By Choekyi Lhamo
A Tibetan woman milks sheep in Ngari (TAR region)
DHARAMSHALA, NOV. 26: China has announced through its official media that the poverty in the Tibet Autonomous Region will be driven out by the end of 2019 even as Tibetan exiles claim that Chinese government’s poverty alleviation projects discriminate against people who refuse to denounce the name of His Holiness the Dalai Lama or who refrain from praising China’s leadership.
The report says that the on-going work against poverty has resulted in delisting 19 areas in the Tibetan region once they receive approval from the local population. It has claimed that 18 counties along with a county-level district in the cities of Shigatse, Chamdo, Nagchu and Ngari prefecture have already passed the preliminary assessments by the local officials.
The TAR authorities seem bent upon making public announcements on the development of the region via similar reports. Reports have suggested that the Tibetan region has always been the poorest of regions in the country while China is trying to set the precedent of a new and modern Tibet.
The authorities of the TAR region have set an ambitious goal by declaring its ‘progress’ a year ahead. The delisting process has almost approved these regions free of poverty and the report said that the “19 areas, all located in high-altitude and remote areas, were once the poorest in the region, according to the office.”
The report described Tibet as being “famous for its picturesque plateau landscapes and splendid ethnic cultures. It is also one of the main grounds in China's nationwide campaign against poverty.”
It is clear that China is increasingly showcasing Tibet as a platform where the Communist Party of China (CPC) remains willing to display its strength and development through Tibet’s poverty-stricken regions. These regions remain the poorest despite China’s official announcements and the problems of poverty are not expected to change in the near future.