DHARAMSHALA, December 18: A senior Chinese academician has called for policy overhaul in China’s aid programmes in Tibet blaming them for causing "disappointing effect" on the local economy.
Jin Wei, director of ethnic religious studies at the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China, the supreme ideological training ground for party cadres, said the region has failed to create a foundation for sustainable growth.
Beijing based news portal Caixin Online cited Jin as making those remarks at a December 15 forum on ethnic minority development hosted by Minzu University in Beijing.
Jin noted that 70 percent of the 987 central government aid projects to Tibet between 1984 and 2005 had little immediate effect on boosting economic growth in the region.
She was quoted as saying that the regional Tibetan administration manages to cover only 7 percent of the local budget demand even as central government funding to the region grew to a combined total of 13.3 billion by 2009, under 6,300 projects.
According to the report, Jin said the funding failed to establish business and industry networks to maintain sustainable development largely because they relied on government oriented measures.
“A number of scholars at the forum stated aid policies to ethnic regions need to adapt to local conditions and include participation from local communities,” the report said.
Speaking in Lhasa, Tibet’s ancient capital city, last year, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping had declared that speeding up development “holds the key to resolving all issues in Tibet.”
"The economic and social development of Tibet should always aim at safeguarding and improving the people's well-being," Chinese state media quoted him as saying. He also vowed to “maintain social stability in Tibet and fight separatist activities led by the Dalai Lama group.”
In September 2011, China announced plans to spend 300 billion yuan (46.89 billion U.S. dollars) on 226 key projects ranging from railway and dam building to mining and promoting tourism in Tibet within the next five years.
Tibetans have long argued that China’s grand projects in Tibet are planned and implemented without consultation, consent, and knowledge of the local Tibetans.
The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration maintains that Beijing, “under the guise of economic and social development, encourages the migration of Chinese population to Tibet, marginalising the Tibetans in economic, educational, political and social spheres.”