Qinghai-Tibet Railway’s new westward spur may open next month
July 24, 2014
Track tests have been completed on the railway line, which will boost the economy in an area of Tibet where 700,000 people live,
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway’s spur line from Lhasa to Shigatse may be open to traffic next month, with the completion of track tests on Tuesday, People’s Daily reported.
The 253km Lhasa-Shigatse spur, which includes 13 stations with altitudes ranging from 3,600 to 4,000 metres, is the largest investment project in the Tibet Autonomous Region in the 12th Five-Year Plan. It is also reportedly the line that spends the longest time crossing the area because of strong geothermal activities that produce the high such temperatures in China.
Lhasa, the southern terminus of the 1,956km main line from Xining, Qinghai, is the eastern terminus of the spur line, which runs along the Lhasa River to the south, almost 90km across the Brahmaputra Canyon area and the Nianchu River wetlands before reaching Shigatse. The trains trains will run on the spur at an average of 120 km/h.
Care was taken to follow the same eco-friendly construction guidelines as with the railway’s main line, especially on the Tibetan Plateau, the Railway Office of the Tibet Autonomous Region said.
But when builders laid the railway bed, they had to keep the encroachment on the wetlands in the Nianchu River National Wetland Park to a minimum. They thus extended the Nianchu River grand bridge to over 800 metres, and about 50 trees had to be uprooted and then replanted to restore the wetland’s original appearance, said Xiao Yanbin, chief engineer of the Lhasa-Shigatse railway project for the Gezhouba Construction Group.
Yang Yulin, deputy director of the Railway Office, said the project’s main achievement will be the benefit to the area’s residents.
“The opening of the railway will completely change the inconvenient situation in the southern part of Tibet, which had been inaccessible by rail and relied only on road transport,” he said.
The railway will also be a boost to the local economy in Shigatse district, not only in the investment environment, but also in the mining industry, tourism and the characteristic agriculture. “It’s a blessing for the 700,000 people in southwest Tibet,” said Yang.
Huang Lihua, general manager of Tibetan Travel Corp said that once the spur opens, leaders in Qingdao, Shandong, will take the lead and run a special train to Shigatse for tourism.
China to upgrade transport infrastructure in Tibet
China has vowed to further promote the development of transport infrastructures in Tibet to make travels on “the roof of the world” much easier.
The Ministry of Transport (MOT) said in a guideline that China aims to expand highways in the autonomous region to 110,000 kilometers by 2020.
China plans to complete a primary network of railways by then with 1,300 kilometers of rails in operation. The country will also build more airports in Tibet.
Building roads connecting rural areas has become the policy focus. The authorities plans to make sure that by 2020, every village in Tibet has at least one road connecting with the outside. To that end, the ministry will beef up support to the construction of transport infrastructures in Tibet and make specific plans to ensure the accomplishment of these targets. Tibet has received about 83 billion yuan (US$13 billion) in transport investment during the last 20 years. In ancient times, it usually took months even years for people living in China’s middle and eastern regions to get to Tibet.
Although airlines, railways and expressways have made travels to Tibet much more convenient, the transport infrastructures in the autonomous region are still outdated. “The development of transport in Tibet is crucial to China’s national security and lasting prosperity in the autonomous region,” said the MOT guideline.
Important visits to Tibet
China’s security chief stresses Tibet stability
July 24, 2014
Senior Chinese security official Meng Jianzhu urged efforts to maintain social stability in Tibet, saying it is vital to national security.
Meng Jianzhu, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks during a five-day visit to Tibet which ended on Tuesday.
Local officials should have a profound understanding of the long lasting nature of the anti-secession efforts, and always take them as the primary political task, he said, vowing a harsh crackdown on separatist activities or terror attacks.
During the inspection, Meng called on Buddhist monks to make contributions to ethnic unity while visiting Jokhang Temple and other well-known religious sites.
Zhang Yijiong supervises and gives direction to combating terrorism, maintaining security and stability
Basha village of Burang County, Xieerwa border check point at Sexiong, Burang County
Jul 10, 2014
Zhang Yijiong investigated and gave direction to the work of combating terrorism and of maintaining security and stability. Wu Yingjie and Deng Xiaogang accompanied him (Zhang Yijiong) on separate ocassions.
The Deputy Minister of the Standing Committee of the UFWD (United Front Works Department), Zhang Yijiong led the working group to superwise and give directions to the work of combating terrorism and of maintaining security and stability in Tibet. He visited and greeted the masses of cadres from every ethnic group.
