection of Cultural Relics, and some other laws and regulations to ensure that cultural relics are protected in accordance with the law and due procedures. Currently, Tibet has 4,277 cultural relics sites (including 55 state-level ones and 210 regional ones), and 2.32 million items of cultural relics are in their collection. The Potala Palace, the Norbulingka and Jokhang Temple are on the World Heritage List. Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyangtse are honored as State-level Historical and Cultural Cities. Tibet Museum is a state-level museum. Since 2000 the Central Government has invested 2.04 billion yuan in key projects for the preservation and maintenance of cultural relics in Tibet, among which more than 380 million yuan has been used in the three key projects of the Potala Palace, Norbulingka and Sakya Monastery.
 
  The region's intangible cultural heritage has been effectively preserved, promoted and developed. The Regional People's Government and local prefectural (city) governments have set up special organizations to salvage, collate and study the Tibetan cultural heritage, making a general survey of the cultural and artistic heritage of the Tibetan group. These organizations have edited and published Chronicles of Chinese Dramas: Tibet; Collection of Folk Dances: Tibet; Collection of National Instrumental Folk Music: Tibet, and seven other collections, including over 10,000 pieces of folk music, songs and other art forms and over 30 million characters of literary data. Currently, Tibet has nearly 800 intangible cultural heritage projects, over 80 performance troupes of traditional dramas and 1,177 inheritors of such intangible cultural heritage. Tibetan opera and the Gesar epic have been included in UNESCO's Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Tibetan Thangka, Tibetan papermaking technique and 73 other cultural items have been included in China's Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage, and 68 inheritors of such cultural items have been affirmed as representative inheritors of China's Intangible Heritage projects; 323 projects and 227 inheritors have been put on the Tibet Regional List of Intangible Heritage; and 158 books have been put on the State List of Valuable Ancient Books. The Ministry of Culture and Tibet Autonomous Region have named five places as national homes of folk art, 19 as regional homes of folk art, and two as homes of special art.
 
  Developing traditional Tibetan medicine
 
  The People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region has made the development of traditional Tibetan medicine a key part of its health care strategy. It has drawn up the Decision on Strengthening Traditional Tibetan Medicine Work, Opinions of the People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region on Providing More Support to and Promoting the Development of Traditional Tibetan Medicine and some other related documents. These measures are conducive to the protection and development of traditional Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medical establishments at all levels in Tibet exploit their advantages to the full, and study special traditional Tibetan medical treatment techniques and drugs and put them into practice. They collate ancient books, records and documents on traditional Tibetan medicine, and have compiled and published the Annotations on the Four Canons of Medicine and other important documents in this field. Currently, Tibet has 19 Tibetan medical establishments, and over 50 county-level hospitals have departments of Tibetan medicine, making Tibetan medicine accessible to people throughout the region. Traditional Tibetan drugs are now produced in modern factories instead of small manual workshops, meaning they are produced in scale according to standardized procedures. The 20 Tibetan drug manufacturers registered in Tibet all have the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certificate, and produce over 360 types of Tibetan medicine. Their products are sold in China and some foreign countries. The total value of their products reaches 100 million yuan or more. Traditional Tibetan medicine has gone beyond Tibet, and is now serving more and more people, both in China and around the world.
 
  Respecting and protecting customs and folkways of ethnic minorities
 
  The State respects and protects the right of all ethnic groups in Tibet to live and conduct social activities according to their own traditional customs and folkways; it respects and protects their freedom in attending normal religious service, performing sacrificial rituals, and taking part in major religious activities and folk festivals. While maintaining their traditional ways and styles of clothing, diet and housing, people of all ethnic groups in Tibet have absorbed new, modern customs in terms of clothing, food, housing, transportation, and wedding and funeral ceremonies. The Shoton Festival in Lhasa, Mt. Qomolangma Culture and Art Festival in Shigatse, Yarlung Art Festival in Shannan, the Great Canyon Culture and Tourism Festival in Nyingchi, Kham Art Festival in Qamdo, Horse Racing Festival in Nagqu, Shangshung Culture and Art Festival in Ngari, and some other festivals have been revived. National and international festivals such as the March 8th International Women's Day, May 1st Labor Day, June 1st Children' s Day, and October 1st National Day are becoming more and more popular. New customs and habits have been formed encompassing both national characteristics and spirit of the time. While the people' s material life keeps improving, every festival is a feast for the mind, giving them more and more recreational activities. Tibetan people like to spend the Incense Festival with relatives and friends; while Langma halls for song and dance performance and sweet tea houses are major places for Tibetan leisure and recreational activities.
 
