People Should See Tibet With Their Own Eyes, Says VP of Italy-China Foundation


Vice President of the Italy-China Foundation Mario Zanone Poma said on October 22, 2009 that the Chinese government's preservation of Tibetan culture and tradition is the basis of the autonomous region's modernization and development.

Poma, who is attending the international forum on Tibet's development in Rome on Thursday and Friday, told Xinhua that he visited Tibet this September with the delegation of the Italy-China Foundation.

"I was impressed by the degree of development that Tibet has undergone in recent years. This is evident in all sectors: agriculture, economy, society, environment, education," said Poma, who linked the Tibetan progress to the Chinese government's ability in preserving local traditions.

He went on to criticize the biased global information on Tibet.

"People should go and visit Tibet to see what it's really like. Life there is normal, young people hang out in nightclubs like anywhere else and are very active. There are many students and I was impressed by the vibrant and well-organized University of Tibet, center of study and ancient text preservation," Poma said.

When showing photos he took of Tibet University, Poma said that he was surprised by its "modern American-style college structure and incredible library with century-old and well-preserved manuscripts."

He stressed that the Chinese central government has recently invested more than 50 million euros (75 million U.S. dollars) there.

"All of this demonstrates that the leadership in Beijing have great respect for the Tibetan culture and wish to preserve it," Poma noted, adding that the Chinese government has even co-sponsored with Microsoft a Windows version in Tibetan language.

"I was very impressed and it's a real pity that global media ignored all these positive aspects of the region. There's an unacceptable information gap on what's going on in Tibet and on the Chinese government's contribution to its development."

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