BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Over the past 60 years, Tibet has witnessed a historic leap in its economic and social development, thanks to the care of the Chinese Central Authorities and the support of the whole nation, says a white paper titled "Sixty Years Since Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" issued on Monday.
The local GDP soared from 129 million yuan in 1951 to 50.746 billion yuan in 2010, a 111.8-fold increase or an average annual growth of 8.3 percent at comparable prices, it says.
In 2010 the per-capita GDP was 17,319 yuan, and the local budgetary receipts reached 3.665 billion yuan, showing an average annual growth of over 20 percent for eight consecutive years, the white paper says.
The average life expectancy has increased from 35.5 to 67 years. According to the sixth national census, the total population of Tibet increased from one million before the peaceful liberation to more than three million, of whom 2.7164 million or 90.48 percent were Tibetans.
The central and regional governments always attach great importance to carrying on, protecting and developing the excellent traditional culture of the Tibetan ethnic group. The study, use and development of the Tibetan language are protected by law, and the Tibetan script has become the first ethnic-minority script in China that has international text coding standards for information exchange. The state has altogether apportioned 1.45 billion yuan to maintain and repair the Potala Palace, the Norbulingka and Sakya Monastery, and other cultural relics and historical sites. Tibet's 76 distinctive cultural items such as folk handicrafts, folk art and Tibetan opera have been listed among items of state-level intangible cultural heritage. The Potala Palace, Jokhang Monastery and Norbulingka have been listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. Tibetan opera and the famous Legend of King Gesar have been put upon the World Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Tibetan medicine, with unique local features, has entered the world market, and Tibetology research is flourishing as never before.
Freedom of religious belief of all ethnic groups is respected and protected in Tibet. All religions, all religious sects are equal in Tibet. The Living Buddha reincarnation system, unique to Tibetan Buddhism, is fully respected. People are free to learn and debate Buddhist doctrines, get ordained as monks and practice Buddhist rites. Academic degrees in Buddhism are also promoted. The central government has listed some famous sites for religious activities as cultural relics units subject to state or autonomous regional protection, including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Monastery, and Tashilhunpo, Drepung, Sera and Sakya monasteries. Tibet now has more than 1,700 venues for religious activities, and about 46,000 monks and nuns. Monks and laymen organize and take part in the Sakadawa Festival and other religious and traditional activities every year. More than one million worshipers make pilgrimage to Lhasa each year.
Full Text: Sixty Years Since Peaceful Liberation of Tibet