  Constantly enhancing public cultural services
 
  In recent years Tibet has invested more and more in building its cultural infrastructure. Radio and television are accessible to every village and household, and there are libraries and cultural centers at county, township and village levels, popularized digital TV on the basis of cable TV and digital libraries, electronic reading rooms for the public, and other cultural projects for the people, including libraries in the countryside and monasteries and the Spring Rain Project, in which cultural volunteers from other parts of China go to the frontier to serve the people there. Through these efforts, the local government tries to protect the people' s cultural rights. By the end of 2012 Tibet had built eight people's art centers, 77 libraries, two museums, 73 county-level cultural centers, 239 township-level cultural stations, over 500 village cultural rooms. In addition, it had one regional center, 73 county-level sub-centers, 103 township-level stations, and over 3,000 village-level stations as part of the project for sharing cultural information and resources. As a result, a network of cultural facilities has taken shape, from the regional level at the top all the way to the villages at the bottom. In 2012 Tibet completed the task of providing radio and television access to 50,500 households of farmers and herdsmen, bringing the number of such households to over 85 percent of the total. Lhasa completed the digital conversion of cable TV in 131 communities, and built five core sub-platforms at the prefectural or city level. Digital film screening service is now available in all farming and pastoral areas, with films shown on over 130,000 occasions for free. In 2012 Tibet dubbed over 10,000 hours of TV programs and 75 films. It built 5,451 small libraries in the countryside and over 1,700 libraries in monasteries, making such facilities accessible in all administrative villages and all monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Tibet now has ten professional performing art troupes, over 20 county-level folk art troupes, over 160 amateur performing art and Tibetan opera troupes, and over 4,000 cultural and performing art professionals. Professional performing art troupes have worked harder in artistic creation, launching Princess Wencheng in Peking Opera and Tibetan Opera forms, Colorful Hada, Heavenly Tibet and Tibet Spring in song and dance performances, Liberation, Liberation and Tashigang in drama form, and a film titled Thangka. Moreover, Tibet has enhanced its cultural exchanges with other countries and regions. Over the past 60 years it has sent more than 360 groups or teams of nearly 4,000 people to over 50 countries and regions for visits and for performances in over 110 overseas cities. It has also received over 200 experts and scholars from over 30 countries and regions for performances, lectures and exhibitions.
 
  Respecting and protecting freedom of religious belief
 
  According to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of religious belief as a basic right. In Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism, Bon, Islam, Catholicism and some other religions coexist, and there are different sects within Tibetan Buddhism. After the democratic reform, Tibet abolished feudal serfdom under theocracy and separated religion from government, removed what had been tarnished by feudal serfdom and restored the true nature of religion, realizing true freedom of religious belief and religious tolerance between different religious beliefs and sects. The Central Government and the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region fully respect citizens' freedom of religious belief, respect and protect all religions and sects, and protect normal religious activities and beliefs according to law. Currently, Tibet has 1,787 places for different religious activities, over 46,000 resident monks and nuns, and 358 Living Buddhas. The majority of the people in Tibet believe in Tibetan Buddhism. Traditional religious activities such as scripture learning and debate, degree promotion, initiation into monkhood or nunhood, abhisheka (empowerment ceremony) and self-cultivation are held on a regular basis, while ceremonial activities are also held at important religious festivals. Living Buddha reincarnation is a special succession system of Tibetan Buddhism and is respected by the State. So far, over 40 incarnated Living Buddhas have been confirmed through traditional religious rituals and historical conventions.
 
