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CPC Policies on the Governance of Xizang in the New Era: Approach and Achievements

The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China November 2023

China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-11 12:11

Villagers hold a yak race to celebrate the Shoton Festival in Maldrogungkar county, Lhasa, Xizang autonomous region, in August. CHINA DAILY

II. Notable Achievements in Cultural and Ethical Development

We must make a concerted effort to fully implement CPC policies on the governance of Xizang in the new era and boost the morale and confidence of all ethnic groups. To better meet the new expectations of the people of all ethnic groups for a rich intellectual and cultural life, Xizang has vigorously promoted mainstream socialist values, inherited and protected its fine traditional culture, and developed a system of public cultural services. As a result, its cultural undertakings have flourished, its cultural industries have developed, and the core socialist values have taken root in the hearts of the people.

– Promotion of mainstream social values

The guiding role of core values has been strengthened. Xizang has consistently built consensus and pooled strengths with the common ideal of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. It has issued the Decision on Implementing the Guidelines on Cultivating and Practicing the Core Socialist Values. The region has upheld the core socialist values, studied and implemented the essence of General Secretary Xi Jinping's speeches, and combined the core socialist values with the implementation of major policies, decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee, with the efforts in promoting reform, development and stability, and with major thematic publicity and educational campaigns. The region has increased educational activities on the history of the Party, the history of the PRC, the history of reform and opening up, the history of socialist development, and the history of the ties between Xizang as a region and the country as a whole, and helped officials and people of all ethnic groups in Xizang to develop a sound understanding of our nation and our country, and of history, culture and religion. This has all helped to inject strong impetus into the efforts to build a new socialist Xizang.

Revolutionary culture and education have been promoted. In 2021, the building of a new memorial hall dedicated to the liberation of the million serfs in Xizang was completed. A number of exhibitions, museums and sites have been designated as education bases for patriotism, providing more resources for cultivating the core socialist values. They include the Aid-Tibet Exhibition Hall, the Memorial Hall on the Spirit of Builders of the Two Plateau Highways, the Potala Palace Snow City Series Exhibition Hall, the Site of the Battle Against British Invaders in Gyangze, the Revolutionary Site of Linzhou Farm in Lhasa, the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery of Nyemo County, the Red Building of the Party Committee of Zamu County (today's Bomi County), Chamdo Revolutionary History Museum, the Site of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) 18th Army Barracks of Gamtog in Jomda County, the Memorial Hall of the Advance Company of the PLA in Gertse County.

– Revitalization of fine traditional culture

Historical and cultural heritage is under effective protection. Xizang now boasts three state-level historical and cultural cities, five such towns and four such villages. Eighty villages have been added to the List of Traditional Chinese Villages. Twenty-nine villages were awarded the title of ethnic-minority villages with cultural significance. A total of 4,468 sites of historical or cultural interest of all types have been examined, registered and protected by the local county or district government. Xizang has 2,373 cultural relics protection units under the protection of governments at different levels, 70 of which are key units under state protection. The Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa (including the Potala Palace, Norbulingka, and Jokhang Temple) are registered on the World Heritage List. Xizang has formulated a protection plan for key cultural relics units under national-level protection including the Potala Palace, Norbulingka, Jokhang Temple, and Pala Manor. It has completed major protection projects including those on the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, and launched special actions to monitor cultural relics. A project dedicated to protecting important antiques in Sakya Monastery and Samye Monastery has been completed. Xizang is carrying out ongoing restorations to historical architecture and murals in Puncogling Monastery, Tolin Monastery, Khorzhak Monastery, among others. It also carries out projects to preserve precious sites of historical interest such as Tangkar Monastery, the main Hall of Riwoche Monastery, and Sera Monastery. Since 2013, over 100,000 precious cultural relics of all kinds have been carefully protected through digital archiving. The tea leaves and the brocade with characters meaning "marquis" and bird and animal patterns unearthed during archaeological excavations in the Gurujamu Cemetery in Gar County of Ngari Prefecture prove clearly that more than 1,800 years ago, western Xizang had already established close ties with other parts of the country through the ancient Silk Road. The archaeological excavation of Sangmda Lungga tomb site in Zanda County was named one of the top 10 new archaeological discoveries in China in 2020. The rich archaeological findings fully testify to the splendor of Chinese civilization.

