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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

Primary school students write Tibetan in a Tibetan language class in Lhasa, Xizang autonomous region, in March. LI LIN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

IV. Sustained and Stable Social Development

The CPC policies on the governance of Xizang in the new era have emphasized the importance of accurately understanding the present work in Xizang, strengthening social governance, and safeguarding national security, social stability, and the people's wellbeing. With a focus on safeguarding national unification and strengthening ethnic unity, the local government of Xizang has constantly improved its working mechanisms and governance capacity. All of this is helping to lay a solid foundation for long-term development. As a result, Xizang has enjoyed sustained and steady social development, and the people's sense of gain, fulfilment and security continues to grow.

– All-round progress of social undertakings

Educational undertakings have achieved high-quality development. A modern education system encompassing preschools, primary and secondary schools, vocational and technical schools, institutions of higher learning, and continuing and special education institutions is in place. Progressively since 2012, Xizang has eliminated the problem of students dropping out of school. It has established a student financial assistance system covering all stages of education for every student from disadvantaged families. From 2012 to 2022, the central government invested more than RMB251.51 billion in Xizang's education. At present, the region has 3,409 schools of various types and at various levels, hosting over 944,000 students. The gross enrollment rate for preschool education has reached 89.52 percent. The completion rate for compulsory education has reached 97.73 percent. The gross enrollment rate in senior high schools is 91.07 percent. The results of the seventh national census showed that the number of college or university graduates per 100,000 inhabitants in Xizang had risen from 5,507 in 2010 to 11,019 in 2020. New entries into the region's workforce now have an average of 13.1 years of education.

Greater efforts have been made to ensure decent housing. Xizang has stepped up the construction of government-subsidized affordable homes in urban areas and the relocation of people in rural areas. It spares no effort in the renovation of dilapidated residential areas, shanty towns, and dilapidated rural houses. It is also increasing the supply of public rental houses. The region has launched a project to ensure heating in urban areas, especially in the five county seats located across cold and high-altitude areas and border areas. Since 2016, the central government has provided RMB1.71 billion in subsidies to help 43,600 households in farming and pastoral areas who fall into the four categories [The four categories are registered poor households, households entitled to subsistence allowances, severely impoverished rural residents cared for at their homes with government support, and impoverished families of individuals with disabilities. — Tr.], including registered poor households, to renovate their substandard homes. It has also supported the renovation of sub-standard homes and improved the earthquake resistance of rural housing for key groups including the newly registered low-income group in rural areas. In 2022, the per-capita living space of urban residents in Xizang reached 44.82 square meters, and that of farmers and herders 40.18 square meters. The people enjoy a steady improvement in housing conditions.

Public health services have been strengthened. The region provides a comprehensive public healthcare system covering regular basic medical services, maternity and childcare, disease prevention and control, and Tibetan medicine and therapies. The assistance by medical professionals in groups to Xizang has made remarkable progress. Relevant provinces and municipalities have offered pairing-up assistance to Xizang, helping the region build six more Grade-A tertiary hospitals, train 1,165 medical teams with a total of 3,192 local medical workers, and plug 2,219 gaps in medical technology. Local patients can now obtain treatment for more than 400 serious diseases within the region and for more than 2,400 moderate diseases within the prefectural-level administrative units where they live; victims of minor diseases can receive timely treatment at county-level hospitals. The death rate of women in childbirth dropped to 45.8 per 100,000 in 2022 from 5,000 per 100,000 in the early 1950s, and the infant mortality rate declined from 430‰ to 7‰. Over the same period, average life expectancy has increased to 72.19 years. Endemic diseases such as hydatidosis and Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) and common diseases such as congenital heart disease and cataracts have been eradicated or brought under effective prevention and control. Xizang has effectively curbed the widespread occurrence of KBD through integrated prevention and control measures, such as improving water quality, changing diets, and relocating residents out of endemic areas. KBD has been eliminated in all of the region's 54 counties previously plagued by the disease. Since 2018, no new KBD cases have been detected among children. In 2012, the region launched a program to cure children with congenital heart disease. To date, the program has carried out over 3.66 million screenings. A total of 6,246 children have received interventional or surgical treatment at hospitals in Xizang and other places in the country. The overwhelming majority of those children have been cured.