  In present-day Tibet it is not difficult to see prayer flags, Mani stones inscribed with Buddhist scriptures, and believers taking part in religious activities. Ordinary believers usually have a scripture hall or a Buddha shrine at home, and such religious activities as circumambulation while reciting scriptures, Buddha worship, and inviting lamas or nuns from monasteries to hold religious rites are normally conducted. The Tibet Autonomous Region and its seven prefectures or cities have each set up a Buddhist Society; the Tibet Branch of the Buddhist Association of China runs a Buddhist college, a sutra printing house, and a Tibetan-language journal - Buddhism in Tibet. Tibet has protected and repaired murals, carvings, statues, Thangka, sutras, religious ritual implements, shrines, and some other carriers of religious culture. It has also salvaged, collated and published a great number of religious books and records. It has promoted the development of conventional sutra printing houses at monasteries. There are now nearly 60 such sutra printing houses in Tibet, including one in the Moru Monastery and one in the Potala Palace; they print 63,000 sutra titles every year. In addition, there are 20 private shops selling these sutras. Regarding religious management, the State upholds the policy of separating religion from government; it strengthens the administration of religious activities according to law, prohibits religion from intervening in the country' s administration, justice system and education, and allows no individual or organization to use religion for illegal activities.
 
  V. Social Changes and Development of All Undertakings
 
  Tibet has achieved all-round development. With the changes in the political and economic systems, Tibet has made the transition from a traditional society to a modern one. Its people' s rights to education, employment, health and social security have been further protected, and all social undertakings are thriving.
 
  Science and education have achieved rapid development.
 
  Before its peaceful liberation in 1951, Tibet had no scientific research institutes or staff in the modern sense except in the areas of Tibetan medicine, astronomy and the calendar. Now, Tibet has 33 state-owned independent scientific research institutes, ten private scientific research institutes, and 184 agricultural and animal husbandry science and technology promotion organizations at the autonomous region, prefectural (municipal), and county (district)levels; 29 agricultural science and technology parks and key laboratories at the national and autonomous region levels; 27 state-level new and high-tech enterprises and 46 autonomous-region-level small and medium-sized sci-tech enterprises, and five state-level innovative enterprises and corporate technology centers. Currently, Tibet has 56,264 technical professionals, of whom 43,552 are from ethnic-minority groups, accounting for 77.41 percent; 2,870 senior technical professionals (including one member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 244 experts enjoying special government allowances, 16 young and middle-aged experts with outstanding contributions and three national outstanding technical professionals), 13,869 intermediate technical professionals and 36,216 junior technical professionals. All these people play an active role in scientific innovation and application in agriculture, animal husbandry, industry, Tibetan medicine, new energy, tourism, cultural creativity, ethnic handicrafts and other fields. In 2012 the contribution rate of science to economic growth reached 35 percent, to agricultural and animal husbandry growth 42 percent, and the popularization rate of science and technology 85 percent.
 
  Before the peaceful liberation of Tibet, the educated were mostly aristocrats, while serfs and slaves, accounting for 95 percent of the total population of Tibet, had no right to education at all, and the illiteracy rate among young and middle-aged people was 95 percent. Now, Tibet has established a modern education system covering pre-school education, basic education, vocational education, higher education, adult education and special education. Since 1985 China has covered all tuition, food and boarding expenses for students from farmers and herdsmen' s families in the stage of compulsory education, raised the subsidy standard 12 times and benefited 510,400 people. In 2007 Tibet became the first place in China to enjoy free nine-year compulsory education, and in 2012 the first place in China to enjoy 15-year free education (three-year preschool, six-year primary school, three-year junior middle school and three-year senior middle school). By the end of 2012 Tibet had 292,016 primary school students, with an enrollment rate of 99.4 percent among school-age children; 130,266 junior middle school students, with an enrollment rate of 98.6 percent; 47,825 regular senior middle school students and 18,291 secondary vocational school students, the senior middle school enrollment rate reaching 70.2 percent. In addition, there were 33,452 undergraduate students and 1,079 postgraduate students, the higher education gross enrollment rate reaching 27.4 percent. In China 26 senior and junior middle schools in 20 provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government have classes specially for Tibetan students; 60 key senior middle schools enroll students with registered permanent residence in Tibet; 48 state-level demonstration secondary vocational technical schools and 170 institutions of higher learning enroll students from the Tibetan classes. These schools and universities have accumulatively enrolled 42,040 junior middle school students, 47,492 senior middle school students (secondary vocational school students), and 16,100 undergraduate students. Currently, inland Tibetan classes have 42,460 students. The campaign to get rid of illiteracy has reached all population in Tibet, the illiteracy rate among young and middle-aged people has decreased to 0.8 percent, and the average length of education for people above the age of 15 has reached 8.1 years.
 
  Citizens' right to employment is protected.
 
