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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Ambassador Yang Houlan's Address at the 60th Anniversary of the Peace Liberation of Tibet

July 23, 2011

Distinguished Tibetan friends and guests,

Good evening.

It's a great pleasure to get together with Tibetan friends here to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.

On 23 May, 1951, the Central People's Government and the local Government of Tibet signed the Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet ("17-Article Agreement" for short) in Beijing, proclaiming the peaceful liberation of Tibet. According to the 17- Article Agreement, we abolished the foreign forces' privileges in Tibet, which enabled Tibet to repel the imperialist forces. The day sowed the seeds of bright and hopes in the hearts of all ethnic groups of Tibet. The history of Tibet has been opened a new chapter; a new world of Tibet's social development has been set up; a new era of unity and development of Chinese nations has been created. The Peaceful Liberation of Tibet signified an epoch-making event in Tibet's history of development and modern Chinese history.

Over 60 years, under the leadership of the Central Government and aid from across the nation, the Communist Party Committee and Government of Tibet Autonomous Region have been leading the people of all ethnic groups to forge ahead, and Tibetan society has undergone earth-shaking historic changes.

On political construction,all ethnic groups in Tibet now are their own masters. Tibet has abolished feudal serfdom, implemented regional ethnic autonomy and established socialism featuring people's democracy. The former serfs and slaves have since become masters of their own country and society. They enjoy both the right to equally participate in the administration of state affairs and the right to handle local and ethnic affairs on their own. A large number of cadres of the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities, which account for 70.3 percent of the total at the autonomous regional level, have grown up rapidly and already become the backbone of the construction and development of Tibet.

On economic construction, Tibet has achieved leapfrog development. In old Tibet, there was no a single modern factory , but now a modern industrial system covering various sectors with distinctive local features has been established. In old Tibet, there was no a single highway, but now a comprehensive transportation network has taken shape, with highway, rail, air and pipeline transportation as the backbone. In old Tibet, there were only traditional posthouses, but now the modern telecommunications network with cables, satellites and the Internet as the backbone has functioned. The economy of Tibet has achieved historic leapfrog development. The GDP of Tibet is 50.746 billion yuan in 2010, which is 83.3 times larger than that in 1959.

On social welfare, the living standards of people in Tibet have been obviously promoted. Since the reform and opening up, Tibet has taken the lead in implementing free compulsory education policies for both urban and rural areas and the children enjoy "three guarantees" for compulsory education, i.e., the state guarantees all tuition as well as food and lodging expenses for students from Tibet's farming, pastoral or impoverished urban families from the pre-school period all the way to the senior high school period. All Tibetan residents have access to the Urban Medical Insurance System and enjoy medical security on the basis of free medical services. A social security system has been fundamentally established in Tibet. In 2010 the per-capita net income of farmers and herdsmen is 4,138.7 yuan,which is 119 times larger than that in 1959. 274,800 households, comprising 1.4021 million farmers and herdsmen, have moved into modern houses. The average life expectancy has increased from 35.5 to 67 years.

On religions and beliefs, freedom of religious belief of all ethnic groups is respected and protected and all religions, all religious sects are equal in Tibet. The Living Buddha reincarnation system, unique to Tibetan Buddhism, is fully respected. Tibet now has more than 1,700 venues for religious activities, and about 46,000 monks and nuns. More than one million worshipers make pilgrimage to Lhasa each year. The fine traditional culture of Tibet has been protected and developed, and diversified religious and traditional activities have been carried on.

The work related to Tibet has always been an important job in the overall work of the Party and Government. In 2010, the Central People's Government held the Fifth Tibet Work Forum, which clearly put forward the strategic aims and measures to promote the development of local economy and society in a frog-leaping manner. The twelfth Five-Year Plan depicted the blueprint of the development of the whole country and raised the demands on the work related to Tibet. Today's Tibet has stood on a new historic era. Tibet is sharing unity of all ethnic groups, prosperous development and building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. The brighter future of Tibet is demonstrating before the whole world.

Over the years, the overseas Tibetans have been missing the motherland, loving the motherland, caring about the motherland, especially the development of Tibet. They have done a lot of useful work for the motherland's modernization and Tibet's development. In recent years, many overseas Tibetans returned for visiting relatives, pilgrimage and sightseeing. Some overseas Tibetans made donation for Tibet's education. Here, on behalf of the motherland and people, I'd like to extend my gratitude. I believe, more and more overseas Tibetans would make bigger contributions in promoting the unity of the motherland and all ethnic groups, as well as their hometown's construction.

The Chinese embassy in Nepal will put the well-being of Tibetans in Nepal in mind. We will implement the policy of "put people at first, diplomacy serves people" and make efforts to safeguard the legal rights and interests of overseas Tibetans.

Finally, on this happy occasion of the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, let's wish the prosperous of our great motherland!

The brighter future of Tibet!

Tashi delek to everyone!

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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