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Tibet put on path toward prosperity
update:May 23,2022
When Pasang Tsering became Party chief of Midikha township, Tibet autonomous region, in 2015, he knew that lifting the locals out of poverty would be his biggest challenge.
At that time, the township, which sits at an average altitude of more than 5,100 meters, was home to 380 impoverished households that totaled 1,900 people and accounted for 37 percent of its population. Local herdsmen made a living by grazing livestock such as yak, and most of them didn't have other sources of income, Pasang Tsering recalled.
Known as the "roof of the world", Tibet's picturesque plateau landscape has attracted many visitors, but such geographical features have contributed significantly to its poverty-related problems, with many people living in extremely remote mountainous areas. Midikha in Nagqu prefecture is just one of them.
Since China made poverty alleviation a key part of its governance in 2012 and vowed to eradicate extreme poverty via targeted efforts, winning the battle in Tibet was always seen as a difficult challenge.
Pasang Tsering began encouraging the local herdsmen to establish husbandry cooperatives so they could sell meat and dairy products more easily and at higher prices. Now, every village in the township has cooperatives, which play a key role in increasing the locals' income, he said.
He also helped build a yak dung processing plant in the township that turns the dung into biochar.
"It's a Tibetan tradition to collect yak dung, which is a major source of fuel. With the help of modern technology, the plant can turn yak dung into biochar that is cleaner and easily transported," he said, adding that herdsmen can collect the dung while yaks are grazing and sell it to the plant to earn extra money.
Pasang Tsering said the establishment of the plant, which fits in with the lifestyle of the Tibetan herdsmen, is a good example of China's targeted poverty alleviation strategy. It helped the township shake off poverty in 2018 and Tibet the following year.
Xiao Jie, deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Studies at the China Tibetology Research Center, said achieving full-scale development and meeting the developmental needs of people from different ethnic groups have always been the top human rights issues in Tibet. Poverty alleviation efforts have played key roles in improving human rights conditions in Tibet in recent years.
China declared the eradication of absolute poverty during a national commendation conference held on Feb 25 last year. About 98.99 million rural residents, 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 poor villages had all been lifted out of absolute poverty, in what has been described as a miracle in human history.
Furthermore, in the nation's five autonomous regions, including Tibet and Xinjiang, and three provinces with large ethnic populations, the number of impoverished people dropped by 15.6 million from 2016 to 2020.
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