The 60th anniversary of democratic reform in southwest China's Tibet gives Beijing Review an opportunity to present the real Tibet to the world from different angles.
Democratic reform in Tibet was a milestone in human history, ending the old social system based on oppression and exploitation of serfs and house slaves, and opening a new chapter for the Tibetan people.
It completely obliterated the feudal theocracy and fundamentally abolished the serfs' and slaves' personal bondage to serf owners. Serfs and slaves in Tibet became free citizens with dignity, families and properties. Millions of them were ushered into an era of equal rights. Tibetans' life quality has been significantly improved since then. For example, the life expectancy in Tibet increased from 35.5 years in 1959 to 68.2 years in 2018.
With the abolition of feudal serfdom during democratic reform in 1959, Tibetans, like people of other ethnic groups in the country, became the master of the country and society, gained the right to equally participate in state affairs, and took control of their own destiny. In 2018, among the 439 deputies to the 11th People's Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region, 289 were Tibetans or from other ethnic minorities, accounting for 65.83 percent of the total.
Over the past 60 years, the Central Government and the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government have given full support to the protection and promotion of Tibet's traditional culture, while sticking to the principle of freedom of religious belief, and protected citizens' legitimate rights. In addition, the preservation of the ecological environment in Tibet has been outstanding in the world.
Tibetans have been standing together with the Central Government, consolidating ethnic solidarity of the Chinese nation, defending national unity and fighting against separatism.
Due to historical, climate and geographical reasons, development in some regions of Tibet, especially farming and pasturing areas, are still left behind. The central and local governments are making extra efforts to improving development in these areas.
Even so, Tibet has worked hard and achieved both social and economic development under the leadership of the Central Government. By 2020, all people living in the region will be lifted out of poverty, and meet the requirements for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects together with the rest of China.