Successful Practice of Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet

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Editor: Mo Hong’e

The Information Office of the State Council, or China’s Cabinet, on Sunday issued a white
paper on Successful Practice of Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet. Following is the full text:

Successful Practice of Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet
The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China

September 2015, Beijing

Contents

PREFACE

I. Old Tibet: Dark and Backward
II. Embarking on the Road to Development and Progress
III. The Political System Suited to China’s Actual Conditions
IV. The People as Masters of the Country
V. Improving People’s Welfare
VI. Protecting and Carrying Forward the Excellent Traditional Culture
VII. Respecting and Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief
VIII. Promoting Ecological Progress

Conclusion

Preface

Regional ethnic autonomy is a fundamental political system under socialism with Chinese characteristics – a basic
policy through which to solve problems relating to ethnic minorities.

Regional ethnic autonomy in China means, under the unified leadership of the central government, that regional
autonomy is exercised and organs of self-government are established for the exercise of the right of autonomy in
areas where various ethnic minorities live in compact communities. The establishment of ethnic autonomous
areas is determined by local ethnic relations, economic development and other conditions, with reference to
historical background. China’s ethnic autonomous areas are divided, according to the population and size of the
compact communities in which ethnic minorities live, into autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures, and
autonomous counties at three levels equivalent to provinces, cities divided into districts, and counties in the
administrative division.

Tibet is an ethnic region mostly inhabited by Tibetans, who account for more than 92 percent of its present
3,175,500 population, which also includes 40 other ethnic groups, including the Han, Mongolian, Hui, Naxi, Nu,
Drung, Monba, Lhoba, Deng and Sherpa people. According to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China
(PRC), regional ethnic autonomy has been exercised in Tibet, and Tibet Autonomous Region, under which are the
Monba, Lhoba and Naxi ethnic townships, has been founded, protecting by law the political rights of various
ethnic groups in Tibet to participate as equals in administering state and local affairs.

Since the democratic reform was carried out in 1959 and regional ethnic autonomy came into practice in 1965,
Tibet has established the new socialist system and achieved historic leaps and bounds in its economic and social
development. Tibet has taken a road that unites it with all China’s ethnic groups and struggles to develop equally,
achieve prosperity, and make progress with them. As part of the Chinese nation, the Tibetan people fulfill the
right to participate equally in the management of state affairs; they are thus managers of local social affairs and
masters of their own destiny, creating and sharing the material and spiritual wealth of Tibet.

Although it has been only 50 years since the founding of Tibet Autonomous Region, great changes have taken
place. Tibet is now in its golden age.

I. Old Tibet: Dark and Backward

Even in the 1950s, Tibet was still a society ruled by feudal serfdom under theocracy. Having existed for several
centuries, this wretched system stifled human rights and destroyed human qualities. It was thus the most
backward mode of human society under which the people had no democratic, economic, social, or cultural
rights, and their basic human rights were not protected. Old Tibet was a far cry from modern civilization.
Under feudal serfdom, serfs suffered cruel political oppression and had no personal freedom or fundamental
rights.

Old Tibet implemented laws, as represented by the “16-Article Code” and “13-Article Code,” that oppressed
serfs. These laws divided people into three classes and nine ranks, whereby nobles, Living Buddhas and senior
officials were born into and thus constituted the upper class, while the broad masses of serfs constituted the
lower class. Value accorded to life correspondingly differed. The value of the life of a person of the upper class
was measured in gold according to his weight. The value of the lives of butchers, blacksmiths, and others of the
lowest rank of the lower class was equivalent to hempen rope. When people of different classes and ranks
violated the same criminal law, the criteria in old Tibet for imposing penalties and the means of punishment were
quite different. The laws stipulated that the punishment for a servant who injured his master was to have his
hands or feet chopped off, but a master who injured a servant was not required to pay compensation.

Serf owners and serfs had overtly unequal standing according to law. Serf owners held absolute power over the lives
of serfs and slaves, and ensured their rule over the latter through savage punishments, including gouging out
eyes, cutting out flesh or tongues, cutting off hands or feet, pulling out tendons, and being put in manacles.
The Kashag (cabinet) of old Tibet prescribed that all serfs must stay on the land within the manors of their
owners. They were not allowed to leave without permission; fleeing the manor was forbidden.

“All serfs have owners and all plots of land are assigned.” Serfs were possessed by the three major estate-holders (local
government officials, nobles and upper-ranking lamas in monasteries). They remained serfs from generation to
generation, and confined to the land of their owners. All serfs and their livestock able to labor had to till the plots
of land assigned to them and provide corvee labor. Once serfs lost their ability to labor, they were deprived of
livestock, farm tools and land, and their status was degraded to that of slave. Since serfs were their private
property, the three major estate-holders could use them as gambling stakes, mortgages for debt, present them
as gifts, or transfer and trade them. All serfs needed permission from their owners to marry, and male and
female serfs belonging to different owners had to pay “redemption fees” before such permission was granted.

After marriage, serfs were also taxed on their newborn children, which were registered the moment they were
born, so sealing their fate as lifelong serfs. Serfs that needed to make a living in other places were required to
pay “servitudetax,” and had to produce proof of having paid such tax or they would otherwise be punished as
fugitives.

After presiding over the enthronement ceremony of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940, Wu Zhongxin, chief of the
Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs of the Kuomintang Government, described the rulers’ oppression
and the people’s sufferings in old Tibet in his “Report on Tibetan Affairs on a Mission”: “Located in frigid
highlands, Tibet has rare agricultural products. The people live a hard life, whereas the Tibetan authorities do
their utmost to oppress and exploit them, making the lives of the Tibetans one of hell and misery. The Tibetan
authorities regard the people as slaves and beasts of burden and do not pay them as a rule; the people even
have to find their own food and horse fodder; meanwhile they endure incessant, copious and complicated
corvee labor and never enjoy days of peace. You can thus imagine how harassed they are. The authorities can
issue an order to appropriate the people’s property without compensation and bestow such property on
lamaseries or meritorious nobles. In short, in Tibet, the people have lost their guarantee of survival and freedom,
and their miserable life is beyond description.”

Ruled by feudal serfdom under theocracy, serfs had no means of production, and their right to subsistence was
under threat.

In old Tibet, the three major estate-holders and their agents accounted for only five percent of Tibet’s
population, but they owned almost all of Tibet’s farmland, pastures, forests, mountains, rivers, and beaches, as
well as most of the livestock. About 95 percent of old Tibet’s population was made up of serfs, including “tralpa”
as they are known in the Tibetan language (people who tilled plots of land assigned to them and who were
obligated to provide corvee labor for serf owners), “duiqoin” (small households with chimneys emitting smoke),
and “nangzan” (hereditary household slaves who were deprived of any means of production and personal
freedom). They had no means of production and suffered cruel economic exploitation.

The first exploitation serfs suffered was land rent. Serf owners on feudal manors divided the land into two parts:
The largest part was kept as manor demesne while smaller lots were rented to serfs under stringent conditions.
To use the lots, serfs had to work on the demesne with their own farm implements and provide their own food.
Such unpaid labor constituted the rent they paid to serf owners. Most of the grain that serfs harvested from the
lots was finally taken away by estate-holders. A “tralpa” could only keep 100-150 kilograms of grain annually,
which was not enough to live on; his diet mainly consisted of wild herbs and weeds mixed with a little grain. In
addition to the heavy land rent paid in the form of labor, serfs had to pay numerous taxes and fees.

The second exploitation serfs suffered was corvee labor – a broad term covering not only corvee, but taxes and
levies, and rents for land and livestock. The former local government of Tibet alone levied more than 200 kinds of
taxes. Serfs had to contribute more than 50 percent or sometimes even 70 to 80 percent of their labor, unpaid,

to the government and estate-holders. Corvee labor was divided into two kinds: one was that which serfs
provided to the estate-holders they were bonded to and their agents; the other was the unpaid work serfs did for
the local government of Tibet and its subordinates. The heaviest was transport corvee, because Tibet is large but
sparsely populated and transport was inconvenient, necessitating the transport of all kinds of goods by humans
or pack animals. Year after year, serfs were made to transport materials over mountains and rivers for the local
government. This gave rise to the saying, “The boots have no soles, and the backs of the cattle are hairless.”
The third exploitation serfs suffered was usury. In old Tibet, the three major estate-holders were all exploiters of
usury. The local government of Tibet had many money-lending agencies, and lending money and collecting
interest were among officials’ duties. Many monasteries also participated in money-lending. Revenue from usury
made up 25 to 30 percent of the total revenue of the three major monasteries, namely Drepung, Sera and
Ganden. Most aristocrats were also engaged in usury, the interest of which accounted for 15 percent of their
family revenues. Serfs had to borrow money to survive, and more than 90 percent of serf households were in
debt. Serfs were burdened with new debts, debts passed down from previous generations, debts resulting from
joint liability, and debts apportioned among all the serfs. One third of these were the debts passed down from
previous generations which could never be repaid, even by succeeding generations, due to the imposition of
compound interest.

Feudal serfdom under theocracy seriously obstructed social progress in Tibet. At the time of the peaceful
liberation in 1951, there was almost no trace of modern industry, commerce, science and technology, education,
culture, or health care. With no roads in the modern sense, Tibet was cut off from the outside world. Primitive
farming had long been used in agricultural production, and farm tools were rudimentary. Herdsmen had to travel
from place to place to find pasture for their livestock. There were few strains and breeds of grains and animals,
and some had even degenerated. The level of both the productive forces and social development was thus
extremely low.

