President Xi Jinping is on a uncommon journey to China’s politically delicate area of Tibet, state media reported Friday, the primary such go to by the nation’s high chief in additional than three many years.
Tibet has alternated over the centuries between independence and management by China, which says it “peacefully liberated” the rugged plateau in 1951 and introduced infrastructure and schooling to the beforehand underdeveloped area.
But many exiled Tibetans accuse the central authorities of spiritual repression and eroding their tradition.
In 2008, the area exploded in lethal rioting after rising anger over the perceived dilution of its historical tradition by speedy Chinese-fuelled growth.
In footage launched Friday by state broadcaster CCTV, Xi was seen greeting a crowd sporting ethnic costumes and waving Chinese flags as he left his aircraft, in a crimson carpet welcome as dancers carried out round him.
Although he arrived on Wednesday on the Nyingchi Mainling Airport within the southeast of Tibet, there was no point out of his go to in official media till two days later.
After a “warm welcome by cadres and masses of all ethnic groups”, Xi went to the Nyang River Bridge to study ecological and environmental safety of the Yarlung Tsangpo river and the Nyang River, CCTV mentioned.
Xi has visited Tibet twice, as soon as in 1998 as Fujian province’s occasion chief and one other time in 2011 as vice-president.
The final Chinese president to go to was Jiang Zemin in 1990.
Advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet mentioned Thursday that folks in Lhasa “reported unusual activities and monitoring of their movement” forward of the go to, with roads blocked and safety officers checking on people’ actions.
This time, Xi additionally visited the Nyingchi City Planning Museum and different areas to look into city growth planning, rural revitalisation and the development of city parks.
On Thursday, he headed to the Nyingchi Railway Station to study planning for the Sichuan-Tibet Railway earlier than taking a prepare to Lhasa.
Beijing sees growth as an antidote to discontent in Tibet, the place many nonetheless revere the Dalai Lama — the area’s exiled non secular chief — and resent an inflow of Chinese vacationers and settlers.
Since 2008 China has poured funding into the area, making Tibet one in all China’s fastest-growing areas economically, in keeping with native statistics.
Sporadic protests have damaged out in Tibet in current many years, together with some self-immolations by monks within the coronary heart of Lhasa and enormous protests in opposition to Chinese rule in 2008, which left many useless.
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