Wu Yingjie (The Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee), Deng Xiaogang (Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, Vice- Chairman of the Standing Committee of the autonomous region & Secretary of the Political and Legal Standing Committee) and Dong Mingjun (The Vice Chairman of the autonomous region) accompanied him in supervising and giving directions. During the investigation and research, Zhang Yijiong paid a special visit to Phagpala Geleg Namgyal (the Vice-Chairman of the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) National Committee and the Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee) and Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu (Member of the Advisory Body of the National Committee of the CPPCC and the Vice-President of the Buddhist Association of China).
In Basha village of Burang County, Zhang Yijiong visited and cordially greeted officers and men of the armed police, the fire fighting department, men responsible for defending the border, special police force for combating terrorism as well as men from all departments and fields that join to make the force for combating terrorism and maintaining peace and stability.
Zhang Yijiong pointed out that these officers and men (during their training in Ngari) had faced extreme cold, oxygen deficient and severe environmental conditions, but they did their utmost and sincerely carried out their duty. They set good example of not fearing hard work and guaranteed that the great religious activity was carried out smoothly and in an orderly manner, upheld the continued harmony and stability of the Ngari Prefecture thus making an important contribution to the overall situation of reform, development and stability of Tibet. On behalf of UFWD, he expressed his heartfelt gratitude and respect to everyone. He hoped that everyone would continue to make unremitting efforts and undertakes all tasks well so that Tibet achieves continued stability, long term stability and comprehensive stability and thus making the central party feel at ease and the people of every ethnicity satisfied.
At the Xieerwa border check point at Sexiong, Burang County, Zhang Yijiong visited and cordially greeted officers and men on duty to understand how well equipped, well prepared and diligent they were, along with their scope of duties, and also gave his full approval to work being done at the border check point. Zhang Yijiong asked officers and men on duty to fully understand the serious and complicated situation, have a greater sense of mission, responsibility, urgency and to stand guard and to keep watch for the party and for the people.
At the Kejia temple, Zhang Yijiong was explained in detail the protection of cultural relics and the living conditions of the monks. Zhang Yijiong hopes that the monks would humbly work for self improvement, raise the level of their accomplishments, bring benefit and happiness to all living things, love the country and love the religion, resolutely fight against the separatist and harmful activities of the group of the 14 generations of Dalai Lamas, resolutely safeguard the integrity of the motherland and the unity of the ethnic groups.
The cadres stationed at the temple must wholeheartedly form pairs with the monks and make friends with the monks, must do the practical work of management and of offering their services, must mobilise the masses of the monks to love the country and follow the law, must actively make Tibetan Buddhism compatible to the socialist society, jointly create a positive environment of security and harmony. Every department concerned must give great importance to the work of protecting cultural relics of the temple, protecting and promoting the cultural heritage of the nationality.
While at Ngari, Zhang Yijiong paid a visit to and greeted the department staff of the United Front Department (UFD) both at the local and at the county level. He demanded the party’s policy of ethnic religion be sincerely implemented, the standard of managing ethnic religion as per the law be raised comprehensively and the important role of the United Front in safeguarding the unity among the Tibetan ethnicities, safeguarding the harmony in religion and harmony in society be brought into play.
Deng Xiaogang conducts survey of development and stability work along the border at Rutok province
Deng Xiaogang (Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee & Secretary of the Political and Legal Standing Committee) paid a special visit to Jaggang village Rutok County, Ngari, to investigate the work of development and stability along the border. Deng Xiaogang emphasised the spirit of the important directives given by the party committee of the autonomous region, the government, as well as the important work of development and stability carried out by Secretary Chen Quanguo, Chairman Lobsang Gyaltsen, in the border region, be further implemented. “We must give full efforts to implement the strategy of strengthening and consolidating the border and making the border area rich and flourishing, and also make a safe and stable barrier in the border region”.
At the village committee of the Jaggang village after hearing reports, views and opinions on current situations, Deng Xiaogang briefed, that he was satisfied to see the realisation of a border area where the border was consolidated and the society was harmonious and stable, where the masses of the cadres had good thoughts, were aware and had a firm political conviction. They shouldered responsibility, to ensure the land was protected and that the society at Ngari continued to remain stable. Hereafter he expressed his greetings and heartfelt gratitude to everyone on behalf of the party committee of the autonomous region, the government, Secretary Chen Quanguo and Chairman Lobsang Gyaltsen.