French traveler Alexandra David-Neel described people’s life in her book Le vieux Tibet Face a la Chine nouvelle
(When Old Tibet Meets New China), “These poor people can only stay on their sterile land forever. They lose all
human freedom, and become poorer and poorer each year.” The people had no basic right to subsistence, much
less to development. They were deprived of the right to education, and could not be schooled in their native
language and culture. By the 1950s, the 2,000 or more studying in old-style government-run schools and old-style
private schools were exclusively aristocrats; the illiteracy rate of the young and the middle-aged was 95 percent.
The people had no right to economic development. The three major estate-holders squeezed profits from serfs,
but did not update their tools; serfs worked day and night, but could not make more social products because
they had no capability for social reproduction.

The feudal serfdom under theocracy in old Tibet was savage, cruel and backward, like the dark society of
medieval Europe. In his book The Unveiling of Lhasa, British military journalist Edmund Candler, who visited
Lhasa in 1904, recorded details of the old Tibetan society: “…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.”

II. Embarking on the Road to Development and Progress

After three important historical stages – from its peaceful liberation and democratic reform to the establishment
of the autonomous region – Tibet has taken the road of regional ethnic autonomy. This historic process was a
correct choice the people made to realize liberation and be their own masters, and it was in the fundamental
interest of all ethnic groups of Tibet.

— Driving out imperialist forces, and realizing peaceful liberation

After the Opium War of 1840, imperialist forces intensified aggression on China, gradually reducing the country
to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society. China’s Tibet region also suffered imperialist aggression. In face of the
British invasions of 1888 and 1904, Tibetan military and civilians put up a heroic resistance, but it failed due to
the corrupt Qing government and declining national strength, and feudal serfdom. Britain coerced the Qing
government, even bypassing it and directly forcing the local government of Tibet to sign unequal treaties, thus
grabbing a series of privileges in Tibet that seriously damaged the sovereignty of China. Economically, it forcibly
opened trading ports there, making Gyantse and Yadong two ports where permanent British trade
representatives resided and official institutions were set up. Militarily, it stationed troops, one company in
Gyantse and a platoon in Yadong. In addition, it built such infrastructure as posts, telecommunications, and
courier stations managed and run by the British that served Britain’s pillaging, and provided long-term service for
British and Indian officers and a few Tibetan separatists.

It was the urgent desire of all ethnic groups in Tibet and of upper-class patriots to free Tibet from imperialist
aggression. The founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949 was a great inspiration for the
people of Tibet. They keenly expected the Central People’s Government of China to liberate Tibet and drive out
imperialist powers at the earliest opportunity. On October 1, 1949, the very day the People’s Republic was
founded, the 10th Panchen Erdeni telegraphed Chairman Mao Zedong and Commander-in-Chief Zhu De,
expressing his support for the Central People’s Government and urging the Chinese People’s Liberation Army
(PLA) to liberate Tibet as soon as possible. In December 1949, Reting Yeshe Tsultrim, aide to the Fifth Regent
Reting Rinpoche who suffered persecution from pro-British forces, arrived in Xining, Qinghai Province, to report
to the PLA on imperialist attempts to destroy Tibet’s internal unity, urging the PLA to liberate Tibet without
delay. Sherab Gyatso, a famous master of Tibetan Buddhism, delivered a talk in Xi’an, denouncing the
imperialists for hatching a plot through which Lhasa authorities would seek “independence.”

Through the efforts of the Central People’s Government and of the people of Tibet, the Agreement of the Central
People’s Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet (the
“17-Article Agreement”) was signed on May 23, 1951. The first article stipulated, “The people of Tibet should
unite and drive out imperialist aggressive forces; they will return to the family of the People’s Republic of China.”
In the agreement, the local government of Tibet promised to “actively assist the PLA in entering Tibet and
consolidating national defense.” On May 25, Chairman Mao Zedong of the People’s Revolutionary Military
Committee of the Central People’s Government issued an order, so marking the PLA’s entry into Tibet. All ethnic
groups of Tibet expressed heartfelt support for and a warm welcome to the PLA, and helped the troops enter
Tibet.

The PLA troops’ entry to Tibet to drive out imperialist forces and abolish unequal treaties that imperialist forces
had imposed on the people of Tibet was a major historical event signifying that the Chinese nation, including the
Tibetan group, had realized liberation and independence. It utterly changed the history and destiny of Tibet, and
provided its various ethnic groups with a fundamental guarantee of being liberated and becoming masters.

–Abolishing feudal serfdom, and the people becoming masters

In the mid-1950s, feudal serfdom under theocracy came to an end. To preserve serfdom, the reactionary forces
from the upper class of Tibet tore up the “17-Article Agreement” and staged an all-out armed rebellion in Lhasa
on March 10, 1959. On March 22, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) issued the
Instructions on Several Policy Issues about Carrying out Democratic Reform in Suppressing the Rebellion in Tibet
(draft), demanding that troops mobilize the people to carry out democratic reform amid the battles to suppress
the rebellion. On March 28, Premier Zhou Enlai promulgated a State Council decree, dissolving the local
government of Tibet and ordering that local government power be taken over by the Preparatory Committee of
Tibet Autonomous Region, with the 10th Panchen Erdeni acting as its chairman. In the meantime, the Central
People’s Government implemented a policy of “suppressing the rebellion while conducting reform,” and led the
Tibetan people in a surging tide of democratic reform. The reform wrecked the feudal serfdom under theocracy,
liberating the people and making them their own masters, so creating important social and historical conditions
for the establishment of regional ethnic autonomy.

Abolishing the feudal serfdom and establishing the people’s regime created institutional conditions for regional
ethnic autonomy in Tibet. By the end of 1960, Tibet had established 1,009 organs of state power at the township
level, 283 at the district level, 78 at the county level (including county-level districts), and eight at the prefecture
(city) level. Meanwhile, more than 4,400 liberated serfs and slaves had become government officials at various
levels. All township-level government officials were from the Tibetan group, 90 percent of district-level
government officials were Tibetan, and more than 300 Tibetans held leading posts at or above the county level.

In April 1961, general elections at the township level were held all over Tibet. Hundreds of thousands of liberated
serfs and slaves exercised the democratic rights that they had never enjoyed. In August 1965, elections at the
township and county levels were completed in Tibet. Altogether 1,359 townships and towns conducted elections
at the basic level, and 567 townships and towns held their people’s congresses to exercise their functions and
power. The people’s democratic organs of state power at the township level were established in 92 percent of
the Region, the majority of participants being liberated serfs and slaves. In addition, 54 counties held their first
session of people’s congresses to elect the county magistrates and deputy magistrates, established people’s
committees and elected deputies to the people’s congresses.

Abolishing economic privileges of serf owners enabled the people to become owners of the means of production,
greatly liberated the productive forces, and protected Tibetan people’s right to subsistence, laying the physical
foundation for the practice of regional ethnic autonomy. The feudal serfdom not only infringed upon human
rights and destroyed human qualities, but also effectively put a brake on development of social productivity and
left people’s basic need for clothing and food unguaranteed. During the democratic reform, about 20,000
“nangzan” settled, and were allotted 2,520,000 kilograms of grain. The democratic reform liberated and
developed Tibet’s social productivity; as a result, the working people of Tibet were freed from heavy corvee,
taxes, and usurious exploitation, and were able to keep all the fruits of their hard work. Their enthusiasm for
production ran unprecedentedly high.

Abolishing religious privileges of serf owners shattered the people’s spiritual shackles, providing ideological and
cultural conditions for the implementation of regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet. Under theocracy, religion was
directly controlled by serf owners and used as a tool for ruling and oppressing the people. To sanctify feudal
privileges and enslave the people spiritually, the three major estate-holders regarded any new idea, new culture
or scientific knowledge that was contrary to their will as heresy, imprisoning people’s thinking and hindering the
spread of education and scientific and cultural development. Through the democratic reform, Tibet abolished all
feudal privileges, implemented the policy of freedom of religious belief, and separated religion from government,
so preventing religion from interfering in its politics, economy, culture and social life. The people were thus freed
from the spiritual shackles of theocracy.

— Establishing Tibet Autonomous Region, and taking the socialist road

It was a common wish of the people of Tibet to exercise regional ethnic autonomy. The “17-Article Agreement”
stipulated, “According to the ethnic policy in the Common Program of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC), under the unified leadership of the Central People’s Government, the Tibetan people shall
have the right to exercise regional ethnic autonomy.” In 1954, after the First National People’s Congress closed,
Mao Zedong, top leader of the Central People’s Government, met with the 14th Dalai Lama and the 10th
Panchen Erdeni. Mao told them, “Tibet will not have a military and political committee; instead, the Preparatory
Committee of Tibet Autonomous Region will be established to prepare for the exercise of regional ethnic
autonomy.” The two agreed. Later, according to stipulations in the Constitution about the practice of regional
ethnic autonomy, the central government started work on the establishment of Tibet Autonomous Region.