  Since the democratic reform in Tibet in 1959, all trades in Tibet have thrived, areas of employment have expanded and the requirement for employees' knowledge and skills raised. The government vigorously encourages farmers and herdsmen to seek employment locally by promoting free vocational training, building labor service brands, and improving the mechanism for organized transfer employment and providing better employment environment for migrant workers. The government helps "zero-employment" families, the disabled and other groups with employment difficulties to find jobs by increasing public welfare positions, "enacting policies and providing jobs, skill training, employment services" and other employment assistance. In recent years the government has provided public welfare positions for 19,867 people with employment difficulties, thereby eliminating the number of "zero-employment" families. The government has actively built a two-way selection platform for urban and rural employers and workers. In 2012 new jobs in other fields were found for 450,000 farmers and herdsmen. At the same time 14,153 higher-education graduates were employed, with an employment rate of 98.36 percent. To protect the lawful rights and interests of the workers, the government has set a standard for minimum wages, promoted the adoption of labor contract and collective bargaining, enhanced labor supervision, mediation and arbitration, and improved the mechanism of preventing and handling labor-management dispute cases. In 2012 Tibet' s newly increased urban employment totaled 25,000, and the registered urban unemployment rate was below 2.6 percent.
 
  The people's health has increasingly improved.
 
  Before the peaceful liberation of Tibet, only Lhasa and Shigatse had government-run Tibetan medical institutions, private clinics and Tibetan doctors, which were small in both number and operating size. Now Tibet has a public medical and health service system combining Tibetan medicine, Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine that covers all urban and rural areas of the autonomous region with Lhasa as the center, thereby realizing the objective of "one clinic for one village." In 2012 Tibet had 6,660 medical and health institutions, 8,352 hospital beds and 21,558 health workers (including 9,336 health technicians). The medical institutions provided treatment on 10.12 million occasions and accommodated patients in hospitals on 145,500 occasions. Free medical services are now available to all the farmers and herdsmen in the autonomous region. The subsidy for these medical services was raised from 5.5 yuan annually per person in 1993 to 300 yuan in 2012. The autonomous regional government allocated a special fund of 23 million yuan to set up a major disease supplementary health insurance for farmers and herdsmen. Tibet was the first in China to provide free physical examinations for urban and rural residents, and the subsidy has been raised to 300 yuan annually per capita. In 2012 Tibet provided free medical treatment to 1,032 children with congenital heart defects (CHD). Tibet has set up 81 disease prevention and control institutions; promoted an immunization program throughout the autonomous region; improved the epidemic disease reporting and monitoring system; basically contained plague, tuberculosis (TB), leprosy, Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) and iodine deficiency disorders (IDD); reduced the incidence of measles, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis and other infectious diseases by a large margin; and basically eliminated IDD, with an iodized salt coverage rate of 96.59 percent. In 2012 Tibet implemented a fitness program for farmers and herdsmen in 1,000 administrative villages; enhanced the construction of urban physical fitness zones and gymnasiums; ensured that agricultural and pastoral areas have fitness sites and equipment; promoted a scientific fitness program; and enhanced the building of community-level sports organizations, community sports clubs and nationwide fitness centers to improve the people' s health and quality of life. Tibet has been implementing a flexible birth-control policy, which exempts the farmers and herdsmen, who account for over 80 percent of Tibet' s total population, from the limit set on the number of children one couple could have. The government encourages late marriage and postponed childbearing, healthy pregnancy and scientific nurture, and healthy and civilized marriage lives.
 
  Before the peaceful liberation, Tibet's population remained stagnant for a long period of time because of economic backwardness, low survival rate of newborns, poor medical conditions and a large proportion of monks and nuns in the total population. But since the peaceful liberation, Tibet' s population increased from 1.1409 million in 1951 to 3.002 million in 2010, of which 2.716 million were Tibetans, accounting for more than 90 percent of the total; over 40,000 were from other ethnic-minority groups, accounting for 1.3 percent; and 245,000 were Han people, accounting for 8 percent. In 2012 Tibet' s total population reached 3.08 million. The average life expectancy there has increased from 35.5 years in 1951 to 68.17 years now; the death rates of infants and women in childbirth have dropped greatly and the people' s health has been remarkably improved.
 
  Social security system increasingly improved.
 
