BEIJING, Sept 14 The Chinese government will
pump 300 billion yuan ($47 billion) into restive Tibet over the
next five years, with 90.5 billion yuan to finance roads,
railways, hydropower stations and other infrastructure, state
media said on Wednesday.
The 226 projects the money will support are "aimed at
achieving rapid development in Tibet", the official Xinhua news
agency quoted deputy governor Hao Peng as saying at an internal
meeting on Tuesday.
Key transport schemes will include an extension of the
railway from regional capital Lhasa to Shigatse, the traditional
home of Tibetan Buddhism's second highest figure the Panchen
Lama, and highways to the rest of China, the report added.
Other spending will target housing, health care and
environmental protection, Xinhua said.
"About 8 percent of the investment will be used to foster
the development of indigenous industries, including tourism,
mining, agriculture and stockbreeding."
The billions of dollars China has spent in Tibet over the
last few years are all aimed at winning hearts and minds in the
unstable Himalayan region, and to better integrate it into the
rest of the country.
Similar plans have been unveiled for neighbouring Xinjiang,
whose Turkic-speaking and Muslim Uighur people have likewise
chafed at Chinese rule.
Tibet's economy has grown more quickly than the rest of
China, sped by the completion of a railway to Lhasa and large
mining projects, though much of Tibet is still remote and very
But those projects have also brought more Chinese migrants
to Tibet, leading to many Tibetans' perceptions that they have
been left out of economic growth.
Since bloody demonstrations in 2008, the government has
boosted training programmes, subsidies and investment there in
an implicit recognition of the economic roots to the violence.
China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since Communist
troops marched in in 1950. It says its rule has bought much
needed development to a poor and feudal region.
Exiles and rights groups accuse China of failing to respect
Tibet's unique religion and culture and of suppressing its
($1 = 6.399 yuan)
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kim Coghill)