China Building Digital Tibet on Internet
[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 02/01/01; January 1, 2002.]
(Xinhua is the official press agency of the People's Republic of China)
CHENGDU, January 2 (Xinhua) -- The days that Tibetans passed oral messages by trudges on the back of horses and yaks half a century ago have gone.
Nowadays, modern information facilities and network technologies are indispensable in the life of Tibetans.
"Moreover, a 'digital Tibet' is being constructed to break the monopoly of spreading information on Tibet by foreign countries on the Internet," Li Tao, a Tibetologist, said at a recent academic meeting in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Zeng Zhongyi, general manager of the Tibet Telecom Company, said that the "digital Tibet" refers to the information modernization in Tibet.
The "digital Tibet" will help overcome the traffic obstruction on the "roof of the world", and let people around the world get to know the real Tibet, Zeng said.
Chinese central and local government will increase investment in information facilities in the region and the optical fiber cables will reach each counties in Tibet by 2004.
In addition, all of the towns of the region will be connected by telephone by 2005. And the number of Internet users will witness a sharp increase in the coming years.
Zeng said that in view of the fact that Tibet has vast land and small population, the region has made a policy giving priority to the development of information industry. As a part of the "digital Tibet", a Window's platform compatible with Tibetan, Chinese and English languages has recently been developed by the Tibet University.
In December 15, a multifunctional integrated software in Tibetan, Chinese and English languages developed by the Northwest China Institute for Nationalities was approved by experts. Using the software, Tibetans with the knowledge of computer and the Internet may compile application software programs in their native language.
At present, the popularity rate of telephone in Tibet has reached 4.7 percent. Satellite communication stations covering all prefectures, cities and counties of the region have been built. The optical fiber cables have been laid from Lhasa to Xigaze, Nyingchi, Qamdo and other areas.
The number of registered dial-up Internet users in Tibet has surpassed 4,000.
Tibet's on-line existence was monopolized by foreign countries by the mid-1990s. People outside China could only see a distorted Tibet on the websites built by Dalai Lama's separatist group.
However, more and more websites about Tibet emerged in the mainland of China in recent years.
So far, the number of websites about Tibet in simplified Chinese is more than 100, and figure of related web pages is over 300,000. Non-governmental and individual websites made up the majority of the Tibetan websites in the early stages, while the joining of governmental webs at the end of 1990s has greatly pushed forward the development of Tibetan network.
Ma Lihua, chief inspector of the well-known website, www.tibet- web.com, said that many overseas web visitors say the Tibetan websites in China have plentiful and reliable contents, and are quickly upgraded.
Statistics show that about 33 percent of the Tibetan websites are about traveling, while 15 percent are about commerce and trade, and 17 percent in the field of culture and art.
Most of the websites have high visit rate. For instance, after the tibet-web was launched no more than one year ago, at least 200, 000 people have visited the site.
More than 90 percent of the Tibetan websites are built in Beijing, Lhasa, Xining and Chengdu. The world first Tibetan language website, www.tonguer.net, opened last year in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province.
Zeng Zhongyi said that all of the prefectures in Tibet now can be connected with the Internet. "We will further encourage the development of E-commerce. Tibetans have began to enjoy life in the information era." Enditem
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