People in Tibet enjoy the right to be masters of the country and the region in accordance with the law. Since its founding, the autonomous region has issued 152 local regulations and normative documents, providing an important legal guarantee for the rights and interests of all ethnic groups. People in Tibet actively exercise the right to vote and stand for election as prescribed by the Constitution and laws; they participate in the election of deputies to people’s congresses at the national and local levels, and in the administration of state and local affairs. Since 1979, elections have been held at the regional, prefectural (city), county and township (town) levels, with the voter participation rate above 90 percent, and in some places as high as 100 percent. Of the 439 deputies to the 11th People’s Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region announced on January 18, 2018, 289 – almost exactly two-thirds – are from the Tibetan and other ethnic minorities. Most of the current and previous members of the Tibetan Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference are or were Tibetan and other ethnic minorities. The state supports equal participation and joint management by all ethnic groups, and sets up ethnic townships in areas where ethnic groups with small populations live in compact communities, to protect the rights and interests of these groups. At present, nine ethnic townships have been set up in Shannan, Nyingchi and Qamdo, of which five are Monba townships, three are Lhoba townships and one is a Naxi township.
The state pays great attention to the training of officials and personnel from minority ethnic groups. After the liberation of Tibet, especially during democratic reform, a large number of liberated serfs and slaves grew rapidly into outstanding officials. By setting up a special institution to train and educate ethnic minority officials in 1981, and a leading group for official education in 1989, Tibet has cultivated a large number of administrative and technical ethnic minority officials through training, job rotation, providing work opportunities at the grass-roots, and arranging for leading officials to hold posts in different localities.
– The sense of national identity has been heightened.
Tibet has had a fine tradition of exchanges, communication, and integration among ethnic groups since ancient times. In the early 1950s, a large number of people from various ethnic groups and sectors in Tibet visited other parts of China. Since reform and opening up in 1978, economic and cultural exchanges between ethnic groups have become closer and the sense of national identity has grown stronger. Every year on National Day, and during the Peaceful Liberation Celebration and the Ethnic Unity Month, Tibet conducts themed education on the Chinese Dream and patriotism. Thanks to these efforts, ethnic unity and progress have been promoted. To date the State Council and the Tibet Autonomous Region have presented 1,985 awards to exemplary organizations and 2,846 awards to exemplary individuals for ethnic unity and progress. Lhasa, Xigaze, Qamdo and Ngari have each become demonstration cities (prefectures) for ethnic unity and progress. By the end of 2020, Tibet had promulgated and implemented one regulation – Regulations on the Establishment of Model Areas for Ethnic Unity and Progress – and four normative documents on ethnic unity and progress. Tibetan students and workers are free to find jobs and start businesses anywhere in the rest of China. Every year, more than 10 percent of Tibetan college students take jobs outside the autonomous region.
The autonomous region encourages people from other parts of China to study, invest and start businesses in Tibet, and constantly creates innovative new measures to attract investment. Since 2016, the region has issued 52 special preferential policies related to taxation, finance, and land, which have effectively improved the efficiency of administrative examination and approval and the quality of services. As a result, a total of RMB253.5 billion has been in place. The region has also worked hard to create an integrated social structure and community environment for all ethnic groups, promote equal access to public services, protect the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic minorities living in cities and scattered residential areas, and respect their festive, food and funeral customs and traditions.
– Freedom of religious belief is fully protected.
In Tibet, all religions and sects are equal, as are all believers and non-believers. There are more than 1,700 sites for Tibetan Buddhist activities with 46,000 monks and nuns, 4 mosques serving 12,000 native Muslims, and a Catholic church with more than 700 followers. In order to adapt religions to the Chinese context, ensure the freedom and order of religious belief, and manage religious affairs in accordance with the law, the state has formulated the Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism in accordance with the Regulations on Religious Affairs. It has also formulated a series of policies, measures and regulatory documents, which include Measures of the Tibet Autonomous Region on Implementing the Regulations on Religious Affairs (trial), Measures of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Management of Major Religious Activities, and Detailed Rules of the Tibet Autonomous Region for the Implementation of the Measures on the Management of Living Buddha Reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhism.