In November 1954, the central government proposed to establish the Preparatory Committee of Tibet Autonomous
Region. At its Seventh Plenary Meeting held in March 1955, the State Council specifically studied and discussed
the matter and issues relating to Tibet’s construction. Following the meeting, the central government gave
specific instructions on the matter. On April 22, 1956, the founding conference of the Preparatory Committee of
Tibet Autonomous Region was held in the newly built Great Hall of Lhasa. Over 300 delegates and non-voting
delegates from all ethnic groups, social strata, religions, and social groups throughout Tibet attended the
conference. This was the first time in the history of Tibet that people of broad representation gathered for
democratic consultation and discussion. The 14th Dalai Lama became chairman of the Preparatory Committee,
while the 10th Panchen Erdeni became first deputy chairman. The Preparatory Committee was a consultative
administrative body as an organ of political power, an important stepping stone for the exercise of regional
ethnic autonomy in Tibet. Its establishment pushed forward the establishment of Tibet Autonomous Region.
However, the armed rebellion in 1959 seriously affected the work of its establishment. After the rebellion was
quelled, the establishment was carried out smoothly.

On September 1, 1965, the First Session of the First People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region was
inaugurated in Lhasa, and the organs and leaders of the Region were elected, with Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme as the
chairman of the People’s Committee. A large number of liberated serfs held leading posts in organs of political
power at different levels of the Region. The establishment of Tibet Autonomous Region signified that Tibet had
set up the people’s democratic government and begun to exercise thoroughgoing regional ethnic autonomy.
Since then, the people of Tibet have enjoyed the right to handle local affairs themselves, and embarked on the
socialist road to development and progress.

III. The Political System Suited to China’s Actual Conditions

Implementing the system of regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet conforms to China’s reality as a unified
multiethnic country.

China is a unified multiethnic country inhabited by 55 minority ethnic groups, including the Mongolian, Hui,
Tibetan, Uygur, Zhuang, Korean, and Manchu, in addition to the Han ethnic group. The Chinese nation is a big,
pluralistic and integrated family whose constituent ethnic groups have all contributed to national development
and cultural innovation. The origins and development of China’s ethnic groups are indigenous, pluralistic and
diverse. All have formed and evolved in different ways, yet in the general trend, have developed into a unified
multiethnic country and converged into the unified and stable Chinese nation. As early as the pre-Qin period,
Chinese ancestors developed the concepts of “world” and “grand unification.” In 221 BC, the Qin Dynasty (221-
206 BC) realized the first unification in history of China, and established prefectures and counties to rule the
country. The central government of the Han Dynasty (206 BC- AD 220) and subsequent dynasties developed and
consolidated China’s unified multiethnic pattern. Despite the brief separatist regimes and regional splits that
have occurred in Chinese history, unification has always been the mainstream and direction of national
development.

Ever since ancient times, Tibet has been an integral part of China, and the Tibetan ethnic group has been a
communal member of the Chinese nation sharing a common destiny. The ancestors of the Tibetan and other
ethnic groups who lived on the Tibetan Plateau in ancient times established extensive contacts with China’s
inland, and made significant contributions to the formation and development of the country. From the 13th
century, when the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) included Tibet under its central administrative jurisdiction, to the
time before 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was founded, the central governments of all dynasties in
China ruled Tibet as part of the country. On this footing, they adopted special policies for Tibet, taking into
account the “special local customs and conditions,” and adopted an administrative structure and governance
approaches that were distinct from those in other parts of China.

In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the central government established the Supreme Control Commission of
Buddhism (later renamed the Commission for Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs), and set up in Tibet the Chief Military
Command under the Pacification Commissioner’s Office to directly manage the region’s political and military
affairs. The Yuan court stationed troops in Tibet, and set up 13 organs, including the 10,000-man Brigades and
1,000-man Battalions under the Pacification Commissioner’s Office. The Yuan court set up courier stations on the
road leading from Tibet to the capital city of Dadu, and sent officials to Tibet three times to conduct census.
Emperor Shizu of the Yuan Dynasty, Kublai Khan, appointed Phagpa from the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism as Imperial Preceptor. Later, when the Kagyu School replaced the Sakya School, Emperor Shundi appointed the Kagyu leader Changchub Gyaltsen “Ta Situ.”

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) generally followed the Yuan administrative system for Tibet. Politically, the Ming
court implemented a policy of multiple enfeoffment, conferring the titles “Prince of Dharma” and “Imperial
Empowerments Master” upon religious leaders in Tibet; economically, it promoted the tea-horse trade to
increase Tibet’s trade and exchanges with other regions; in terms of organizational structure, it established the uTsang
Regional Military Commission in today’s central Tibet and the Do-kham Regional Military Commission in
eastern Tibet, both subordinated to Shaanxi Regional Military Commission, and the Ngari Commanding Tribal
Office in western Tibet.

In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the Court of Tribal Affairs (later the Ministry of Tribal Affairs) took charge of
Tibetan affairs. In 1653 and 1713, the Qing emperors conferred the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Erdenis of the
Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism that appeared in the late Ming Dynasty, and established the system of lotdrawing
from the golden urn to confirm the reincarnated soul boy of a deceased Living Buddha. In 1727, the Qing
government started to station grand ministers resident in Tibet. In 1751, Emperor Qianlong appointed the
Seventh Dalai Lama to administer the local government of Tibet, established the Kashag (cabinet) composed of
four Kalons (ministers). In 1793, Ordinance by the Imperial House Concerning Better Governance of Tibet (the
“29 Articles”) was promulgated to enhance the Qing court’s administration of Tibet.

The central government continued to exercise sovereignty over Tibet during the Republic of China period (1912-
1949). In 1912, the central government established the Bureau of Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs (renamed the
Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Yuan in 1914) to replace the late Qing’s Ministry of Tribal Affairs, and dispatched
the commissioner resident in Tibet to exercise the functions and power of the grand minister resident in Tibet. In
1929, the nationalist government established the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission to exercise
administrative jurisdiction of Tibet. In 1940, the nationalist government set up the Tibet Office of the Mongolian
and Tibetan Affairs Commission in Lhasa. The Organic Law of the Congress of the Republic of China stipulated the
methods whereby the people of Tibet would participate in elections, and the rights of elected congressmen from
Tibet to directly participate in deliberation and administration of state affairs. The identification and
enthronement of both the 14th Dalai Lama and the 10th Panchen Erdeni were approved by the government of
the Republic of China.

Since its birth in 1921, the CPC has supported ethnic equality and unity in China, vigorously exploring the path
through which to achieve ethnic equality and resolve ethnic issues. Since the founding of the PRC in 1949, the
Chinese government has promoted equality, unity, mutual support, fraternity, and common development and
prosperity among all ethnic groups as fundamental principles under which to address ethnic issues and relations.
Taking into consideration China’s history and social conditions in modern times, the PRC did not choose the
composite system (also known as the federal system) for its state structure, but the unitary system instead; it
decided to exercise regional ethnic autonomy in areas inhabited by minority ethnic groups under unified state
leadership, thus to ensure that ethnic minorities enjoy the rights of being masters of the country.

Regional ethnic autonomy is the correct choice for China, a unified multiethnic country, to address ethnic issues
and relations. China’s regional ethnic autonomy is a form of autonomy under unified state leadership. All ethnic
autonomous areas are inseparable from the country, and the organs of self-government of all ethnic
autonomous areas shall be subject to the central government’s leadership.

The regional ethnic autonomy system is also a significant component of China’s socialist system. Under the
socialist system, all power belongs to the people, and the state safeguards the democratic rights of the people.
All autonomous areas exercise the power of autonomy in their economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological
development, and in managing their regional affairs. This exemplifies the exercise of socialist democracy in
regions inhabited by ethnic minorities.

Through the peaceful liberation in 1951 and the democratic reform in 1959, Tibet Autonomous Region was
founded in 1965, so officially establishing the system of regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet. The exercise of this
system in Tibet has combined unification and autonomy, taking into account both ethnic and regional factors.
This system inherits historical traditions and signifies socialist democracy; it conforms to the historical traditions
of Tibet and the whole country, as well as to the common will and fundamental interests of the people of all
ethnic groups.

Currently, the People’s Congress and the People’s Government of Tibet Autonomous Region are organs of selfgovernment
as well as local organs of state power through which to implement state laws and policies based on
local reality. Through several decades of exploring the path of regional ethnic autonomy, the people of all ethnic
groups in Tibet Autonomous Region have achieved equality, unity, mutual support and harmony, and the system
of regional ethnic autonomy has won the wholehearted support of all ethnic groups in China.

IV. The People as Masters of the Country

That the people are masters of the country is the core and foundation of the system of regional ethnic
autonomy. The implementation of this system provides an institutional guarantee for the people of all ethnic
groups in Tibet to be masters of the country and of society in the real sense.

-The people of all ethnic groups in Tibet have the full right to vote and stand for election.

As stipulated in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, “All citizens of the People’s Republic of China
who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election, regardless of ethnic status, race,
sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status, or length of residence, other
than persons deprived of political rights according to law.” The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Regional
Ethnic Autonomy has provisions regarding the numbers of deputies from all ethnic groups to the people’s
congress of an autonomous region, the chairperson of the standing committee of the people’s congress of an
autonomous region, and chairperson of the people’s government of an autonomous region. In Tibet, the people
of all ethnic groups directly elect deputies to the people’s congresses at the county (district), township and town
levels in accordance with the law; these deputies elect the deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC) and
the people’s congress of the autonomous region. The Monba and the Lhoba ethnic groups who have a small
share in Tibet’s population also have deputies to the NPC and the people’s congresses at all levels in Tibet.
From 2012 to January 2013, 94 percent of the constituency of Tibet Autonomous Region participated in direct
elections at the county and township levels, among the four levels of the people’s congresses. Currently, Tibet
has 34,264 deputies to the people’s congresses at all levels. Among them, deputies from the Tibetan and other
minority ethnic groups account for 66.7 percent and 70.2 percent respectively of all deputies from Tibet to the
NPC and to the People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region. In the 10th Standing Committee of the People’s
Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region, 24 of the 45 members and eight of the 14 chairperson/vice-chairpersons
are from the Tibetan and other minority ethnic groups. Since the founding of Tibet Autonomous Region, all the
chairpersons of the standing committee of its people’s congress and all the chairpersons of its people’s
government have been Tibetan citizens.