  In recent years Tibet's social security system has been increasingly improved, so that the sick can seek medical treatment, the elderly are cared for and the financially straitened can receive aid. By the end of 2012 Tibet had established a social security system consisting of basic old-age insurance, basic health insurance, unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance and maternity insurance, and covering all urban and rural residents, with an insured population of 2.397 million. In 2012 Tibet covered all types of social insurance to the tune of 2.38 billion yuan. The basic living allowance coverage keeps expanding in urban and rural Tibet, and the amount of allowance granted has been raised several times. In 2012, 48,047 urban residents and 329,000 rural residents received basic living allowances from the government, with 400 yuan per person per month in cities and 1,600 yuan per person per year in the countryside. The yearly payment to those who enjoy the "five guarantees" (for food, clothing, medical care, housing and funeral expenses) has been raised significantly to 2,600 yuan per person per year in 2013. People with economic difficulties in urban and rural areas received medical aid on nearly 120,000 occasions, with total funds amounting to 205.75 million yuan. A total of 6,925 urban and rural households with economic difficulties received temporary relief funds totaling 7.762 million yuan. A total of 6,432 students with financial hardships were provided with 16.769 million yuan in assistance. By August 2012 a total of 394,636 urban and rural residents entitled to basic living allowance, the "five guarantees" and special social care received temporary price subsidies totaling 126.069 million yuan. Under the special care of the government, all the monks and nuns in Tibet have been included in the social security system and covered by health insurance, old-age insurance and basic living allowance. Monks and nuns above the age of 60 receive a 120 yuan monthly pension; nuns above the age of 60 and monks above the age of 65 enjoy permanent basic health insurance.
 
  VI. Environmental Protection and Ecological Improvement
 
  Tibet serves as an important ecological safety barrier in China. Over the past few decades the central and regional governments have upheld scientific development, struck a balance between socio-economic development and environmental protection, and given priority to ecological conservation and environmental protection in China' s modernization drive. Vigorous efforts are being made to promote local ecological progress and build a beautiful Tibet. Being one of the areas with the best environmental quality in the world, most parts of the region have maintained their original natural states.
 
  Ecological environment of the Tibet Plateau influenced by climate change
 
  Scientific research findings show that the earth has entered a warming period over the past century. Due to its unique altitude, the Tibet Plateau has been influenced more strongly than surrounding areas by global warming. From 1961 to 2007 the Tibet Plateau registered an average temperature increase of over 0.3 degrees C every ten years, doubling the global average. Global warming has accelerated the retreat of glaciers. Over the past 30 years, the area of glaciers has decreased by 131 sq km annually on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the permafrost has experienced patches of degradation, manifested by reduction of the seasonal frozen depth and rising thaw depth.
 
  In the wake of global warming, remarkable changes have taken place in the ecosystem of the Tibet Plateau. Since the 1980s the vegetation has witnessed early greening, late withering and an average increase of ten days in the growing season. The vegetation coverage has been slightly raised overall, and the NPP (net primary productivity) has grown by around 11 percent. The NPP's remarkable growth has led to an increasing carbon sink in the alpine ecosystem. From 1980 to 2002 Tibet's alpine ecosystem created an average annual net carbon sink of 23 million tons, accounting for 13 percent of the total increased carbon sinks of all the earth' s vegetation in China, of which 17.6 million tons was produced by alpine grassland ecosystems every year. The vegetation ecosystem of the Tibet Plateau acts as one of China' s important areas for carbon sinks. At present, Tibet' s vegetation is improving as a whole. However, there are differences between different regions. The ecosystem is degrading in the southern areas with reduced rainfall, while it is improving in the northern areas with increased rainfall. Following the implementation of large national ecological projects and eco-compensation policies, Tibet has effectively curbed ecological degradation in areas intensely influenced by human activities, and further enhanced its function as an ecological safety barrier.
 