Tibetan medicine has been protected and developed. In 2019, the state invested RMB1 billion in the construction of a new campus of the University of Tibetan Medicine, which has trained over 7,000 medicine professionals. As of early 2022, Xizang hosted 49 public institutions of Tibetan medicine; 94.4 percent of town/township health centers and 42.4 percent of village health clinics in the region provided Tibetan medicine services. Tibetan medicines are now being produced on a commercial basis, and the production of Tibetan medicine has been scaled up, standardized, and regulated. Over the years, more than 300 ancient documents on Tibetan medicine have been collated and published. More than 600 volumes of rare ancient books have been collected, and the Four Medical Classics, a masterpiece in Tibetan medicine, has been included in the Memory of the World Asia Pacific Regional Register.

Tibetan classics and intangible cultural heritage (ICH) are under proper protection and utilization. In 2013, the state launched a priority cultural project — Library of Chinese Classics: Tibetan Volume. According to the plan, the project would take 15 years to collect and publish important Tibetan classics for the period from the Tubo Kingdom (618-842) to the peaceful liberation of Xizang in 1951. This is yet another landmark project in protecting and promoting Tibetan traditional culture. The central government and the Xizang local government had earmarked over RMB325 million between 2012 and 2022 for protecting ICH items on the national representative list in Xizang, recording the knowledge and skills of the bearers of ICH items on the national list, training ICH practitioners, and building facilities for ICH protection and utilization. There are 106 ICH items on the national representative list with 96 bearers, and 460 items on the regional list with 522 bearers. Three items — Gesar, Tibetan Opera, and the Lum medicinal bathing of Sowa Rigpa of Xizang — have been registered on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The study and use of the Tibetan language and script are guaranteed by law. The Tibetan language is widely used in fields such as health, postal services, communications, transport, finance, and science and technology. Both standard Chinese and the Tibetan language can be found on public facilities, signage and advertisements. Radio and television programs in both languages are available at any time. Courses in both languages are taught in primary and secondary schools. By the end of 2022, Xizang had 17 periodicals and 11 newspapers in the Tibetan language, and had published 45.01 million copies of 7,959 Tibetan-language books. In 2015, the national standard Information Technology — Vocabulary in the Tibetan Language was officially released. In 2018, the National Committee for the Standardization of Tibetan Terminology issued The New Tibetan Terms Approved Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which contains nearly 1,500 new terms. Issued in 2022, The New Tibetan Terms Approved Since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Chinese-Tibetan) contains 2,200 new terms.

– Vigorous development of public cultural undertakings

The public cultural service system continues to improve. There is a five-tiered network of public cultural service facilities in place, at the levels of village/community, town/township, county/district, city/prefecture, and the autonomous region. There are now libraries, people's art halls and museums in all of Xizang's cities/prefectures, all-purpose cultural centers in the counties/districts, cultural activity stations in towns/townships, and cultural activity halls in villages/communities. Xizang boasts 10 professional performing art troupes, 76 art troupes at the county/district level, 153 part-time Tibetan Opera troupes, 395 performing teams at the township level and 5,492 at the administrative village level, with over 100,000 professional and amateur performers. Digitized movie projection is fully achieved in rural areas in Xizang. The region has 478 sets of digital movie projection facilities and holds more than 63,000 movie screenings every year. A total of 6,263 centers (stations) for promoting cultural and ethical progress in the new era have been set up at the village, township and county levels. The region has carried out programs to keep fine traditional Chinese culture alive and strong at the grassroots level, upgraded cultural facilities at the village/community level, and built 100 village-level cultural demonstration bases.

