Tibet "full of vigor" like never before: gov't chief

LHASA, March 27 (Xinhua) -- A top government official of China's Tibet AutonomousRegion on Monday said Tibet is "full of vigor" and its people are confident to be at par withothers in the nation to achieve a "moderately prosperous society."

"I can proudly say that Tibet is full of vigor like never before. A hundred flowers are inbloom," said Qizhala, chairman of region government, using a Chinese expression todescribe a liberal and prosperous time.

In a televised speech on the eve of Tibet's Serfs' Emancipation Day, Qizhala said the peopleof Tibet are commemorating this day to tell the dark history of the old Tibet and show thefundamental changes that have taken place in the socialist new Tibet.

Serfs' Emancipation Day was formally established on March 28 by the regional legislaturein 2009 to mark the start of Tibetan democracy, which ended the feudal serf system in1959, freeing 1 million serfs, or 90 percent of the region's population at that time.

Qizhala said Tibet has achieved new progress since the 18th National Congress of theCommunist Party of China (CPC) in 2012. The economy has been growing rapidly withsolidarity among ethnic groups, a well-protected environment, improved livelihoods, andsociety in peace and harmony, he said.

He said Tibet has redoubled efforts to enhance ethnic solidarity, maintain peace andharmony in Buddhist monasteries and during religious rituals, and help more than 130,000cast off poverty, 77,000 of whom were relocated from inhospitable areas.

Statistics show Tibet's economy grew by more than 10 percent and fixed assetsinvestment shot up about 20 percent in 2016, taking a leading place among provincial-levelregions nationwide. Tibet also topped the list of average disposable income growth forurban and rural residents.

Qizhala urged all people in Tibet to work even harder to march toward Tibet's lastingpeace and security and long-term development.

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