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Tibet in Best Period of Development, Stability

Tibet is in the best period of stability and development, with unprecedented high levels of economic and social development, a senior leader of China's Tibet Autonomous Region said in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday.

"The policy of the Chinese central government, which is centered on the economic development and focus on development and stability, is now bearing fruits," said Nyima Tsering, vice chairman of Tibet Autonomous Region, at a press conference on the sidelines of the First Forum on the Development of Tibet, China.

He said much of the investment by the Chinese central government in Tibet is being devoted to agriculture and animal husbandry.

Improving the living standards of Tibetan people is a top priority for the central government and the Tibetan regional government, he said.

The senior Tibetan leader also said that Tibetans enjoy religious freedom as it is a national policy to promote Tibetan cultural development.

He said that in Tibet, there are now more than 1,700 religious sites and more than 46,000 Tibetans are monks or nuns.

When asked to comment on the activities of Dalai Lama, Nyima Tsering said that Dalai Lama is not just a religious figure, but also is a political one who is seeking independence of Tibet, which is an integral part of China.

He said Tibetans did not see any change in Dalai Lama's such ambitions after so many years.

He urged Dalai Lama to abandon his attempt to seek Tibetan independence and do things that will be "beneficial" to the development of Tibet for the rest of his life.

The two-day forum on Tibet is jointly sponsored by the State Council Information Office of China, the Chinese embassy in Austria, the permanent mission of China to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, and Austrian organizations including the Organization to Support the Austrian and Chinese Economic Cooperations.

The forum has drawn some 200 participants from China, Austria, several European countries such as Germany, Norway, Bulgaria and Greece, and international organizations such as UNIDO.

It is focusing on discussion on Tibet's development mode, Tibetology research and development, its cultural development and relics protection, education, Tibetan medicines, and some other topics.

The forum has provided a special chance for exchanges of views on Tibet for those who love Tibet and those who do not like Tibet, Franz Loschnak, president of the Organization to Support the Austrian and Chinese Economic Cooperations, told the press conference.

Qian Xiaoqian, vice minister of the State Council Information Office of China, told reporters that more such events are being planned in the future so that people around the world can understand Tibet better and know what a real Tibet looks like.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2007)

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