The reincarnation of Living Buddhas has been carried out in an orderly manner in accordance with laws, regulations, religious rituals and historical conventions. In 1995, with the approval of the State Council, the search for and identification of the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama and the enthronement of the 11th Panchen Lama were completed by drawing lots from a golden urn. In 2010, the Sixth Living Buddha Dezhub was identified and enthroned through the drawing of lots from a golden urn and with the approval of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region. By 2020, 92 reincarnated Living Buddhas had been identified and approved through traditional religious rituals and historical conventions. Traditional religious activities are carried out regularly in accordance with the law – activities such as studying scriptures and debate, initiation as a monk or nun, abhisheka (an empowerment ceremony), and self-cultivation. Examination on scriptures and subsequent promotion in academic degrees are also held in monasteries on a regular basis.
The Tibetan Buddhist Institute and its 10 branches now have more than 3,000 monks and nuns who are studying the sutras, and 240 received senior academic titles between 2005 and 2020. Monastery-run scripture printing houses have been conserved and developed; there are three large-scale printing houses at the Potala Palace and other monasteries. Religious believers regularly participate in various religious and traditional activities such as the Saga Dawa Festival, the Monlam Prayer Festival in Lhasa, the Tour of Gangdise Mountains in the Year of the Horse, and the Tour of Lake Namtso in the Year of the Sheep. Currently more than 600 religious figures serve as deputies or members of people’s congresses and political consultative conferences at various levels.
VIII. Solid Environmental Safety Barriers
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is known as “the roof of the world” and “the water tower of Asia.” Tibet is an important guarantor of China’s environmental security. The Chinese government attaches great importance to eco-environmental protection in Tibet. It has made constant efforts to improve institutions, provide strong scientific and cultural support, and increase investment in this field, with the goal of building a community of life for humanity and nature.
Tibet’s ecosystems are now generally stable. Environmental quality is improving, a green development model is in place, and eco-environmental rights and interests are more secure. “Clear waters and green mountains are invaluable assets, so is snow-covered land” – this concept is alive in people’s hearts. Tibet has become one of the regions with the best eco-environment in the world.
– Making coordinated progress in improving the eco-environment
和平解放初期，中国科学院就派出专家学者对西藏生态、地质气象进行综合考察。1973年和2017年国家先后开展两次青藏高原综合科学考察。2012年以来，出台《关于全面加强生态环境保护 坚决打好污染防治攻坚战的实施意见》《关于建设美丽西藏的意见》《关于创建国家生态文明建设示范区 加快建设美丽西藏的实施意见》《西藏自治区国家生态文明高地建设条例》等，不断完善监测监察考核体系。截至2020年，西藏累计投入生态环境领域的资金达814亿元。统筹山水林田湖草系统治理，大力实施《西藏生态安全屏障保护与建设规划（2008－2030年）》和“两江四河”流域绿化项目。持续推进生态文明创建示范工作。拉萨市、山南市、林芝市、昌都市和阿里地区获国家生态文明建设示范市称号，巴宜区、亚东县和当雄县获国家生态文明建设示范县称号，隆子县获“绿水青山就是金山银山”实践创新基地称号。加强水土保持工作，加大水土流失综合治理力度，全面推进河湖长制，设立区、市、县、乡、村五级河湖长1.48万名，实现河湖“清四乱”常态化制度化。2020年，噶尔县因河湖长制工作成效明显，被国务院办公厅列入激励名单。
Shortly after liberation, the Chinese Academy of Sciences sent specialists to Tibet to survey the local ecology, geology and meteorology. The Chinese government organized two comprehensive scientific investigations on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, in 1973 and 2017.
Since 2012, a number of regulations have been released to improve the system for monitoring and assessing the local eco-environment. These include Opinions on Strengthening Eco-environmental Protection and Pollution Prevention and Control, Opinions on Building a Beautiful Tibet, Opinions on Building National Ecological Culture Demonstration Areas to Boost Efforts for Building a Beautiful Tibet, and Regulations on Developing Ecological Highlands in the Tibet Autonomous Region. By 2020, Tibet had invested a total of RMB81.4 billion in this field.
A holistic approach to conserving mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, and grasslands has been adopted. The Plan for Protecting and Improving the Ecological Safety Barriers in Tibet (2008-2030) and the afforestation project in the watersheds of the Yarlung Zangbo River, Nujiang River, Lhasa River, Nianchu River, Yalong River, and Shiquan River have been implemented.
Work has been carried forward to build eco-environmental culture demonstration areas. Lhasa, Shannan, Nyingchi and Qamdo cities and Ngari Prefecture won national titles for their pioneering work, as did Bayi District of Nyingchi City, Yadong County and Damxung County. Lhunze County has become a base for practicing the concept that clear waters and green mountains are invaluable assets.