Global experts visit relocation village in Xizang

By Zhao Manfeng | chinadaily.com.cn
Updated: May 31, 2024

The life of people in Xizang has dramatically improved with convenient living conditions and better employment opportunities, said a group of international experts during a visit to Xizang.

The group consisting of academics and media professionals from various countries, including India, France, Sweden, and South Africa, recently visited Guojia New village in Shigatse city in the southwestern region of Xizang Autonomous Region in China in May.

During their tour of the village, they were welcomed by a local family.

Guojiaxin village, with a total of 408 households and 1,843 residents, is a relatively large relocation site for poverty alleviation in Shigatse city.

Most of the villagers in Guojia New Village used to live around 4,500 meters above sea level. With the implementation of the poverty alleviation relocation policy, the villagers now enjoy convenient living conditions at lower altitude and better ecological environment.

"I am thrilled to see such a dramatic transformation in the lives of people," said Alka Acharya, professor at the Centre for East Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University's School of International Studies. "It's overwhelming sensation when people open up their homes and their hearts to you and offer you their hospitality," Acharya added.

"It's very apparent that this relocation program has benefited them economically, without a doubt. I'm impressed by how organized the community building is," said Gustaf Lansner, project manager of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden.

The delegation also visited a local brewery and a dairy factory in Shigatse city.

"I've seen more of inclusion, more of assistance, empowerment, affirmative action in order to speed up the economic development and to improve the lives of ordinary people, which for me, as a human rights lawyer, that's the sort of thing that I would want to see," Lloyd Kuveya, assistant director of the Center for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. "Marginalized and vulnerable groups in society are not being left behind in terms of the development agenda," said Kuveya.

"I think it's a remarkable aspect of the development process that the state and the provincial-level governments are supporting the development of startups of industries to bring in the latest technology, and this can provide employment," said Acharya.

Despite significant improvement in the lives of the people in Xizang, internationally, another version of the Xizang story can still be heard with distorting facts and lies.

"When you have a large part of Western institutions that are choosing not to allow the reality to be perceived, when they deliberately misrepresent the reality, of course, we have a certain responsibility to bring the reality and the truth of the situation forward," said Stephen Brawer, distinguished research fellow from Guangdong Institute for International Strategies and chairman of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden. "I'm an optimist that step by step, the world will begin to see the truth about Xizang. And the living standard of the people here in Xizang have dramatically improved," added Brawer.

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