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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibet in focus as Vienna catches China craze

December 5, 2007

Xinhua/Liu Gang
November 30, 2007

Oriental Swans mesmerized the audience with the grace and beauty of
traditional ballet and the dazzling sophistication of Chinese acrobatics
on Tuesday.

Before the audience could get over the hangover of the classic show,
came Wednesday's solo concert by a young Chinese singer. Featuring a
well-thought-out blend of Chinese and Austrian classics, it evoked waves
of applause from the Golden Hall of Vienna. More spectacular shows are
in the offing as the Chinese Culture and Arts Week unfolds in the
Austrian capital.

But for organizers of the "First Forum on the Development of Tibet,
China", which opened Thursday, culture is only part of the exchange and
mutual understanding." We began thinking about such a platform for
discourse on development issues after realizing people's interest in
Tibet was not limited only to the cultural aspect at last year's China
Tibet Culture Week," said president of the Organization to Support
Austrian and Chinese Economic Cooperation Franz Loschnak.

"There is a craze for Chinese culture in Vienna now," former Vienna
vice-mayor Sepp Rieder said. "We need all-round knowledge about China,
including its economic development. This forum will serve as a fine
starting move."

The two-day forum brings together some of China's and Austria's most
active authorities on Tibet, including development planning officials in
Tibet and the central government, Austrian experts on Tibetan studies,
and business people from the Tibet Autonomous Region and Austria.

Participants from Tibet will not only to brief their Austrian hosts on
the situation in the region, but also want to listen to the latter's
opinion. Tibet Vice-Chairman Nyima Cering visited a major meat
processing plant in Vienna on Wednesday, with the hope of collaboration.

"Delivering real benefits to the average Tibetans is the overriding
concern of the autonomous region's government," he told a press
conference on the sidelines of the forum. "Our major focus has been on
ordinary farmers and herdsmen. We arrange meticulously for them to make
choices important to their lives to ensure all development projects are
what they truly need and want."

Since the Qinghai-Tibet Railway began operating last year, many Tibetans
have got specialized training and jobs, he said. "That helps a lot in
raising income and living standards."
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