HomeWorldAsiaAdvancing High-Quality Development and Unity in Tibet

Advancing High-Quality Development and Unity in Tibet


You Nan

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Chinese government has attached great importance to Tibet. Significant progress has been achieved in high-quality development across various domains including economic growth, personnel training, infrastructure construction, cultural heritage protection, ecological and environmental conservation, and social development. This progress is notably reflected in several aspects: 

  1. The Tibet region has shown strong economic growth momentum.
  2. Per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents has increased, leading to significant improvements in living standards.
  3. Cultural tourism, clean energy, green industries, modern services, plateau biology, border trade and logistics, and high-tech digital industries will be vigorously promoted. Emphasis will be placed on large-scale projects, brand building, and expanding industrial chains.
  4. Cultural tourism has experienced rapid development, and significant advancements have been made in highway construction.
  5. The length of high-grade highways and operational railways has increased, along with an expansion in domestic and foreign air routes.
  6. Infrastructure improvements in water, electricity, roads, telecommunications, and housing have brought substantial changes to the lives of all ethnic groups.

These achievements are attributed to the central government’s support and the collaborative efforts of Tibet’s diverse population. Looking ahead, it is imperative to fully and accurately implement the CPC’s Tibet governance strategy for the new era. This involves pursuing progress while maintaining stability, using progress to promote stability, and prioritizing systematic deployment and meticulous planning of concrete measures for high-quality development. 

In practice, it is crucial to closely align with Tibet’s specific needs and continuously enhance and innovate governance strategies and methods. This approach will effectively advance Tibet’s economic and social development.

People-centric approach 

From the perspective of Marxist theory, high-quality development in Tibet must adhere to the principle of being people-centered, which is an essential requirement of Marxist views on both the people and development. First, Marxism asserts that people are the creators of history and the decisive force for advancing social progress. In the course of achieving high-quality development in Tibet, prioritizing the people means fully respecting their initiative and leveraging their primary position and role. This entails ensuring that development not only serves the interests of specific groups but genuinely benefits the broader population, enhancing their living standards and quality of life.  

Second, Marxism emphasizes that the purpose of development is to meet people’s needs and foster their comprehensive development. In pursuing high-quality development in Tibet, prioritizing the people means starting with and aiming to meet their needs, continually improving their living conditions, and enhancing their sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security. This involves strengthening infrastructure, enhancing public services, promoting industrial transformation and upgrading, and facilitating employment and entrepreneurship. 

Additionally, Marxism underscores that development is a systemic endeavor requiring comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable approaches. In the context of Tibet’s high-quality development, a people-centered approach mandates integrated and coordinated development encompassing economic growth, social progress, and ecological and environmental preservation, addressing both immediate and long-term goals. This necessitates scientifically planning and rationalizing development processes to ensure sustainability. 

In summary, from the Marxist perspective, high-quality development in Tibet must uphold the principle of being people-centered. This approach is fundamental to achieving long-term peace, stability, social harmony, and progress in Tibet. It is crucial to deeply comprehend and adhere to the essence and requirements of this principle, continually advancing sustained and robust economic and social development in Tibet.

Balancing development and security 

On the path to promoting high-quality development in Tibet, it is essential to carefully manage the relationship between development and security. First and foremost, we must coordinate development with security measures to ensure social stability. Maintaining stability has always been our primary political objective. Tibet’s development cannot progress without a stable social environment. Therefore, we must decisively reject complacency, conduct rigorous emergency drills, closely monitor social prevention and control measures, focus on key control areas, and enhance workplace safety. Tibet adheres strictly to the principle of governing according to law and rigorously cracks down on all forms of separatist and sabotage activities to safeguard social harmony and stability. 

Secondly, we need to steer high-quality economic development in new directions. We will optimize industrial distribution and prioritize project implementation. Aligned with national strategies, Tibet will further optimize its industrial layout, meticulously plan project execution, foster new high-quality industries tailored to local conditions, and continuously enhance productivity levels and enterprise value-added. Strengthening infrastructure remains pivotal for high-quality development. Efforts will continue to bolster infrastructure development, particularly in transportation, energy, and water conservation sectors, to elevate public service standards and provide robust support for economic and social progress. 

