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Top 10 news stories in Tibet in 2014

Time: 2014-12-27
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1. Year 2014 marks 60th anniv. of Qinghai-Tibet highway completion

The year 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet highway. The highway that links Xining, capital city of Qinghai province, and Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, is a lifeline for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It has boosted the economic growth of regions along the road and enabled many people's dreams to come true.
Xi Jinping, President of China, called the project a miracle of road history: "The highways have played a vital role in Tibet's social system, economic and social development, as well as consolidating the southwest frontiers and promoting national unity".
2. Year 2014 marks 20th anniversary of aid-Tibet work
Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), noted that many achievements were made by the aid-Tibet workers during the past 20 years, at the conference of the 20th Anniversary of Aid-Tibet Work held in Beijing, capital city of China, Aug. 25, 2014.
He also discussed future plans to focus efforts on the allocation of aid-Tibet funds, the innovation of aiding methods, guidance of central and state-owned enterprises' role in aid-Tibet, and management of aid-Tibet cadres.
There are 17 provinces and 17 central enterprises and government ministries involved in the aid-Tibet work. Since 1993, the Tibet Autonomous Region has received seven groups of officials and professionals from inland provinces and municipalities to work in the high-altitude region.
3. "Rule of law" stressed in Tibet
China's political advisor Yu Zhengsheng stressed adherence to the "rule of law" in Tibet.
Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks while taking part in a panel discussion with deputies from the Tibet Autonomous Region during the annual session of the National People's Congress on Mar.10.
Yu said that strengthening the frontier region is key to governing a country, and maintaining stability in Tibet is a prerequisite of strengthening the frontier region.
He asked authorities to follow the principle of "rule of law" in governing Tibet, take measures to win local people's hearts and make Tibet's development an enduring task.
4. Tibet confirms to have 358 Rinpoches of Tibetan Buddhism
China's Tibet Autonomous Region has 358 Rinpoches who were enthroned in accordance with the reincarnation system of Rinpoches, according to Trinley Dorje, director of the Tibet Committee of Ethnic and Religious Affairs.
The reincarnation system of Rinpoches -living Buddhas- is a unique practice for the continuation of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, which is respected by the Chinese government.
5. Shigatse becomes China's youngest prefecture-level city
The Tibet Autonomous Region now has a new city after Shigatse was upgraded to become the third prefecture-level city in the region on Dec.25.
"The inauguration of Shigatse City is a milestone in the area's history, which marks its development moving forward and entering into a new era," said Zhang Hongbo, mayor of the new city.
Located at an altitude of more than 3,800 meters, Shigatse is now the third prefecture-level city in Tibet after the regional capital Lhasa and Chamdo.
6. Lhasa-Shigatse railway officially put into use
A second railway line in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, covering 251 kilometers and linking the regional capital Lhasa and Shigatse, the second-largest city in the region, was officially put into use on Aug. 16, 2014.
7. Tibet holds first international development forum
The Forum on Development in Tibet opened in Lhasa, capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region, south west China, on Aug 12, 2014.
It was the first time for the forum to be launched in China. More than 100 experts and scholars from over 30 countries and regions including China, Russia, Britain, India, Japan, and Mexico attended the forum and gave speeches in the follow-up group discussions.
The forum aimed to facilitate communication between Tibet and the outside world, to help people -especially foreigners- to further understand Tibet's culture, history, and current situation, as well as to attract more tourists to visit Tibet.
8. First China Tibet expo kicks off in Lhasa
The First China Tibet Tourism and Culture International Exposition began in Lhasa, which was the first expo of its kind held in China's Tibet Autonomous Region on Sept.25,2014.
With the theme of "Sacred Land, Heavenly Tibet", it created a high-end stage for tourism exchanges and cultural promotion between the Tibet Autonomous Region and the rest of China as well as the world at large.
During the expo, activities including Tibet's Thangka Masterpiece Exhibition, the Exhibition of Tibet's Cultural Industry, Tibet's Best Cultural Relics Exhibition, the promotion of the Top Scenic Spots Boulevard as well as the tourist products trade fair were conducted. Simultaneously, the First China Tibet Tourism and Culture Keynote Seminar was held. Officials, Tibetologists and entrepreneurs from home and abroad discussed how to "develop key sites for the protection of Chinese ethnic culture" and "develop important world tourist destinations".
9. Tibet launches first law to protect cultural heritage
Tibet has launched its first regional law on regulations regarding Intangible Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China in Tibet to strengthen legal protection of local culture on Jun.1, 2014.
10. Construction of Lhasa-Nyingchi railway begins
Work on a railway that will link Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, and Nyingchi, in the east of the region, has started, according to a report from China Railway Corp. on Dec.19.
The project will cost 36.6 billion yuan (6 billion U.S. dollars) and take seven years to complete. State-owned China Railway Corp. will build and operate the line.