A basic multi-tiered social security system has been established. Xizang has progressively integrated urban and rural social security networks, and established and improved a fair, unified, and sustained category-specific and multi-tiered social security system that covers all residents and coordinates urban and rural areas. The surveyed urban unemployment rate has remained below the national average and the number of families with no one in work has been steadily reduced to zero. A mechanism to set and regularly adjust the payment standard of basic pension schemes for urban and rural residents has been established, ensuring that it increases in parallel with economic growth. A total of 3.43 million people are covered by basic medical insurance, more than 95 percent of the total population in the region. The maximum reimbursement rate of inpatient medical expenses covered by basic medical insurance has surpassed 90 percent. More Tibetan medicines are being included in the National Essential Medicines List (Ethnic Medicines). A special treatment policy has been extended to cover 38 serious diseases. Patients can now settle their medical bills covered by medical insurance at one time on a cross-provincial basis.

– Steady achievements in building a safe Xizang

Concrete measures have been taken to achieve a higher standard of social stability. On a journey towards higher-level integrated governance, Xizang continues to strengthen social governance and makes every effort to build safe counties, safe townships, safe communities, safe institutions, safe monasteries, and safe schools. To forestall and defuse risks, Xizang has taken proactive action to meet people's rational demands and resolve their immediate concerns. In dealing with social complaints and disputes, law, fairness and compassion are all taken into consideration to ensure problems are settled in a manner acceptable to all stakeholders. By establishing the "Langza mediation offices", "Snow Lotus mediation offices", and "rural sages mediation teams", Xizang relies on and mobilizes the people to lay the social foundations allowing them to live and work in peace and contentment. Lhasa has been listed among "China's happiest cities" seven times. The safety index of people of all ethnic groups in the region has stayed above 99 percent for years.

– Considerable improvement in social governance

There has been a significant improvement in social governance. Xizang has made consistent innovations to the social governance system. It has released documents such as the Plan for the Pilot Project of Promoting the Modernization of Municipal Social Governance in Xizang, the Opinions on Improving Diversified Dispute Settlement Mechanisms, and the Implementation Plan of the Xizang Autonomous Region for Carrying out Special Campaigns to Improve Rural Governance. The region has made steady progress in establishing a multi-dimensional and intelligent public security system by accelerating the construction of integrated management centers, smart cities and intelligent border defense.

Xizang has implemented a social service and management model at both urban and rural communities known as "household groups" to help maintain social order and increase family income and has carried out a campaign to consolidate the development foundation and benefit the people. It has continued to guide the public towards participating in social governance. As a result, a new social governance pattern led by Party committees, implemented by government departments, based on consultation, coordination and broad participation, and underpinned by the rule of law and science and technology has been established. Efforts have been made to create a social governance community in which all participate and share.

– Steady progress in safeguarding and developing border areas

Efforts have been made to develop border areas and improve people's lives there. Xizang strives to build itself into a demonstration region for safeguarding, developing and bringing prosperity to border areas, with equal emphasis on stability and development. Plans and specific programs for developing villages and towns have been formulated. The measures for realizing moderate prosperity in all villages have been launched in line with the national strategy of rural revitalization. The region has improved infrastructure projects and public service facilities in border areas to ensure that people in farming and pastoral areas can find work near their homes. All these projects have contributed to reinforce the sense of the Chinese nation as one single community. Most villages and towns are enjoying improved infrastructure, flourishing businesses, better eco-environment, congenial living and working conditions, and economic prosperity and cultural development. Encouraged by notable improvement in their lives, the local residents are striving to become the conscientious guardians of the border areas and builders of happy homes.

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