The people of all ethnic groups in Tibet fully enjoy the right to manage their ethnic and regional affairs. According
to the Chinese Constitution, the organs of self-government of Tibet Autonomous Region exercise the power and
functions of provincial-level state organs as well as the power of autonomy in accordance with the law. The
People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region has the power to enact regulations on the exercise of autonomy
and other separate regulations. Since Tibet Autonomous Region was established, its people’s congress, as the
supreme authority in the region and on behalf of the people of Tibet, has exercised the power of autonomy in
managing its ethnic and regional affairs: listen to and review the work reports of the people’s government, the
standing committee of the people’s congress, the higher people’s court, and the people’s procuratorate of the
autonomous region, and supervise the work of these local state organs; enact major local regulations, and make
major resolutions and decisions on local social and economic development; review and approve economic and
social development plans, financial budgets and final accounts; and elect the members of the standing
committee of the people’s congress, chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of the autonomous region, the president
of the higher people’s court, and the procurator-general of the people’s procuratorate.

By July 2015, the People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region and its Standing Committee had enacted and
ratified 123 local regulations that are currently effective, made 148 resolutions and decisions that have the same
legal standing as regulations, and 29 regulations, resolutions and decisions it ratified have been repealed. They
total 300 in all, covering the building of political power, economic development, social stability, culture,
education, language, protection of cultural relics, and environmental protection. Every year the Committee of
Tibet Autonomous Region of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference discusses the work report,
the economic and social development plan, and the financial budget report of the People’s Government of Tibet
Autonomous Region, and the work report of the Higher People’s Court and the People’s Procuratorate of Tibet
Autonomous Region; organizes its members to participate in the consultation and discussion of Tibet’s local
regulations (draft); voices opinions and offers suggestions on the formulation and implementation of the Eighth,
Ninth, 10th, 11th, and 12th Five-year Plans of Tibet Autonomous Region at plenary meetings, standing
committee meetings, chairman’s meetings, consultative conferences, special symposiums, or through member
inspections and investigations, making proposals and convening “economic development forums.” In this way, it
exercises the functions of participating in the deliberation and administration of state affairs on behalf of all
circles in Tibet.

According to the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Regional Ethnic Autonomy, “If a resolution, decision,
order or instruction of a state organ at a higher level does not suit the conditions in an ethnic autonomous area,
the organ of self-government of the area may either implement it with certain alterations or cease implementing
it after reporting to and receiving the approval of the state organ at a higher level.” In addition to national
holidays, for example, Tibet has also established other public holidays, mostly traditional Tibetan festivals such as
the Tibetan New Year and Shoton Festival. Taking into consideration its special natural and geographical
conditions, Tibet Autonomous Region applies 35 weekly working hours, five hours less than the national legal
level. In 1981, after taking into consideration Tibet’s history and folk customs, the Standing Committee of the
People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region promulgated the Alternative Regulations of Tibet Autonomous
Region on the Implementation of the Marriage Law of the People’s Republic of China, in which the legal age of
marriage for both men and women was reduced by two years relative to the Marriage Law of the People’s
Republic of China, and polyandrous and polygynous relationships that had existed before the regulations took
effect would be allowed to continue if no one involved proposed dissolution. In light of the actual conditions in
Tibet, the autonomous region enacted and implemented multiple alternative regulations and supplementary
provisions on state laws, including the Regulations of Tibet Autonomous Region on the Protection of Cultural

Relics, the Regulations of Tibet Autonomous Region on Environmental Protection, and the Decision of the
Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region on Cracking Down on the Crime of
Life Compensation.

-Minority ethnic group officials are improving their capability.

As stipulated in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China,”Among the chairperson and vice-chairpersons
of the standing committee of the people’s congress of an ethnic autonomous area, there must be citizens of the
ethnic group(s) exercising regional autonomy in the areas concerned; the heads of all autonomous regions,
autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties should be citizens of the ethnic group(s) exercising regional
autonomy in the areas concerned.” To ensure all ethnic groups, especially ethnic minorities in Tibet, fully exercise
their rights as masters of the country, Tibet Autonomous Region always advocates the appointment and training
of local officials from minority ethnic groups. In the early days after establishment of Tibet Autonomous Region
in 1965, it had only 7,600 or more officials from minority ethnic groups; by 1976 the figure was 16,800; by the
end of 1986 it was 31,000; by the end of 1994 it was 44,000; and by the end of 2014 it was more than 110,000,
13 times more than that of 1965, and accounting for 70 percent of the total number of officials in the
autonomous region.

Currently, Tibet Autonomous Region has 33 provincial-level officials from minority ethnic groups, and more than
450 departmental/bureau-level officials from minority ethnic groups; chief Party and government officials at the
prefectural/municipal and county/district levels are mostly ethnic minorities; 70 percent or more of the officials
in the Party and government leading groups at the township and town/sub-district levels are ethnic minorities;
and the Party and government organs at all levels in the Region have ethnic minority leading officials in
accordance with the law. Among both the deputies to the 10th People’s Congress and members of the 10th
People’s Political Consultative Conference of Tibet Autonomous Region, ethnic minorities account for more than
70 percent. Moreover, a number of outstanding ethnic minority officials in Tibet directly participate in the
administration of state affairs. Among the 12th NPC deputies and the 12th CPPCC National Committee members
from Tibet, Tibetans and other ethnic minorities account for more than 80 percent. The 10th Panchen Erdeni,
Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai, Raidi and Qiangba Puncog have all been high-ranking leaders
at the state level.

-Ethnic relationships featuring equality, unity, mutual support and harmony have been enhanced and developed.
Without equality and unity among all ethnic groups, the people cannot be masters of the country. Achieving
ethnic equality and unity is the starting point and ultimate goal of the CPC’s ethnic philosophy and policy. Over
the past 50 years since Tibet Autonomous Region was established, the central government and Tibet
Autonomous Region have adhered to the policy of ethnic equality, unity, mutual support, and harmony. Through
protecting the rights of all ethnic groups as masters of the country, improving the appointment and training of
ethnic minority officials, promoting voluntary communication, exchanges and interaction among all ethnic
groups, and enhancing support from other parts of the country for Tibet’s social and economic development,
China has created a favorable situation wherein all ethnic groups work together in harmony towards common
development.

The central government always attaches great importance to the development of Tibet, cares for the wellbeing
of the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, mobilizes resources from the whole country to assist Tibet, and
promotes progress in Tibet through providing preferential policies and full support in personnel, materials, and
funds. From 1952 to 2014, the central government provided Tibet with financial subsidies totaling 648.08 billion
yuan, which accounted for 92.8 percent of Tibet’s public financial expenditure. Since 1980, there have been six
national symposiums on work in Tibet, formulating integrated blueprints for Tibet’s development from the
perspective of the country’s overall drive towards modernization. Since the Third National Symposium on Work
in Tibet in 1994, the central government has put into effect the policy of pairing-up support for Tibet, whereby 60
central state organs, 18 provinces or municipalities directly under the central government, and 17 centrally
managed state-owned enterprises have paired up with various areas of Tibet in order to provide assistance to
them. Over the last two decades, 4,496 outstanding officials and 1,466 professionals have been sent to work in
Tibet in seven batches; 7,615 assistance projects have been carried out; and 26 billion yuan has been invested in
Tibet, mainly directed at improving infrastructure and the quality of life. All of this assistance has made an
enormous contribution to Tibet’s social and economic development.

In 1990, the Party Committee and the government of Tibet Autonomous Region designated September as Ethnic
Unity Month. Before 2010, the Party Committee and the government of the autonomous region had held five
ethnic unity and progress award ceremonies that commended 1,756 outstanding units and individuals, including
Kong Fansen and Li Suzhi. Since 2012, the Party committees and governments at all levels in Tibet have held
annual ethnic unity and progress award ceremonies, and commended 2,089 units and 3,224 individuals. In 2013,
Lhasa was selected as the pilot city for National Demonstration Prefecture (City/League) for Ethnic Unity and
Progress. In recent years, the History Museum of the Tibet Military Command, Dzong Fortress in Gyantse where
the Tibetans had fought British invaders, the Museum of Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet Minzu University, and
Lhasa Customs have been designated by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission as Education Bases for National
Ethnic Unity and Progress. The thought that “the Han ethnic group cannot develop without minority ethnic groups, and vice versa, while all minority ethnic groups cannot develop separately” has taken root in people’s minds. The public have reached the consensus that “unity and stability are a blessing while secession and riots are a scourge.”

V. Improving People’s Welfare

Under the system of regional ethnic autonomy, Tibet’s economic and social development has achieved leapfrog
development by constantly reaching higher levels. Rapid economic growth and comprehensive social progress
have brought real benefits to all ethnic groups in Tibet, effectively guaranteeing their right to subsistence and
development, and maintaining the harmony and stability of its society.

