The newly formed Tsonyi county.
DHARAMSHALA, January 29: China announced the creation of a new county in the Nagchu region of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region last week.
The decision to upgrade the earlier Tsonyi ‘Special District’ (Shuanghu) to Tsonyi county was taken by China’s State Council as reported by China’s official Xinhua news agency.
Tsonyi county is being billed as the “world’s highest county” with an average altitude of 5,000 meters and an average temperature of minus 13 degrees Celsius. The 116,000-sq km region has extremely thin air and adverse weather, the report added.
With an incomplete administrative system, all affairs of the region, which comprises of seven villages and a total population of more than 12,000, until now were being managed by departments in the neighbouring Nyima county.
The report said “local residents will no longer have to trek 300 km to Nyima to solve civil lawsuits after courts and procuratorates in Shuanghu obtain judicial power.”
However, access to tap water, asphalt roads, better power supply and construction of necessary administrative offices in the region is expected to take at least half a year.
Tsonyi is the 11th county in Nagchu and the 72nd in the TAR.
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China provides for three levels of administrative divisions: the province, county, and township. However, two more levels have been inserted in actual implementation: the prefecture, under provinces; and the village, under townships.
Following Tibet’s invasion and complete occupation in 1959, China bifurcated and incorporated the entire landmass of Tibet into four major areas: the Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, Sichuan Province and Yunnan Province.