Deng Xiaogang emphasised that the party committee of the autonomous region and the government were very concerned about the development and the stability of the border area. The development and the stability of the border area is related to the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the country and is also related to the security, economic development, unity among the ethnic groups and social stability of Tibet’s border. Every level of the party and government at Ngari Prefecture must work hard to make the border area stronger and more consolidated, make the border area flourish and the people prosper, make efforts to protect the social stability of the border area, make efforts to promote the developmental breakthrough of the border area and do one’s best to build a safe and stable barrier at the border.
ONE: we must give top priority to fulfilling our responsibility, steadily overwhelm every thought, get a firm hold on implementation of every measure regarding security and stability, protect the “Western Gate” of Tibet with one’s full might, ensure continuous new victories in the struggle against separatism, penetration and illegal immigration.
TWO: we have to gather and sum up our experiences, get a firm hold on the subject of joint struggle for unification of every ethnicity and their joint development. Believe in, rely on, mobilise, and organise masses and carry out propaganda among them, perfect the mechanism of defense by the masses and governance by the masses, wage a people’s war of protecting the border, build a strong and impenetrable defense for protection against terrorism and for maintaining stability.
THREE: we must hold on to one truth. We must support the leadership of the Communist Party of China at all times. We must give full support to the struggle and battle by the grass root level party organisations and to the role of the members of the CPC, as pioneers; constantly strengthen the party’s foundation so that it continues to hold power.
FOUR: Stick to guaranteeing and improving people’s livelihood as the starting point and, expand channels for increase in wage of the farmers and the herdsmen, take steps that are beneficial for the people, let the masses of every ethnicity enjoy the fruits of reform, development and stability and lead a happy and healthy life.
FIVE: have activities to impart education to firmly develop the Mass Line of the party. Listen more, investigate more, dare to expose weak points, dare to criticise and to carry out self criticism, work hard to make activities more intense and make sure that activities achieve pragmatic results.
In the end, Deng Xiaogang hoped that the masses and cadres of every ethnicity of Ngari would unite, make progress, do a solid job and work hard and struggle for comprehensively building a well off society by 2020 along with the rest of the country.
China’s Aid to Tibet
Zhao Zhengyuan Investigates the project of Shanxi’s aid to Tibet
Zhao Zhengyong (Deputy Secretary of CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee and Governor of Shaanxi Provincial People’s Government) led the team of the party government delegates to Gar County of Ngari Prefecture to investigate the project of Shaanxi’s aid to Tibet.
Zhao emphasised that Shaanxi would sincerely implement the new order of the Central Party pertaining to giving aid to Tibet. He said they would incorporate Ngari’s development into the overall plan of the Shaanxi Province, start formulating the 13th 5 year plan of Shaanxi at the earliest and give impetus to Ngari Prefecture’s new developmental breakthrough.
Padma Choling (Chairman of TAR People’s Congress, Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party) and Jiang Zelin (Standing Committee Member of CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee and Vice Governor of Shaanxi Provincial People’s Government) carried out the investigation together.
The border line passes through the Qujue village of Zhaxigang township, Gar County.
The Shaanxi Province fund for aiding Tibet donated 21million Yuan to Qujue village for making it a model border village by promoting economic development of the border area, unity among the ethnic groups and consolidating the border.
Qujie has good water, electricity, road and communication facilities and solar energy street lights. Zhao Zhengyuan had close interaction with the village cadres, members of the working group stationed at the village, and the security personnel responsible for guarding the border, in order to get a detailed understanding of the situation of building of the modal village, the situation of the village party branch, and the village committee.
The Shaanxi aid is towards ensuring a strong foundation for tourism, with the building of a tourism hub project in the Gar County. There is also a plan for developing related enterprises like a tourist hub, a disaster management centre, gymnasium and an open air theatre, which will be the first of its kind in Tibet. Zhao Zhengyong demanded that the management and the building of the project be further strengthened to raise the income of the peasants and the herdsmen.
Zhao Zhengyong also investigated the condition of Shaanxi-Ngari experimental educational institution project. He pointed out that the institute once built, will greatly improve the level of mandatory education. It will be a big step in solving the problem of lack of education for the children of peasants and herdsmen of the Gar County, which will increase the pace of human resource development and shall be an important contribution for the healthy development of education in the Ngari region.
Zhao Zhengyong said that with combined efforts of the cadres in the Ngari prefecture, the society had been stable, the infrastructure and the quality of people’s life improving. The standard of education had been raised and the economic growth has been in double digits. An important contribution has been made for protecting the unity of our motherland and the ethnic groups.