-Tibet’s modernization level has steadily risen.

Tibet’s GDP soared from 327 million yuan in 1965 to 92.08 billion yuan in 2014, a 281-fold increase. Since 1994,
the local GDP has grown at an annual rate of 12.4 percent on average, registering double-digit growth for 20
consecutive years. Local fiscal revenues increased from 22.39 million yuan in 1965 to 16.475 billion yuan in 2014,
an average annual increase of 14.46 percent, further enhancing Tibet’s self-development capabilities. The
Region’s industrial added value skyrocketed from nine million yuan in 1965 to 6.616 billion yuan in 2014, a 735-
fold increase, or an average annual growth of 14.4 percent, and the proportion of secondary industry’s added
value in the local GDP rose from 6.7 percent in 1965 to 36.6 percent in 2014. Total retail sales of consumer goods
increased from 89 million yuan in 1965 to 36.451 billion yuan in 2014, a 409-fold increase, or an average annual
growth of 13.1 percent. The total volume of Tibet’s foreign trade rose from US$7 million in 1965 to US$2.255
billion in 2014, a 321-fold increase, or an average annual growth of 12.5 percent.

Priority has been given to such industries with Tibetan characteristics as Tibetan medicine, folk handicrafts, green
food and drinks, and new energy. At present, seven industrial belts have taken shape, 20 demonstration zones of
standardized agriculture have been established, and 95 agricultural and animal husbandry industrialization
leading enterprises at or above the prefectural level cultivated. Nine big groups have been established, one by
one, including construction and engineering, mining, tourism, Tibetan medicine, and commerce and trade.

Tibetan medicine industry has taken shape, with 18 pharmaceutical enterprises producing more than 360 kinds
of drugs. The output of natural drinking water has exceeded 300,000 tons, making the industry a new economic
growth point. In 2014, Tibet received 15.53 million tourists, a 4,436-fold increase compared with 1980 when the
Region first opened to tourism, or an average annual increase of 28 percent. Tourism revenue has now reached
20.4 billion yuan, a 20,400-fold increase or an average annual increase of 32.8 percent.

A comprehensive transportation system including roads, railways and aviation has been built, further facilitating
Tibet’s transportation. Radiating from Lhasa to Sichuan and Yunnan in the east, Xinjiang in the west, Qinghai in
the north, and India and Nepal in the south, a road transportation network that connects prefectures, cities,
counties, and townships has taken shape. At the end of 2014, the total length of roads open to traffic reached
75,000 km, 8,891 km of which have sub-high-grade surfaces or better, accounting for 12.6 percent of the total.
Sixty-five, or 88 percent, of all 74 counties in Tibet had access to asphalt roads. As many as 690 townships and
5,408 administrative villages could be reached by road, respectively accounting for 99.7 percent and 99.2 percent
of the total. The Golmud-Lhasa and Lhasa-Shigatse railways had opened to traffic, and the construction of the
railway connecting Lhasa and Nyingchi started. Tibet Airlines was established, with five airports, and eight airlines
operating in Tibet. An airport network has taken shape in Tibet, with Gongkar Airport in Lhasa as the main hub,
and Bangda Airport in Qamdo, Menling Airport in Nyingchi, Gunsa Airport in Ngari and Heping Airport in Shigatse
as the branches, catering to 48 domestic and international air routes that link Tibet with 33 cities in China and
the rest of the world.

An extensive energy system has now been formed with hydropower as the mainstay, backed up by geothermal,
wind, and solar energy sources. Lhasa’s Ethernet ring network project and power transmission and
transformation project, the Qinghai-Tibet Power Grid Interconnection Project, and the Sichuan-Tibet
Interconnection Project have officially gone into operation, so consigning to history the previously solitary
operation of Tibet Autonomous Region power line. Such emergency power supply projects as Zhikong
Hydropower Station, Shiquanhe Hydropower Station, Xueka Hydropower Station, Yangbajain Geothermal Power
Station, and Lhasa’s thermal power plant have been built and put into operation. Zam Hydropower Station, the
hydroelectric project with the biggest installed capacity in the Region, has also become operational. Moreover,
the building of energy bases was facilitated. In 2014 the total installed generating capacity reached 1.697 million
kw, and the annual output of generated electricity came to 3.22 billion kwh. Tibet initiated and carried out power
construction projects in Nyima County and Tsonyi in Nagchu, and in seven counties and one township in Ngari
that were without electricity. The Region has demonstrated and promoted 30,000 photovoltaic (PV) systems,
established 90 PV power plants, and more than 1,200 solar streetlamps, with a total installed capacity of 8,000
kw. By the end of 2012, all administrative villages had access to electricity, and the problem of electricity access
had been basically solved.

Tibet has now entered the information age, having established a modern telecommunications network with
optical cable satellites and the Internet as the backbone. The total length of optical cable lines in the Region has
reached 97,000 km, among which over 30,000 km are long-distance optical cable lines. Optical cables have now
reached 668 townships and towns in 74 counties, or 97.8 percent of all townships and towns in Tibet, and mobile phone signals cover 5,261 administrative villages. The number of Internet user households has reached 2.177
million, with an Internet penetration of 70.7 percent, and mobile Internet coverage in farming and pastoral areas
has surpassed 65 percent.

-People’s happiness quotient has been greatly improved.

People in both urban and rural areas are living a richer and fuller life as their incomes increase rapidly. In 2014
the per capita disposable income of urban residents reached 22,016 yuan, a 38-fold increase, or an average
annual increase of 10.7 percent compared with 565 yuan in 1978; and that of farmers and herdsmen was 7,359
yuan, representing an average annual increase of 10.9 percent. The level of urbanization has also steadily risen.
The proportion of urban population during the third population census in 1982 was 9.48 percent, but this
percentage increased to 11.52 in 1990, to 19.43 in 2000 and to 22.67 in 2010. Along with improvements to the
people’s livelihood, diversified consumption patterns have appeared, and such consumer goods as refrigerators,
color TV sets, computers, washing machines, motorcycles, and mobile phones have entered ordinary households.
Many farmers and herdsmen have become well-off and built new houses; some have even bought automobiles.
Radio, television, telecommunications, the Internet and other modern information transmission means, which
are at the same level as that of the country and the rest of the world, are now part of Tibetans’ daily life.
According to the “CCTV Economic Life Survey” jointly hosted by the National Bureau of Statistics, China Post
Group, and China Central Television (CCTV), Lhasa has topped the “happiness index” in China for five consecutive
years.

Both urban and rural residents’ living conditions have greatly improved. Tibet took the lead in 2006 in initiating
low-income housing projects for local farmers and herdsmen. By the end of 2013, the Region had appropriated
27.8 billion yuan and finished building 460,300 low-income houses. As many as 2.3 million farmers and herdsmen
had moved into safe modern houses, their per capita living space having reached 30.4 sq m, so marking an
historic improvement in their living conditions. Constantly increasing input into the building of relocation
housing, Tibet has built 66,076 more such houses covering 4.0442 million sq m, with an input of 8.809 billion
yuan. The Region has proactively carried out the city heating project in Lhasa. Since initiation of the project in
2012, Tibet has built 63 km of a main gas pipe network, 256 km of a secondary pipe network and more than
1,200 km of a courtyard pipe network. It has completed 768 heating projects for residential areas and
workplaces, so benefiting 107,000 households in a 21.36 million sq m area. The heating system has become
available to almost all urban areas in Lhasa. The burning of dung for heating is now history.

Farmers and herdsmen are living in a clean and beautiful environment. Tibet has also improved its facilities in the
areas of water, electricity, highways, gas, telecommunications, postal services, radio and television, and the
environment in farming and pastoral areas, basically solving the problem of drinking water safety. It has also
realized telephone communication and radio and TV coverage in all villages, and broadband connection in all
townships. Tibet has improved the living environment of 4,500 administrative villages. Almost 240,000 farmer
and herdsman households use clean biogas, and more than 95 percent of rural households cook with iodized salt.
Since 2010, work on improving the people’s living environment and the ecological environment has been carried
out in Tibet according to the requirement of “clean water, clean farm and clean home.” At present programs for
improving the appearance of villages and the ecological environment have been carried out in 4,500
administrative villages with an input of 4.4 billion yuan.

The poverty-stricken population has been substantially reduced. From 2006 to 2014, Tibet launched the
“Campaign to Develop Border Areas and Improve the Lives of the People,” relocated poverty-stricken families
and people with Kashin-Beck disease, and increased by 20 to 30 percent the per capita living area of 116,300
poverty-stricken families. Many people have moved from small, dark, adobe houses, where they lived alongside
livestock, to safe, more suitable homes. Poverty relief projects have benefited 2.6 million people in 578,000
households. Tibet has built and renovated a total of 3,223 km of country roads, 3,371.6 km of irrigation channels,
347 ponds covering a total 2.3294 million sq m; it has built 883 bridges for agricultural purposes of a total 12,834
m in length, 4,583 greenhouses, and 35,000 pens. It has also installed or improved irrigation systems for 300,000
mu (one mu = 1/15 hectare) of farmland. Tibet has moreover improved the ecological environment of povertystricken
areas, and the total area of fenced grassland, improved grassland, and planted grassland has reached
287,800 mu. Since 2003, the income of farmers and herdsmen has recorded double-digit growth for 12
consecutive years. The poverty-stricken population – people with a per capita per annum income of less than
2,300 yuan (at constant price of 2010) – has fallen from 1.17 million in 2010 to 610,000 at the end of 2014. The
proportion of poverty-stricken population in the Region’s total population of farmers and herdsmen fell from
49.2 percent in 2010 to 23.7 percent in 2014. Since 2006, the Region has directly or indirectly allocated a total of
70.636 billion yuan in subsidies to strengthening agriculture and benefiting farmers, 189 million yuan in subsidies
to grain production, 358 million yuan as general subsidies for purchasing agricultural supplies, and 340 million
yuan as subsidies for purchasing home appliances and furniture. Those subsidies have increased the income and
purchasing power of farmers and herdsmen and improved their living standards.

