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Development

China to Invest Nearly 4 Billion Dollars in Tibet

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/06/30; June 30, 2001.]

BEIJING, June 29 (AFP) - China's central government would invest some 3.8 billion dollars in 117 construction projects in Tibet, the Communist country's Premier Zhu Rongji was Friday quoted by state media as saying.

Zhu also said that provincial governments would invest an additional 1.06 million yuan (130 million US dollars), according to the Xinhua news agency.

Zhu was speaking at the fourth seminar on the development of Tibet, where he had joined top government leaders, including President Jiang Zemin, in Beijing on June 25-27.

The news was released on the same day that China launched an ambitious railway project to connect Tibet with western China.

The 1,118-kilometer (650-mile) railway, the first linking Tibet with the western China, will extend from Lhasa to Golmud and will be the longest and most elevated railway built on highlands in the world, Xinhua said.

On Wednesday Jiang had said Tibet's development, safety and stability was of upmost importance to the country.

But he called on party leaders to be aware of those "conducting separatist and criminal activities using religion as a camouflage."

China seized control of Tibet in 1950 in what it considered a "peaceful liberation" and tried to legitimize its rule in 1951 with an agreement which the exiled Tibetan government does not accept because it was signed by Tibetan leaders under duress.

Beijing has ruled the Himalayan region with an iron fist since, with human rights groups alleging widespread human rights abuses and attempts to destroy Tibetan culture.

China considers Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, a dangerous force intent on separating Tibet from China.

The Dalai Lama has advocated autonomy for Tibet, not independence.


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