  Strengthening legislation and planning for ecological conservation and environmental protection
 
  Over the past few decades Tibet has remained the focus within the country' s general framework of environmental protection and ecological conservation. In the National Plan for Eco-environmental Improvement and the National Program for Eco-environmental Protection formulated by the State Council in 1998 and 2000, respectively, a separate plan has been drawn up to make the freeze-thawing zone on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau one of the country's eight major areas for ecological improvement, complete with a number of explicit tasks and principles for work in this regard. According to the National Plan for Major Function-oriented Zones issued by the State Council in 2010, two of the 25 national key eco-function zones are located in Tibet, i.e., "forest zone on the edge of the plateau in southeast Tibet" and "desert zone on the Changtang Plateau in northwest Tibet." Covering areas of 97,750 sq km and 494,381 sq km, respectively, they account for nearly half of Tibet' s total area. In 2009 the State Council approved the Plan for Ecology Safety Barrier Protection and Construction in Tibet (2008-2030), aiming to basically complete the building of an ecology safety barrier by 2030 and give full play to its function. The Tibet Autonomous Region has drawn up and implemented a series of plans covering eco-environmental protection and construction, including the Eco-environmental Improvement Plan, Plan for Conservation of Water and Topsoil, Comprehensive Improvement Plan for the Environment in Farming and Pastoral Areas, Plan for Environmental Protection of Drinking Water Sources in Urban Areas, 12th Five-Year Plan for Comprehensive Prevention and Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution, Plan for Pollution Control on the Upper Reaches of the "Five Rivers" (the Yarlung Zangbo, Lhasa, Nyangqu, Nyakchu and Nyang rivers), and Ecological Function Zoning. Meanwhile, Tibet is actively carrying out fundamental work in this field, including investigation of the status quo of the ecological environment, ecological function zoning, soil pollution investigation, ecological compensation research, basic survey of nature reserves, and investigation by remote sensing of eco-environmental changes during the period 2000-2010 and relevant evaluation, so as to provide a scientific basis for environmental protection and ecological conservation.
 
  Tibet's work in the field of ecological improvement and environmental protection is progressing steadily and in a law-governed manner. A relatively comprehensive legal system ensuring environmental protection has taken shape. The people' s congress and people' s government of the Tibet Autonomous Region have promulgated relevant local laws, regulations and administrative decrees, including the Regulations for Environmental Protection in the Tibet Autonomous Region, Rules for the Implementation in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the Grassland Law of the People' s Republic of China, Measures for the Implementation in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the Law of the People' s Republic of China on the Protection of Wildlife, and Opinions of the People' s Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Implementation of the Decision of the State Council on Implementing the Scientific Outlook on Development and Strengthening Environmental Protection.
 
  Remarkable progress in ecological improvement
 
  Tibet has effectively protected its biodiversity and significant eco-function zones. A total of 47 nature reserves at various levels have been established in Tibet, including nine national-level ones, 14 at the autonomous region level and 24 at the prefecture or county level. Nature reserves cover a total area of 413,700 sq km, accounting for 33.9 percent of the total land area of the region and leading all the other areas of China. All the region's 125 types of wild animals and 39 wild plants under state key protection are well preserved in the established nature reserves. For instance, red deer, generally considered by the international animal research community to have been extinct, was discovered again in Tibet in the 1990s, and their numbers are increasing. The number of Tibetan antelopes is growing year by year to reach 150,000 so far. There are about 7,000 black-necked cranes in the region. Tibet is home to 22 ecological conservation areas (one at national level), eight national forest parks, three national wetland parks, four geological parks (two at national level), and three national scenic areas. In the preface written by Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States, to the book Across the Tibetan Plateau: Ecosystems, Wildlife, and Conservation, he appraised the biological diversity protection work of Tibet, saying it was not easy to increase the population of an endangered species but the industrious Tibetan people did it.
 
  Forest and grassland ecological protection in the autonomous region has been crowned with signal success. Tibet strictly controls the scale of tree-felling. A project for the protection of natural forest resources, with a total area of 31,000 sq km, has been implemented in the three counties of Jomda, Gonjo and Markam, putting an end to the felling of natural forest resources for commercial purposes in these areas. In addition, Tibet has carried out a project for the planting of non-commercial forests in key areas, and set up demonstration zones of desertification control in Chushur and Chanang counties, Shigatse Prefecture and Shiquanhe Town. In 28 counties along the upper reaches of the Jinsha, Lancang and Nujiang rivers and the drainage area of the Yarlung Zangbo River, where the hazards of sandstorms and soil erosion are serious, a project to reforest cultivated land is being undertaken, in the course of which the afforested area has topped 83,700 ha, 338,700 ha of mountainous areas have been sealed off to facilitate afforestation, and every year an additional 19,200 ha of cultivated land is restored to forests. The forest coverage rate has now risen to 11.91 percent. Tibet rationally utilizes and protects grassland to ensure the sound development of the grassland ecology. Emphasis has been placed on fencing and building water-conservancy projects on natural grassland, and a pasture-responsibility system has been implemented. In line with the principle of limiting the number of grazing animals by the size of the pasture, rotation grazing periods and no-grazing areas have been designated. Energetic efforts have been made to promote man-made grassland, improve deteriorated pastureland and prohibit the grazing of animals in some areas so that the grassland can be restored. By the end of 2012 there was 85.11 million ha of natural grassland in total, of which 69.1 million ha was available for grazing. Tibet has initiated a compensation scheme for non-commercial forests and a rewarding mechanism for the protection of grassland.
 