Tibet’s social security has entered a new stage. Due to its proactive employment policy, Tibet has maintained a
high employment rate. In 2014 the registered urban unemployment rate was maintained at below 2.5 percent,
and newly increased urban employment totaled 43,000. Graduates from institutions of higher learning were
provided with 11,000 jobs in the public sector, while provinces, municipalities directly under the central government and centrally managed state-owned enterprises offered 5,335 job vacancies. More than 1,500
graduates from Tibet found jobs in other parts of the country. The number of public welfare jobs in the Region
totaled 30,000, and 26,018 people found jobs in public welfare sectors. More than 2,500 zero-employment
households were provided with jobs in a timely manner, and the employment situation remained stable.

In recent years, the social security system that covers both urban and rural residents has been established in an allround
way. Tibet strengthened the security system of “five major insurance types” (endowment insurance,
unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance, medical insurance, and maternity insurance), improved
the social endowment insurance system for urban and rural residents, expanded the basic living allowance,
implemented free accident insurance, and established the basic endowment insurance and medical insurance
systems for monks and nuns. These moves have benefited 2.606 million insurance participants. The basic old-age
pension for enterprise retirees in Tibet reached 3,338 yuan per person per month, one of the highest in the
country. The basic living allowance for urban residents was raised to 534 yuan per person per month and to
2,231 yuan for rural residents per person per year. The yearly payment to those who enjoy the “five guarantees”
(for food, clothing, medical care, housing and funeral expenses) was significantly raised to 3,873 yuan per person
per year, the standard of rural decentralized support rose to 3,874 yuan per person per year, and the minimum
subsistence guarantees for children housed in orphanages was 1,200 yuan per person per month. Condolence
money was also timely extended to impoverished urban and rural residents. By the end of 2013, there were 263
social welfare organizations, eight state-run children’s welfare homes, and two private children’s welfare homes
in Tibet. Centralized support covered 72 percent of those who enjoy the “five guarantees,” and more than 5,900
orphans were effectively supported.

Tibet’s medical undertakings are also rapidly improving. A medical and health network that integrates traditional
Chinese, Western and Tibetan medicines has been established in Tibet, covering all cities and villages in the
Region, with Lhasa as the center. The Region has built 71 county hospitals and 678 township clinics that provide
free basic medical services to all farmers and herdsmen. The medical service system that covers all urban and
rural areas is improving, and a three-tier medical service network that covers counties, townships and villages is
in place. By the end of 2014, there were 1,430 medical organizations in Tibet, and 3.79 hospital beds and 4.08
medical workers for every 1,000 residents. Maximum payment of basic medical insurance for urban employees
reached 300,000 yuan, and for urban residents 200,000 yuan. The fiscal subsidy standard for urban residents’
basic medical insurance increased to 380 yuan per person every year, and the inpatient reimbursement rate for
urban residents covered by the medical insurance policy reached 75 percent. All farmers and herdsmen in Tibet
are now covered by a medical system based on free medical service. It provides each farmer and herdsman with
an annual medical allowance of 420 yuan, and an 80 percent reimbursement rate for medical services that the
policy covers, with a maximum medical reimbursement of 60,000 yuan. All monks and nuns are included in the
basic medical insurance system. Tibet has abolished the deductible line of medical assistance, and was among
the earliest in China to realize full coverage and urban-rural integration of medical assistance. Tibet also provides
free physical examinations for urban and rural residents, and 99 percent of the Region’s urban and rural
residents have health records. In 2013, the childbirth mortality rate had fallen to 1.5451 per thousand and the
infant mortality rate to 19.97 per thousand. Average life expectancy has risen from 35.5 years in the 1950s to the
present 68.17 years. The Region has basically stamped out diseases caused by iodine deficiency.

– Progress has been made in all social undertakings.

Tibet’s education has taken on a new look, and all children can now go to school. Nine-year compulsory
education is practiced in all counties in the Region, and a complete modern education system is in place, covering
preschool education, basic education, vocational education, higher education, adult education, and special
education. Tibet has realized 15-year free education from the preschool stage to senior middle school, fully
implemented the nutrition improvement plan for students under compulsory education in agricultural and
pastoral areas, and realized 100 percent coverage in terms of both policies and funds. Tibet has covered all
tuition, food, and boarding expenses for students from farmers’ and herdsmen’s families and those from families
in urban areas with financial difficulties from preschool education to senior middle school education, and raised
the subsidy standard many times to today’s 3,000 yuan per student every year. Tibet has launched the campaign
to provide three-year bilingual education for preschool children in urban areas, and two years for those in
agricultural and pastoral areas. At the end of 2014, there were more than 80,000 children in kindergartens, and
the gross enrollment rate for preschool education had reached 60 percent; there were six higher education
institutions, nine secondary vocational schools with 17,000 students, 22 senior middle schools, four six-year
middle schools, 93 junior middle schools, three nine-year education schools, three 12-year education schools,
and 829 primary schools. The primary school enrollment rate reached 99.64 percent among school-age children,
the illiteracy rate among young and middle-aged people fell to less than 0.57 percent, and the average length of
education reached 8.6 years for the Region’s general population and above 12 years for the newly-increased
working population. Since the central government adopted the strategy in 1984 of “cultivating talent for Tibet in
other parts of China,” Tibetan schools and classes in 21 provinces and municipalities directly under the central
government have cultivated more than 32,000 graduates from junior colleges and secondary technical schools
for Tibet. Tibet has now cultivated its own postgraduate and Ph.D. students, built almost 30 scientific research
institutions, compiled a group of renowned experts and scholars, and an army of 69,709 professionals in such

areas as history, economics, demographics, languages, religion, agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, ecology,
biology, Tibetan medicine, salt lakes, and geothermal and solar energy. Tibet tops China in areas such as Tibetan
studies, plateau ecology, and Tibetan medicine, and boasts academic achievements of world influence.
Public cultural services now cover both urban and rural areas in Tibet, and have enriched people’s cultural life.

The Region has built eight public art centers, five public libraries, three museums, 74 county-level cultural activity
centers, and 692 township-level cultural stations. In addition, it has built one regional center, seven prefecturelevel
sub-centers, 74 county-level sub-centers, 692 township-level stations, and 5,389 village-level stations as
part of the project to share cultural information and resources. A cultural facility network covering the four levels
of autonomous region, prefecture, county, and township is also taking shape. The cultural facility construction
project as an important part of the 12th Five-year Plan (2011-2015) with a total input of nearly 1.3 billion yuan is
making full progress. By the end of 2015, all prefectures and cities in Tibet will have public libraries and cultural
centers, areas rich in cultural relics will have museums, all counties will have libraries, cultural centers or
comprehensive cultural activity centers, all townships will have cultural stations, and 53 percent of the countylevel
state-owned art troupes will have rehearsal spaces. The total number of public cultural venues will reach
790. Tibet has built more than 1,600 cultural squares, and launched 90 regularly-staged popular cultural
activities, including the Lhasa Shoton Festival celebrations. Tibet also initiated the campaign to provide free
access to public facilities. In the recent five years, the Region’s public cultural venues have launched more than
40,000 free mass cultural events, benefiting more than eight million people. The Region’s professional art groups
and folk art groups at the county level staged more than 10,000 shows, and sent more than 100,000 books to the
countryside.

Tibet’s press and publishing are growing fast, and more and more cultural products are appearing. Tibet People’s
Publishing House and Tibetan Ancient Books Publishing House published 19,052 book and textbook titles,
totaling 282.63 million printed copies. In 2014, the Tibet Audio-Visual Publishing House and the Snowfield
Electronic Audio-Visual Publishing House published 115 audio-visual and electronic book titles, totaling 379,600
copies. Tibet has 25 newspapers, 35 periodicals, and 576 publishing and distribution entities, among which 89 are
Xinhua Bookstores at regional, prefectural and county levels, five are Xinhua Bookstores at frontier ports, and
482 are private distribution networks. In 2014, the autonomous region distributed 33.95 million copies of books,
with a total value of 323 million yuan. The Region has 38 printing enterprises, one of which is a key enterprise
with its turnover over 20 million yuan per annum. In 2014, the total output of the Region’s printing industry
reached 360 million yuan. The Region has built 5,609 rural libraries and 1,700 monastery libraries, bringing
libraries to all administrative villages and monasteries, and providing all farmers, herdsmen, monks and nuns
with access to books.

