Commentary: Democratic reform returns freedom to Tibetan people

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-28 17:52:36|Editor: Yamei
Video PlayerClose

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The past 60 years have proven the democratic reform in Tibet to be a profound success, as people in Tibet now have greater freedom than ever before in history.

Personal liberty is the foundation and prerequisite of all other rights and freedom, but in old Tibet, about 95 percent of the population were serfs or slaves treated as properties of serf owners.

The 1 million serfs in Tibet gained personal freedom and bid farewell to a life of misery, as the democratic reform in 1959 ended the theocratic serfdom that had plagued the area for hundreds of years.

The democratic reform ushered Tibet into a brand new world. People there are ensured the rights to survival and development -- the very basics of human rights.

Under the systems of the people's congress and regional ethnic autonomy, put in place after the democratic reform, Tibetan people have not only become masters of themselves, but also the country and society.

People in the region participate in public affairs by voting deputies to the people's congresses at the township and county levels, and these deputies elect deputies to people's congresses of higher levels.

Currently, there are 35,963 deputies to the people's congresses at all levels in Tibet. Of them, deputies from the Tibetan and other minority ethnic groups account for 92.18 percent.

During the past six decades, Tibetan people have not only won a life of dignity but also a life of prosperity.

Tibet's 2018 GDP reached 147.76 billion yuan (22 billion U.S. dollars), about 191 times more than the 1959 figure calculated at comparable prices

People's life expectancy in Tibet almost doubled during the past 60 years; the childbirth mortality rate fell from 50 per 1,000 at the beginning of the reform to 1.02 per 1,000 in 2017, and the infant mortality rate from 430 per 1,000 to 10.38 per 1,000.

A richer material life lays a solid foundation for the development of the cultural and religious sphere.

The democratic reform put an end to theocracy in Tibet, separating government from religion and restoring the latter's true significance.

The freedom of religious belief of all ethnic groups is under the protection of the Constitution and the law. People are free to choose or change their religious beliefs.

Tibetan Buddhists of different sects, followers of Bon religion, Muslims, Catholics and people without religious beliefs coexist in peace in Tibet. Besides the 1,787 sites for the practice of Tibetan Buddhism, there are also four mosques and one Catholic church in the region.

Since the 1980s, more than 1.4 billion yuan has been spent on restoring Tibetan cultural relics and refurbishing monasteries.

The Tibetan language is also well protected. In the region, laws and resolutions passed by people's congresses, and documents published by governments of all levels have both Mandarin and Tibetan versions. Bilingual teaching of Tibetan and Mandarin is carried out in all schools in the region.

Facts speak louder than words. The drastic changes that have occurred in Tibet, once again, undeniably refute the hackneyed groundless criticism on the human rights situation in Tibet.

Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Tibetan people, together with people of all other ethnic groups, will continuously share the pride and benefits of a stronger and more prosperous China.