Full Text: Sixty Years Since Peaceful Liberation of Tibet

III. Historic Achievements that Capture World Attention

In the 60 years since its peaceful liberation in 1951, Tibet, under the leadership of the Central People's Government and with the support of people of all ethnic groups in China, and with the hard work of all ethnic groups in the autonomous region, has fulfilled two historic leaps from a society of feudal serfdom to one of socialism, and from a state of isolation, poverty and backwardness to one of opening, prosperity and civilization, scoring historic achievements in various undertakings that caught world attention.

1. Tibet has scored brilliant political achievements and made historic changes in its social system.

Since its peaceful liberation Tibet has abolished feudal serfdom, implemented regional ethnic autonomy and established socialism featuring people's democracy. The former serfs and slaves have since become masters of their own country and society. They enjoy both the right to equally participate in the administration of state affairs and the right to handle local and ethnic affairs on their own. In the elections of people's congresses at the autonomous regional, prefectural (municipal), county and township (town) levels in 2007, 96.4 percent of the eligible residents participated in the electoral process. Of the more than 34,000 deputies directly or indirectly elected to the people's congresses at the aforementioned four levels, more than 94 percent were members of the Tibetan or other ethnic minorities. Of the deputies to the current National People's Congress, 20 are from Tibet, including 12 Tibetans, one Monba and one Lhoba. People from all walks of life in Tibet also attend the people's political consultative conferences at various levels to participate in the deliberation and administration of state affairs, and to exercise their democratic rights. Among the deputies to the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, quite a number of them are Tibetans and a few are from the Tibetan religious circle. Since the founding of the Tibet People's Political Consultative Conference in 1959, an overwhelming part of the members have been Tibetans or members of other ethic minorities.

Regional ethnic autonomy has constantly been institutionalized. Statistics show that since 1965 the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region has enacted 279 local regulations, resolutions and decisions with legal effect, which cover political power buildup, economic development, culture and education, spoken and written languages, justice, medical care and public health, relics protection, protection of wild animals and plants, protection of natural resources, and environmental protection. Now Tibet has established a legal regime of local autonomy, with autonomy-related regulations and separate regulations as the mainstay, protecting the special rights and interests of the people in Tibet in the areas of politics, economy and social life, and promoting the development of various local undertakings. These regulations have distinctive local features. They include the Regulations on Legislation of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Implementing Rules for Election of Deputies to the People's Congresses at Various Levels in the Tibet Autonomous Region, Resolutions on the Study, Use and Development of the Tibetan Language in the Tibet Autonomous Region, Resolutions on Maintaining National Unification, Enhancing Ethnic Solidarity and Opposing Secessionist Activities, Regulations of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Protection and Management of Cultural Relics, and Regulations of the Tibet Autonomous Region on Environmental Protection.

Cadres of the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities constitute the main body of cadres in Tibet and the backbone of the construction and development of the region. Since the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region in 1965, all chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress and all governors of the People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region have been Tibetan citizens. Cadres of the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities account for 70.3 percent of the total at the autonomous regional level and 81.6 percent at the county and township levels. At present, Tibet has 54,000 specialized technical personnel, among whom 76.8 percent are from ethnic minorities.

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