Tibet’s radio, film and television undertakings have also made significant headway. The Region has built, rebuilt
or expanded 78 FM stations above 100 w, 78 television transmitters above 50 w, 27 medium wave broadcast
transmitters, one satellite earth station, and 9,371 radio and television stations for all villages. All 1,787
monasteries in the Region now have radio, film and television coverage. At present, Tibet has one provincial
broadcast station with five frequencies, and its audiences are found in 50 countries and regions. It has one
provincial TV station with four channels. Its programs, all digitized, cover more than 700 million people in China,
and its satellite TV programs in Tibetan language can be viewed in neighboring Nepal, India, and Bhutan. Tibet
has six prefectural-level radio stations, and one TV station. The coverage of radio in Tibet has increased from 12
percent in 1965 to today’s 94.78 percent and that of television from zero in 1965 to today’s 95.91 percent. More
than 90 percent of farmer and herdsman families have access to radio and television. Through direct broadcast
satellite receivers, each rural family can receive 40 to 70 digital radio and TV program channels. At present, Tibet
has 566 film agencies, including 478 digitized film projection teams in the countryside.

VI. Protecting and Carrying Forward the Excellent Traditional Culture

In the long course of history, the Tibetan people have created their own splendid culture that enriches and is an
important component of Chinese culture. During the 50 years since its establishment, Tibet Autonomous Region
has done much and made remarkable achievements towards respecting, protecting, inheriting, and carrying
forward Tibet’s excellent traditional culture. Tibetan culture today manifests new vitality by blending tradition
and modernity.

Tibetan language learning is efficiently protected. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and Law of
the People’s Republic of China on Regional Ethnic Autonomy both specify that every ethnic group has the
freedom to use and develop its own language. Bilingual teaching in Tibetan and Chinese is carried out in all
schools in Tibet to inherit the Tibetan language in the course of learning. At present, synchronous bilingual
teaching is conducted at primary schools in agricultural and pastoral areas and certain cities and towns of the
Region, and major courses are taught in Tibetan. Middle schools (including inland Tibetan middle schools) have
Tibetan language courses, and other courses are taught in Chinese. Tibetan language is listed as an exam subject
in college and secondary vocational school entrance exams and so figures in the final score. There are now
30,642 bilingual teachers in kindergartens, primary and middle schools, and 5,800 teachers of Tibetan language
in primary and middle schools. Tibet Autonomous Region has compiled 821 textbook titles for 13 courses, 410
reference books, 56 syllabuses and curriculum standards, and 73 supplementary books.

Use of the Tibetan language is being popularized. Tibetan and Chinese are used in important meetings and their documents held in the autonomous region; Tibetan is the first choice for judicial organs in publicizing legal
knowledge and law enforcement, and its use is also stressed by departments related to agriculture and
technology. In 2014, Tibet People’s Publishing House and Tibetan Ancient Books Publishing House published
altogether 547 book titles totaling 13.025 million copies, more than 80 percent of which were in Tibetan. The
Region publishes 14 Tibetan-language periodicals and 11 Tibetan-language newspapers. At present, Tibet
People’s Broadcasting Station broadcasts 42 Tibetan-language programs (including Kangba language) each day,
including 21 hours and 15 minutes of news in Tibetan language and 18 hours of Kangba programs. Tibetan TV airs
24 hours of Tibetan-language programs. Wide use of the Tibetan language in postal services, communications,
transport, and finance also promotes the autonomous region’s rapid social and economic development.

Excellent traditional culture is protected and inherited. The state has founded education centers and research
institutes, such as Tibet University, Xizang Minzu University, Tibetan Traditional Medical College, China
Tibetology Research Center, Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences, and Tibetan Institute of Astronomy, all of which
cover extensive studies. Over the decades, Tibet has organized large-scale and systematic campaigns to restore
its traditional culture, having collected more than 10,000 pieces of music, songs and folk art forms, and more
than 30 million words of written texts. It has also recorded copious audios and videos, taken about 10,000
photos, and published more than 1,000 papers on Tibetan ethnic and traditional culture and 10 volumes on
Tibetan arts, such as Chinese Drama – Tibetan Volume, Collection of Folk Dances of Chinese Ethnic Groups –
Tibetan Volume, and Collection of Chinese Ethnic and Folk Music – Tibetan Volume. It has moreover published
more than 30 treatises on Tibetan culture, having restored, reorganized and published 261 Tibetan ancient
books. All these efforts help to save, protect and revitalize endangered ethnic and folk culture. Since 2005, when
the work of surveying and protecting Tibetan intangible cultural heritage was officially launched, the central
government and Tibet have channeled about 200 million yuan into efforts to preserve items of important
intangible heritage, such as Tibetan opera, Gesar, traditional singing and dancing, and craftsmanship, thus
forming a four-level intangible heritage protection category at the state, autonomous region, prefecture, and
county level. Currently, there are more than 1,000 intangible heritage items covering 10 categories as defined on
the intangible heritage list. Among them, Tibetan opera and Gesar have been chosen as Masterpieces of UNESCO
Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and 89 are on the state level intangible heritage list. There are four production
pilots under state level protection and 323 items under the autonomous regional protection, 113 sites for the
teaching and learning of intangible heritage, and 68 state level inheritors and 350 inheritors at the autonomous
region level. The Region is home to 158 precious ancient books and four state key protection units, four
Hometowns of Chinese Folk Art, and 65 Hometowns of Folk Art in Tibet Autonomous Region. Traditional festivals
such as the Shoton Festival and Yarlung Cultural Festival have been resumed and innovated, so becoming local
cultural brands.

Cultural relics are under effective protection. Over the past 50 years, the state has constantly renewed its efforts
to protect Tibetan cultural relics, particularly with regard to the maintenance and protection of cultural relics
under the jurisdiction of Tibet Autonomous Region, restoring and saving them in a timely manner. The 46 key
cultural relics renovation and protection projects listed in the 12th Five-year Plan at a cost of more than one
billion yuan is proceeding smoothly. Relevant local regulations have been issued, such as the Regulations of Tibet
Autonomous Region on the Protection of Cultural Relics, and the Measures of Tibet Autonomous Region for the
Protection and Management of the Potala Palace. Excavation of important historical and revolutionary cultural
relics has been strengthened, and the third survey of immovable cultural relics across the Region is complete,
which recorded 241 important historical sites and renowned architectures and 4,277 cultural relics sites of all
kinds. The first survey of movable cultural relics has also been launched. According to statistics, there are millions
of such relics across the Region. Security staff has been assigned to guard cultural relics in the wild, so further
strengthening the security of cultural relics across the Region. Phased progress has been made in survey,
protection and research of Pattra-leaf Scriptures, and The Tibet Autonomous Region Pattra-leaf Scripture
Catalogue and Photocopy of Tibet Autonomous Region Pattra-leaf Scriptures have been published. Currently
there is one world cultural heritage site spread over three places, 55 cultural relics protection units at state level,
391 at autonomous region level, 978 at city and county level, and three state historical and cultural cities.

VII. Respecting and Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief

The Constitution stipulates that freedom of religious belief is one of citizens’ fundamental rights. Today’s Tibet is
home to various religions, such as Tibetan Buddhism, within which exist different sects, Bon, Islam, and
Catholicism. After democratic reform, Tibet put an end to theocracy, separating politics from religion and so
restoring the latter’s true significance. For years, the central government and the local government of Tibet
Autonomous Region have fully respected citizens’ right to freedom of religious belief, and given equal attention
and protection to all religions and sects to ensure normal religious activities and religious beliefs are protected
according to law.

Religious activities are respected and protected. Currently, there are 1,787 sites for different religious activities in
Tibet, and more than 46,000 resident monks and nuns. Tibet Autonomous Region and seven cities all have
Buddhist associations. The Tibetan branch of the Buddhist Association of China has set up the Tibetan Buddhist
Institute, the Tripitaka Scripture Printing Lamasery, and the Tibetan Buddhism journal in Tibetan language.
Tibetan and other minority ethnic groups lead their religious lives and carry out religious activities according to
native traditions. In Tibet Autonomous Region, religious festivals are celebrated in the same way they always
were. They include more than 40 major religious activities, such as pilgrimages to holy mountains and lakes, the
Saga Dawa Festival, the Buddha Exhibition Festival, and the Lamaist Devil Dance Festival, all of which are
protected and inherited. Almost all religious believers have scripture halls or shrines at their homes. Each year,
millions of pilgrimages to Lhasa are made. In Tibet, prayer flags and mani stones are seen everywhere. All major
temples are full of believers prostrating themselves before Buddha, spinning prayer wheels and paying homage
to Buddha. Tibetan people enjoy full freedom in their conduct of religious activities. To meet the religious needs
of different believers, Tibet has four mosques and one Catholic church. These religions are also respected and
protected according to law and coexist in harmony with other religions.

Tibetan Buddhist culture is respected and protected. The central government and the local government of Tibet
Autonomous Region have always regarded Tibetan Buddhist culture as an important component of traditional
Chinese culture, offering protection and reinforcing the collection, compilation, publication, and research of
religious classics. The central government set a budget of more than 40 million yuan for the revision and
publication of the Tibetan Buddhist canons Kangyur and Tengyur, a 20-year project entailing the efforts of more
than 100 Tibetan experts. Since the 1990s, the Tibetan-language Chinese Tripitaka – Tengyur (collated edition), A
Tibetan-Chinese General Catalogue of the Tibetan Tripitaka, A Commentary on Tshad-ma sde-bdun, Five
Treatises of Maitreya, and Annotations on Pramanavarttika Karika – the Solemn Snowland have been successively
compiled and published. More than 1,490 copies of Kangyur have been printed, and the ritual procedures,
biographies, and treatises on Tibetan Buddhism have also been published to meet the study demands of
monasteries, Buddhist monks and nuns, and lay believers. Treatises on Buddhism written and published by
religious research institutes, eminent monks and scholars, such as Collation and Research of Pattra-leaf
Scriptures, Collation of Sanskrit Pattra-leaf Scriptures Extant in Lhasa, Studies of the Origin and Development of
Religions and Religious Sects in Tibet, Reincarnation System of Living Buddhas, History of Buddhism by Guta,
Records of Tibetan Bonist Temples, Records of Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries in China, and The Art of Murals of
Buddhist Monasteries in Tibet have been published.

