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Editorial  ·  2024-03-27  ·   Source: NO.13 MARCH 28, 2024
Peach blossoms, towering snow-capped mountains and pristine forests are some of the attractions that draw visitors to southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region in spring. In the Chinese phonetic system, the name for Tibet is romanized as Xizang.

Official figures from Xizang showed that the region recorded a historical high of 55.17 million tourist visits in 2023, generating a revenue of 65.15 billion yuan ($9.18 billion), a year-on-year surge of 83.7 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

A booming tourism industry aside, specialty products from Xizang, such as Tibetan medicine, thangka paintings and barley wine, are gaining popularity both at home and abroad.

In Xizang, young people share many hobbies with their peers in other parts of the country. They, for instance, enjoy playing mobile games and posting their daily experiences and thoughts on social media platforms, and connecting with followers from other regions.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the democratic reform getting underway in Xizang. The reform emancipated more than 1 million serfs, at long last giving them rights they had never been entitled to before.

For Xizang's youth, the harshness of serfdom today exists only in the stories passed down by their grandparents or found in history textbooks and museums. They now enjoy a life of freedom, facing the same challenges as millions of other young people nationwide.

Some scholars compare the current conditions in Xizang to those 65 years ago. But this approach may not be entirely reasonable given that much progress has been made across the country in recent decades. To better understand the situation in Xizang, a horizontal comparison with other regions is essential.

In 2023, the autonomous region registered a GDP growth of 9.5 percent, surpassing the national growth rate of 5.2 percent. Meanwhile, the region is narrowing its gap with other regions in areas such as education, science and technology, healthcare, transportation and ecosystem preservation. Moreover, certain industries, such as tourism, enjoy greater momentum in Xizang than in some other provincial-level regions.

Sixty-five years ago, the serfs in Xizang became the masters of their destiny and region. Now, Xizang has embarked on a new path of modernization alongside the rest of the nation. 

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