  Tibet has also intensified its efforts in the areas of water and soil conservation, and prevention of geological disasters. It has launched the construction of a water- and soil-conservation monitoring network. In recent years, projects have been carried out to prevent disasters caused by landslides in Zham Town, Nyalam County, landslides and mud-rock flows in the county seat of Chongye, landslides threatening the Grade II power station of the Bayi Power Plant in Nyingchi Prefecture, and mud-rock flows into the Liusha River in Lhasa.
 
  Environmental protection and ecological improvement work is progressing smoothly in the rural areas of the autonomous region. Since 2010 work covering improvement of the people' s living environment and the ecological environment has been carried out at 4,761 administrative villages in seven prefectures (prefecture-level cities) and 74 counties (county-level cities and districts) in Tibet. By the end of 2012, pilot programs in this regard had been launched in 2,500 villages. Besides, Tibet actively popularizes the use of clean energy to reduce the destruction of natural vegetation and effectively protect the ecological environment in farming and pastoral areas. It conducts energy projects to promote the use of methane gas and solar energy, and small-scale wind power generation in rural areas. Methane-generating pits have been built in 210,000 households, and 395,000 solar cookers have been put into use. Over 10,000 sets of panels for solar photovoltaic systems have been installed in dwelling houses, and a solar heating central system now covers a total area of 10,000 sq m. The total installed capacity of wind-PV complementary power generation has reached 220 kw.
 
  Steady efforts have been made to ensure the safety of drinking water in urban areas. Tibet has finished an investigation on drinking water sources for urban residents, and built a database on drinking water sources. It has set up a special fund for the protection of drinking water sources, and carried out a project to protect the environment of water sources.
 
  Ecological improvement work is progressing in an all-round way in Tibet. The regional government has set the goals of constructing an ecology safety barrier, preserving the eco-environment, and building a beautiful Tibet. Lhasa is working hard to turn itself into a national model city in environmental protection, while Nyingchi Prefecture is making efforts to improve its ecological environment. The prefectures of Shannan and Nagqu have put forward plans for building an "ecological model area" and "eco-friendly grassland," respectively. Meanwhile, 97 towns and 221 administrative villages in Lhasa and the prefectures of Nagqu, Nyingchi and Shannan are engaged in building ecological towns and villages. By the end of 2012 there were 22 ecological villages at the autonomous region level.
 
  Tibet is one of the cleanest areas in the world.
 
  At present, the Tibet Plateau is the third-cleanest area in the world in terms of its environment, after the South and North poles. It has a clean and transparent atmospheric environment, and similar contents of pollutants to the North Pole. Tibet has few types and low concentrations of pollutants, compared to other places. Its atmospheric content of heavy metals is close to the background value of such elements in the global atmosphere. In addition, the atmospheric content of heavy metals in Lhasa is much lower than that in densely populated areas and industrialized regions. The average annual mass concentration of PM2.5 is 10micrograms/m3 in the non-metropolitan areas of Tibet, and 14.58 micrograms/m3 in Lhasa, much lower than 35micrograms/m3, the standard set by the country' s Ambient Air Quality Standard (AAQS), and less than one-tenth of those of the areas with intensive human activities. The major rivers and lakes in Tibet maintain fine water quality, meeting the national standard specified in the Surface Water Environment Quality Standard (GB3838-2002). The concentration of heavy metals is near the background level of global rivers and lakes ecosystem, indicating that they have not been polluted by human activities. The content of heavy metals in Tibet' s soil inherits the parent material, with no marked change during the 30 years from 1979 to 2009.
 