Temples are maintained and protected. Since the 1980s, the state has allocated funds, gold, and silver to
maintain, renovate and protect temples. More than 1.4 billion yuan has been spent on restoring Tibetan cultural
relics and refurbishing key monasteries. A total of 6.7 million yuan, 111 kg of gold, 2,000 kg of silver, and a large
amount of jewelry has been used to renovate stupas and prayer halls from the Fifth Panchen Erdeni to the Ninth
Panchen Erdeni. The state budget to build these for the 10th Panchen Erdeni was 66.2 million yuan and 650 kg of
gold. In 1994, the state allocated another 20 million yuan to renovate Ganden Monastery. Since 1995, the central
budget has given active support to the maintenance and protection of monasteries listed as state key cultural
relics units, such as the Potala Palace, Norbulingka and Sakya Monastery.

The Living Buddha reincarnation is proceeding well. The Living Buddha reincarnation is a succession system
unique to Tibetan Buddhism, and is respected by the state and governments at different levels of the
autonomous region, the state having issued the Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living
Buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism. Through traditional religious rituals and historical conventions like drawing lots
from a golden urn, in 1995 Tibet Autonomous Region sought out and identified the reincarnation of the 10th
Panchen Erdeni, and conferred and enthroned the 11th Panchen Erdeni, with the approval of the State Council.
Tibet now has 358 Living Buddhas, more than 60 of whom have been confirmed through historical conventions
and traditional religious rituals.

The system whereby Tibetan Buddhist monks learn sutras is improving since the autonomous region issued the
Opinions on Building a Branch of the Tibetan Buddhist Institute and Methods of Awarding Academic Ranks in the
Tibetan Buddhist Institute (trial). The China Tibetan Language High-level Institute of Buddhism has been set up in
Beijing, and the Tibetan Buddhist Institute in Lhasa. Both recruit and train senior Buddhist teaching personnel.
More than 60 monasteries of various sects in Tibet have their own sutra learning classes, and teach and confer
degrees according to tradition. Since 2005, senior academic ranks examinations and degree conferring
ceremonies have been held each year at the China Tibetan Language High-level Institute of Buddhism in Beijing,
and degree examinations unique to Gelug held in Jokhang Temple and the three major monasteries in Lhasa. So
far, a total of 84 monks have received senior academic titles in Lhasa and 46 in Beijing.

VIII. Promoting Ecological Progress

Tibet is an important ecological safety barrier in China. Over past decades, in keeping with economic, social and
natural laws, Tibet has followed a sustainable path compatible with the harmonious coexistence of economy,
society, and the ecological environment. In recent years, with the strategic objectives of building an ecological
safety barrier as well as an ecologically healthy and beautiful Tibet, the regional government has drawn up
systematic plans to build and protect Tibet’s ecological environment.

Plans to build and protect Tibet as an ecological safety barrier have been carried out. On February 18, 2009, the
50th executive meeting of the State Council deliberated and approved the Plan for Ecological Safety Barrier
Protection and Improvement in Tibet (2008-2030), aiming to complete building the Tibet ecological safety barrier
by 2030 with an investment of 15.5 billion yuan. So far, 5.646 billion yuan has been spent on the project. The 10
projects in three categories specified in the Plan, including natural grassland protection, forest fire prevention
and pest control operation, wild animal and plant protection and nature reserves construction, key wetland

protection, energy substitution program in agricultural and pastoral areas, shelterbelt network building, manmade
grassland and deteriorated pastureland improvement, desertification control, water and soil conservation,
and ecological safety barrier monitoring, are in full swing.

Biological diversity and key ecological reserves are under effective protection. Currently, Tibet has 47 nature
reserves, which cover 412,200 sq km, or 34.35 percent of the total land area of the entire Region. It has also set
up 22 ecological reserves (two at state level), four state level scenic spots, nine national forest parks, 10 national
wetland parks, and four geological parks (three at state level), wherein 141 wild animal species and 38 species of
wild plants are under state protection, 196 indigenous animal species, and 855 indigenous plants and important
ecological systems are under effective protection. The large and medium-sized wildlife populations of Tibet lead
the country: numbers of Tibetan antelopes have grown from 50,000 to 70,000 in 1995 to more than 200,000, and
black-necked cranes from 1,000 to 3,000 in 1995 to 7,000. Numbers of such rare and endangered species as wild
yaks and Tibetan wild donkeys are also steadily growing.

Ecological development in forestry and grassland is making remarkable progress. According to the eighth national
survey of forest resources conducted in 2014, the Region’s forest coverage rate was as high as 11.98 percent,
covering a total area of 14.7156 million ha. Wood stock accounted for 2.262 billion cubic meters of forest, 2.261
billion cubic meters of virgin forest, and 267 cubic meters per ha. of high forest. The key non-commercial forest
totals 10.1127 million ha. Tibet leads the country in terms of per capita forest coverage, stock of forest, virgin
forest and high forest, and area of key non-commercial forest. Compared with the third national survey of
desertification and sandification, the fourth survey shows a 78,900 ha. decline in desertification and 65,700 ha.
decline in sandification in Tibet. This signifies that the situation has been checked and is now taking a turn for the
better. By the end of 2014, there was 84.33 million ha. of natural grassland in Tibet, 70.67 million of which is
usable.

Eco-compensation pilot work is progressing. The central government applies eco-compensation policies to forest
and grassland etc., in Tibet, having allocated more than four billion yuan each year to the Region. The state has
also formulated the Measures for Management of Eco-Compensation Funds for Forest in Tibet Autonomous
Region. From 2010, the central budget began granting annual 772 million yuan of eco-compensation to the
Region’s non-commercial forest. Based on the pilot work to award grassland ecological protection to five
counties from 2009 to 2010, in 2011 a policy to subsidize grassland ecological protection was fully implemented
in 74 counties across the Region. It entailed spending 2.00981 billion yuan of subsidies and awards each year on
protecting the grassland environment and increasing the income of farmers and herdsmen. The state has
implemented the transfer payment policy in key ecological reserves, covering 18 counties of Tibet and spending
1.083 billion yuan in 2014. These measures help to protect key non-commercial forest, prime grassland and key
ecological areas.

Tibet takes the lead in building ecological culture. In 2014, the National Development and Reform Commission
and five other departments jointly issued the Notice on Building Ecological Culture Demonstration Areas (The
First Group), listing Shannan and Nyingchi prefectures as the first group, which will take the lead in conducting
independent environmental monitoring and enforcing environmental laws, improving the pollution discharge
permit system and enterprise pollutant cap control system, and establishing a lifelong accountability system for
environmental damage to explore effective models for building ecological culture in impoverished border areas
mostly inhabited by ethnic minorities with rich ecological resources and value.

As the surveys and evaluations of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and relevant departments show, Tibet
Plateau boasts a stable and balanced ecological system with a stable eco-quality. Encompassing all terrestrial
ecosystems, the Tibetan ecosystems remain important gene pools of China and the entire globe’s biological
species, and a key area for biodiversity conservation. Its water, air, noise, soil, radiation, and ecological and
environmental quality all remain in good condition, and its rivers, lakes, forests, grasslands, wetlands, glaciers,
snow mountains, and wildlife are all under effective protection, most in the Region maintaining their original
natural state.

Conclusion

Over the past 50 years, under the firm leadership of the CPC and the central government, great changes have
taken place in Tibet through implementing regional ethnic autonomy, achieving a historical leapfrog from a
backward, impoverished, and isolated society into one which is now progressing, prospering, and open. Practice
has fully demonstrated that regional ethnic autonomy is a requirement for Tibet’s development and progress,
and conforms to the fundamental interests of all ethnic groups in Tibet. This system fits China’s national
conditions and the reality of Tibet, and is thus the right choice for Tibet.

The Region’s ethnic autonomy helps people of all ethnic groups in Tibet become their own masters and enjoy full
democratic and extensive economic, social and cultural rights. Over the years, the 14th Dalai Lama clique, in
plotting towards “Tibetan independence,” has constantly preached the “middle way,” peddled the concept of a
“Greater Tibet,” and lobbied for “a high degree of autonomy,” so negating regional ethnic autonomy and its
contribution to Tibet’s progress. The 14th Dalai group’s separatist activities violate the Constitution of China and
its state system, and greatly damage the fundamental interests of all ethnic groups in Tibet, which is why they
have met strong opposition from all Chinese people, including those of all ethnic groups in Tibet, and hence why
they are doomed to fail.

Currently, people of all ethnic groups in Tibet are working hard, along with the whole nation, to build China into a
prosperous society in all respects and realize the great dream of rejuvenating the Chinese nation. With the
advance of the socialist undertaking with Chinese characteristics, the system of regional ethnic autonomy will be
further developed and improved, enabling people of all ethnic groups in Tibet to be their own masters at an even
higher level.