Zhao Zhengyong pointed out that this was the 20th anniversary of Shaanxi’s aid to Tibet. It is really gratifying for the provincial committee and the provincial government, to see that cadres aiding Tibet have learnt much from the cadres of Ngari and have overcome hurdles. He hoped the Shaanxi cadres aiding Tibet would merge with the group of local cadres as soon as possible, and see themselves as cadres from Ngari. They must treasure the opportunity, make good use of the platform given to them to work hard and become a person worthy of respect, merge and carry forward the spirit of Yanan, “the old Tibet” and Ngari. They should obey the leaders of TAR and Ngari, carry out the work being assigned to them and make use of the age old experience of the party and the people.
Zhao Zhengyong stressed to implement the new demands of the Central Government related to the work of aiding Tibet, embed the development of Ngari in the overall plan of Shaanxi, formulate Shaanxi’s 13th five year plan of aiding Tibet at the earliest, make the construction of public services infrastructure and the improvement of the livelihood of the people the focal point of aiding Tibet and promote the building of the major projects. One should carry out every task of aiding Tibet in accordance to the unity deployment of the TAR, build and develop Ngari and build a comprehensive well off society in Ngari in pace with the rest of the country, by 2020-a society where they have public services are at par with the rest of the country.
Chen Quanguo, Padma Choling and Lobsang Gyaltsen meet Zhang Yijiong
Chen Quanguo (the Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region) and Lobsang Gyaltsen (Deputy Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the head of the Standing Committee of the N.P.C of the autonomous region, as well as the Chairman of the autonomous region), met the Deputy Minister of the Standing Committee of the
UFWD, Zhang Yijiong and his entourage.
The leaders of the autonomous region, Wu Yingjie, Gongpo Tashi, Wang Ruilian, Shingtsa Tenzing Chodrak among others were also present in the meeting.
On behalf of the Party Committee, Chen Quanguo extended his warm welcome to Zhang Yijiong and his entourage who were in Tibet to carry out inspections. He also expressed his gratitude to the Central Tibet Work Coordination Group office and the UFWD for their long-term support for Tibet.
Chen Quanguo said in the recent years, with the Central Party under the strong leadership of General Secretary, Xi Jinping, the party committee of the autonomous region and the government group, has led the people of every ethnicity of the region: 1. to further implement the spirit of the 18th Party Congress and the Second Plenum of the 18th Party Congress,
- to implement the spirit of the series of the important speeches delivered by Xi Jinping, especially the important thought of “The borders must be ruled for ruling the country” and the important directive of “Work hard to realise the continued stability, long term stability and the comprehensive stability of Tibet;”
- to implement Chairman Yu Zhensheng’s “Rule Tibet as per law, build Tibet for the long term, win the hearts of the people and ram the foundations”,
- closely adhering to the “One Core”, “Two Major tasks”, “Four assurances” clearly defined by the Central party,
- work hard for promoting scientific development, protect the stability of the society, consolidate unity among ethnicities, promote harmony in religion, guarantee the improvement of people’s livelihood, protect ecology and the environment, strengthen the building of the party, achieve new accomplishment in every work that is done. Chen Quanguo said that at present Tibet is faced with two major tasks:
- of building a well off society by 2020, keeping in pace with the entire Nation,
- maintaining the general situation of social stability, long term stability and comprehensive stability.
I sincerely hope that the UFWD will continue to show its concern and support for Tibet as it has always done and provide a strong support for Tibet’s developmental breakthrough and long-term peace and stability.
On behalf of the UFWD, Zhang Yijiong expressed his gratitude for the strong support of the Party Committee, as well as the government, to the work of the UFWD. He said under the strong leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping at the Central Party, the Party committee of the TAR and the government is implementing the guidelines of the Centre, for ruling Tibet resolutely, strongly and by actively taking initiatives, closely linking the reality of Tibet, continuously innovating, formulating and implementing a series of good policies, good measures, strengthening the basic foundations, paying attention to the building of mechanisms, further promoting the system of governance of the country and the modernisation of governance, maintaining good momentum of fast and healthy economic growth, and had started the good phase of sustained harmony and stability in the society, continuously improving the livelihood of the people, and make contributions for the entire country’s reform, development and stability.
Zhang Yijiong expressed that the work in Tibet has an important position in the work of the country. The Central Tibet work Coordination Group office and the UFWD will continue to play a positive role, give full support to every cause related to Tibet’s reform, development and stability and provide a strong support for building of a new socialist Tibet.