  Concluding Remarks
 
  Over the past 60-odd years, Tibet has finished a course of historical journey that would normally take several centuries or even a millennium for the human society to complete. It has written a spectacular chapter in the history of mankind. At present, Tibet presents a picture mixing traditional and modern elements, featuring economic and political progress, cultural prosperity, social harmony, sound ecosystem and a happy and healthy life for the local people. We may gain valuable enlightenment from Tibet' s extraordinary journey.
 
  -Tibet's development can't be separated from the choosing of a right path. Over the past 60-odd years, by adhering to the path of socialism in the arms of the Chinese nation, the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet have become masters of their own country, society and fate, and Tibet has made the dramatic change from a place of poverty and backwardness to one of prosperity and civilization. Practice shows that only by adhering to the leadership of the CPC, the socialist system and the system of regional ethnic autonomy, can Tibetans become and remain the masters of their own affairs, and can the fundamental interests of the Tibetan people be safeguarded and developed. In the future, too, this path will remain essential to Tibet' s development.
 
  -Tibet would not have this development and progress without the support of the Central Government and the assistance of the rest of the country. The superiority of China' s state system and the fine tradition of mutual help of the Chinese nation have given a strong impetus to the development of Tibet. The Central Government has always attached great importance to the development of Tibet, and the well-being of all ethnic groups in this autonomous region. It has mobilized the strength of the whole nation, made preferential policies, and provided enormous support in manpower, materials and funds to promote the development and progress of Tibet. From 1952 to 2012 the Central Government appropriated a total of 454.34 billion yuan to Tibet as financial subsidies, taking up 96 percent of the accumulated fiscal expenditures of the local government since it was founded. The Central Government has planned to complete 226 major projects in Tibet in the five years from 2011 to 2015 in sectors relating to the improvement of people' s well-being, infrastructure construction, industries with local characteristics and ecological environment, with a total investment of 193.1 billion yuan, 71.5 percent of which will come from the Central Government. After the Fifth Tibet Work Forum held by the Central Authorities in 2010, the Central Government approved the amount of aid funds to be provided to Tibet by 17 provincial and municipal governments involved in the paired-up support program for Tibet, based on one-thousandth of the fiscal revenue of each. And a mechanism has been established to ensure stable increase of the funds.
 
  -Tibet's development can't be separated from the concerted efforts of all ethnic groups in Tibet. In the final analysis, credit should be given to the creative power of the people in Tibet. At all stages in the history of Tibet, relying on their wisdom and the awareness that they are the masters of their own affairs, people of all ethnic groups have destroyed the old and established the new, and brought about fundamental changes in the region, giving impetus to historical development.
 
  -Tibet's development can't be separated from opening up and foreign cooperation. Isolation used to be the prerequisite for the feudal serfdom under theocracy that lasted several hundred years in old Tibet, hindering the development of this region. Over the past sixty years or more, however, Tibet has implemented opening up, enhanced exchanges and communications with the rest of China and other countries, and absorbed the achievements of other civilizations to enrich and improve itself.
 
  The development and changes in Tibet are obvious to everyone. Any fair-minded person would be filled with amazement, and anyone who cares about Tibet will be pleased to see all this. However, a handful of people just turn a blind eye to the facts, and attack and deny Tibet' s development path and modernization drive that people of all ethnic groups strive for.
 
  The 14th Dalai Lama and his clique in exile are conducting separatist activities for a long time to sabotage the development and stability of Tibet. After the failure of their armed rebellion in 1959, they fled abroad and began to harass China' s borders for years. In recent years, they have put forward the so-called concepts of "Greater Tibet" and "a high degree of autonomy," which in fact go against China' s actual conditions, and violate the Constitution and relevant laws. Their true aim is to overthrow the socialist system and the system of regional ethnic autonomy that is practiced in Tibet, and rock the systemic foundations that have ensured the development and progress of Tibet.
 
  There are some others in the world who intentionally distort the past and present of Tibet due to their ideological bias or out of consideration for their self interests. They created a "Shangri-La" myth, wishing to keep Tibet in a backward primitive state forever. The development and progress of Tibet over the past 60 years or so has proved that the people in Tibet and the people of the rest of the world have equal right to enjoy the achievements of modern civilization, to improve the quality of life and to choose their own way of life.
 
  At present, people of all ethnic groups in Tibet and in the rest of the country are making combined efforts in fighting for the great renewal of the Chinese nation. We have every reason to believe that, in the course of this, the Tibet Autonomous Region will have a better future.