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Assistance program bears fruit over two decades

Updated: Sep 17,2014 12:15 PM     China Daily

Ma is one of 560 professionals in various fields sent by Beijing’s municipal government to be part of the Aid-Tibet program.

The government has invested 2.8 billion yuan ($456 million) over the past two decades, establishing more than 200 projects in a bid to improve people’s lives on the Tibetan plateau.

For instance, 500 million yuan has been invested in education, for the construction of 10 schools in Lhasa, including Beijing High School of Lhasa, Tibet Beijing Middle School and Beijing Primary School of Lhasa. About 70 teachers were sent from the capital to Lhasa, greatly increasing the Tibetan capital’s educational quality.

Services in other fields, including medical care and infrastructure construction on the plateau, have also been offered.

Help has been offered not only by Beijing but by other provinces in the inland regions.

Jiangsu’s municipal government invested 2.8 billion yuan and has sent 408 professionals to work in four counties in Lhasa.

The Shanghai government has invested 2.6 billion yuan.

The Aid-Tibet program, initiated by then-president Jiang Zemin in 1994, ordered China’s inland regions to provide assistance to Tibet in medical services, education, tourism management and infrastructure construction.

Over the two decades since, more than 6,000 professionals have been sent to the autonomous region.

According to Tibet Daily, 18 provinces and municipalities, 70 central government ministries and departments and 17 State-owned enterprises carried out 7,615 projects across the Tibet autonomous region at a cost of 26 billion yuan by the end of 2013.

Losang Jamcan, the region’s chairman, said the region has maintained a double-digit GDP growth since the aid programs were launched 20 years ago.