“We will never allow one inch of land in Tibet to be separated from China; we will not see one poor person to be left behind; and we will never develop the economy at the expense of the environment.” Wu Yingjie, Party chief of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said in an interview recently, addressing that all-out efforts should be made for the long-term development and stability of Tibet.
Reporter: How will Tibet implement General Secretary Xi Jinping’s strategic concept, “govern the nation by governing the borders, govern the borders by first stabilizing Tibet”, ensure social harmony and stability in Tibet, and strengthen the development of border regions?
Wu Yingjie: Tibet is an important border area and ethnic region of China with its border more than 4,000 kilometers long. It is the front line in the struggle against separatism and has the glorious mission to safeguard stability and promote harmony, which must always be our top priority.We will never allow one inch of land in Tibet to be separated from China. Thus, it is necessary to uphold the concept of inclusiveness, strengthen contact, exchange, and communication among all ethnic groups in tourism and other industries, and promote national unity. We should keep people-centered developmental mindset and further enhance people’s sense of well-being by attaching great importance to the livelihoods issue such as as orienting capital and projects towards the grassroots level, making efforts to employ university graduates, carrying out free education for 15 years, etc.
Reporter: Tibet is a provincial-level concentrated area of poverty, and alleviating poverty is an arduous task. How can Tibet utilize the spirit of the 19th National Congress to overcome difficulties and help people of all ethnic groups get out of poverty?
Wu Yingjie: Over the past two years, Tibet has brought 280,000 people out of poverty. Five counties and districts have been cleared out of poverty, and 25 counties and districts have reached the poverty-off line. The poverty rate has dropped to 7.9 percent. We will continue to focus on impoverished districts and concentrate on targeted-poverty alleviation. First, we must implement differentiated policies. Poverty alleviation for 10 deeply impoverished counties in Lhasa, Lhoka, Nyingchi, and Ngari prefectures should be the responsibility of their respective prefecture or municipality. Poverty alleviation for 34 deeply impoverished counties in Chamdo, Nagchu, and western Shigatse prefectures should be undertaken by the autonomous region via a concentration of resources. Second, we must strengthen our support of industry and employment to bring 323,000 people out of poverty. Third, on the basis of respecting the will of the people, we would steadily advance with relocation efforts. Fourth, we must increase aid and assistance for Tibet to ensure that 80 percent of Aid Tibet funds goes towards impoverished districts. Fifth, we must implement ecological poverty alleviation measures and integrate ecological funds so that impoverished people who are able to work can have stable jobs and salaries. Sixth, poverty alleviation should be promoted through Party building, with a focus on helping deeply impoverished counties and populations.
Reporter: The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is also an important national ecological security barrier. How can Tibet manage the relationship between economic and social development and natural environment preservation?
Wu Yingjie: We firmly agree that “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets” promoted by General Secretary Xi Jinping. We will spare no efforts promoting green development during building a beautiful Tibet. First, we will keep to the baseline of ecological security. Second, we will vigorously promote afforestation and tree planting projects. Third, we must strictly carry out a lifelong accountability system to combat environmental damage.