Cultural and artistic creation has flourished. With Chinese culture in mind, a number of outstanding literary and artistic works have been created, highlighting the spirit of the time and reflecting Tibetan features. They have proved popular with the general public. They include the song and dance gala Bitter Turns Sweet when the CPC Comes, Tashidelek to Our Country, and Affection of the Tibetans for the CPC, dramas such as Our Common Home and The North Yard of Barkhor Street, the Tibetan opera Tsering Lhamo, the Story of Tibetan Incense, and the musical theater Galsang Flowers at the Roof of the World. Among them, the drama An Unblessed Birth, the song and dance gala Affection of the Tibetans for the CPC, the dance Exuberant Plateau, the square dance Forging Ahead in the New Era, and the Tibetan opera Celebrating the New Year performed by children have won national awards.

Xizang has seen rapid development in public sports. Various public sport events have taken place, with traditional ethnic sports promoted and mountain sports popularized. The region has gradually improved its performance in competitive sports. Athletes from Xizang won 231 medals at international and domestic events during the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020). At the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, athlete Dobjee won the bronze medal in the men's marathon — the best result that China had ever achieved in this event in the Asian Games. At the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, Sonam Chodron achieved the best result in China's history in two events: skiing and mountaineering women's individual cross-country race and short distance race. At the 14th National Games in 2021, the Tibetan delegation won three gold medals, one silver and two bronze. At the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, two athletes from Xizang qualified for the competition, representing a breakthrough in competitive sports for the region.

Radio, film, TV, and publishing are expanding rapidly. The coverage rates of radio and TV programs are both well over 99 percent of the population in Xizang. Movies like Life of Budag, My Himalayas, Seventy-seven Days, and Fall in Love, TV drama Happy Home, and documentaries Hello, New Xizang, Our Stories in Xizang, and The Party Shines upon the Border have been produced. By the end of 2022, Xizang had 74 digital cinemas with 191 screens in total. In 2022, cinemas in Xizang netted total box-office receipts of RMB37.23 million with around 879,700 tickets sold. Efforts have been made to build and make good use of integrated media centers in cities, prefectures, counties and districts, and to build and promote the use of the integrated media platform "Everest Cloud" of the Xizang Autonomous Region. Many excellent cultural documentaries have been produced and broadcast. More than 15,000 hours of radio programs, 7,300 hours of TV programs, and more than 80 movies are translated or dubbed from and into minority languages every year. There are 40 printing enterprises and 219 publishing institutions of various types, releasing nearly 2.32 million copies of periodicals and 2.71 million copies of books, with total sales exceeding RMB1.29 billion. Over 5,400 rural libraries and over 1,700 monastery libraries have been built. All this effectively promotes the prosperity and development of the press and publishing business in Xizang and continues to enrich the scientific and cultural knowledge of farmers and herders.

– Sound development of the cultural industry

The cultural industry is prosperous and dynamic. The Decision of the General Office of the Xizang Autonomous Region on In-Depth Integration of Culture and Tourism to Accelerate the Development of a Cultural Industry with Distinctive Characteristics has been made and implemented. The region has introduced preferential financing and taxation policies to attract investment and provided policy support to cultural enterprises of all categories registered in the region. The region offers incentive funds and supporting funds to help them. By the end of 2022, more than 8,000 cultural enterprises had registered in Xizang, employing over 70,000 people, and the added value of cultural and related industries reached RMB6.33 billion. A total of 344 cultural demonstration parks and bases had been set up at four levels across the region. Seven associated enterprises were listed among the 2021 Top 100 Private Enterprises in the Xizang Autonomous Region, and four among the 2021 Top 20 Private Employers in the Xizang Autonomous Region. One has been nominated four times for China's Top 30 Cultural Enterprises.

Key cultural programs have been launched. During the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), 91 key cultural projects were successfully implemented, with a total investment of nearly RMB50 billion. The cultural e-commerce platform Treasures in Xizang, Xizang Creative Culture and Tourism Industry Park, Xizang Publication and Cultural Industry Park, and Mount Qomolangma Creative Culture and Tourism Industry Park, among others, have been instituted or built. Many characteristic cultural projects, such as the Tibetan epic drama Princess Wencheng and the stage play Princess Jincheng, have hit the market. Cultural products such as animations, films, television programs, and Thangka, which are rooted in Tibetan culture and capture distinct ethnic features and the characteristics of the times, have been well received by the public.

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