Thirdly, we must reinforce ecological and environmental protections to achieve sustainable development. Tibet must implement the strictest measures for ecological and environmental preservation, striving for green development. Endowed with unique natural resources and ecosystems, Tibet should leverage these advantages to promote green development, establish a sustainable industrial ecosystem, and achieve mutual benefits for economic growth and ecological conservation. Enhanced supervision throughout project construction processes will ensure effective ecological protection. 

Lastly, improving livelihoods and ensuring all ethnic groups benefit from development are paramount. We will secure full employment through industrial development and expanded job opportunities for all ethnic groups. Concurrently, we will enhance vocational education and training, elevate workforce quality, and provide talent support for high-quality development initiatives. Addressing immediate and practical concerns of the people remains a focal point, promoting more efficient, equitable, and sustainable economic and social development in Tibet.  

Promoting National Unity 

Ethnic unity is the lifeline of all ethnic groups in China. In 2023, China issued a white paper on CPC policies for governing Tibet in the new era. Tibet has strengthened the sense of community within the Chinese nation, promoted high-quality development of ethnic affairs, and solidified socialist ethnic relations characterized by equality, unity, solidarity, mutual assistance, and harmony. We will fully leverage the role of community-level participation. Through extensive publicity and education on ethnic unity, the venerable tradition of all ethnic groups sharing a common fate and heartfelt unity will be passed down through generations. This will enhance ethnic cohesion and centripetal force, laying a firm social foundation for high-quality development.  

Also read: China’s New Approach to BRI Development: The case of Beijing

In Tibet, we will establish model areas for ethnic unity and progress, vigorously promote exchanges and integration among ethnic groups, and foster ethnic harmony in urban and rural areas. In accordance with local conditions, interconnected communities will be developed to encourage people of all ethnic backgrounds to live and learn together. It is essential to tailor strategies to local characteristics and realities, considering the diverse circumstances of different ethnic groups and regions. This approach ensures comprehensive integration of all ethnic groups in terms of spatial, cultural, economic, social, and psychological aspects. Specific strategies include: 

Spatial Integration

Aligning with population trends and integration dynamics, we will consolidate infrastructure, manpower, funds, and other resources to create inclusive living spaces for all ethnic groups within communities. For instance, accelerating the redevelopment of older communities to encourage staggered residency among ethnic groups. Strengthening community planning and management, establishing a grid service management mechanism, effectively overseeing transient populations, fostering mutual assistance among residents, and promoting exchanges and integration among neighbors.

Cultural Interaction and Integration

Cultural interaction and integration are crucial. Inheriting and promoting the rich traditions of Chinese culture, guided by core socialist values, we aim to establish and emphasize Chinese cultural symbols and the national image cherished by all ethnic groups. For instance, establishing bilingual learning classes and cultural lectures, and striving to develop a “language communication base for all ethnic groups”. Traditional festivals are utilized to blend festival activities with initiatives promoting ethnic unity and progress, enhancing the cultural influence and creativity of these unity and progress bases. Simultaneously, integrating outstanding traditional cultures into community activities promotes the widespread understanding and unity of ethnic cultures.

Economic Interdependence

Thirdly, economic integration is vital. Enhance systematic self-construction and provide diversified, experiential support services. Offer fundamental employment services, including various skills training, organizing job fairs, disseminating employment opportunities, and providing policy consultations and career guidance, ensuring that community members possess job-seeking and job-retention skills. Implement “one-to-one” pairing strategies to enhance the overall capabilities of all ethnic groups in communities to achieve prosperity. Through these measures, we will continue promoting high-quality development in Tibet and strive to pioneer a new era in Tibet’s contribution to China’s modernization. 

*The author is an Associate professor at the University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China.  

**The opinions in this article are the author’s own and may not represent the views of The Diplomatic Insight. The organization does not endorse or assume responsibility for the content.

The Diplomatic Insight is a digital and print magazine focusing on diplomacy, defense, and development since 2009.

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