BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 2019 Forum on the Development of Tibet that opened on Friday in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China.
Located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Tibet is an important border area with ethnic minority populations, an important ecological security barrier, an important area for protecting distinctive culture of the Chinese nation and an important world tourist destination, Xi noted in the letter.
The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 60th anniversary of the campaign of democratic reform in Tibet, Xi said.
"Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, Tibet has realized the most extensive and profound social transformation ever in its history in just a few decades, with about 1 million serfs emancipated and becoming masters of the country and society," the letter read.
With the strong support of the central government and the people throughout the country, people in Tibet have united in their struggle to turn the impoverished and backward old Tibet into a new Tibet characterized by economic and cultural prosperity, all-round social progress, a sound ecological environment and a happy life for the people, Xi said.
Xi expressed hope in the letter that Tibet will seize the opportunities for development, build a beautiful and happy Tibet, flourish its fine traditional culture, protect the plateau's ecological environment, implement a more active policy of opening up, conduct extensive international exchanges and cooperation and draw a new picture of Tibet's development in a new era.
The one-day forum, hosted by the State Council Information Office and the people's government of Tibet Autonomous Region, gathers nearly 160 scholars and officials from 37 countries and regions.