Tibet Insight No: 14/14

                                                  TIBET INSIGHT NEWS

Special meeting to discuss Chamdo-Bangda Airfield Renovation Project
 July 18, 2014
Norbu Dhondup, member of the TAR Party Standing Committee and Party Secretary of Chamdo, and member of TAR Party Standing Committee Ding Yinxian spoke at a thematic Research Conference in Chamdo on July 18, to discuss the Chamdo-Bangda Airfield Renovation Project. Describing Chamdo as a strategic location, Norbu Dhondup said stable development in the region is important and that the Central Government and the TAR Party Committee and TAR People’s Government give utmost importance to the Chamdo-Bangda Airport Renovation Project. 
Chamdo’s Bangda (Ch: Bamda) Airport is the second highest airport in the world after the Daocheng Yading airport of Garze in Sichuan Province which has an elevation of 4,400 meters.
Norbu Dhondup also urged the relevant Departments to work in coordination with the Central and Regional authorities and speed up the renovation project.
Ding Yinxian emphasized the importance of the project and asked the relevant authorities and departments to follow the instructions of TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo and Chairman of TAR People’s Government Lobsang Gyaltsen.
The Regional Civil Aviation Council is responsible for carrying out the renovation project smoothly and to monitor flight safety and ensure regular flights from Bangda Airport.
The Deputy Secretary of the Chamdo Prefecture Party Committee and Vice-Commissioner of Chamdo, Abu (a Muslim) and the Chamdo Regional Civil Aviation Council Secretary Li Hancheng reported on the progress of the Bangda Airfield Renovation Project. 
The Vice-Commissioner of Chamdo Prefecture, Liu Wende and officials of the Chamdo Regional Development and Reform Commission, Regional Civil Aviation Council, Finance, Transportation and other relevant departments attended the meeting.
Norbu Dhondup and his entourage also visited Yingbin Avenue of Chamdo to inspect other renovation and construction projects.

Lijiang-Shangrila Railway Starts Construction
July 24, 2014
Construction of the Lijiang-Shangrila Railway, an important part of the Yunnan-Tibet Railway network in west China, started on July 22. The Yunnan-Tibet Railway, the second railway to enter Tibet, is a sky-road connecting Tibet with other regions of China. 
Li Jiheng, Governor of Yunnan province, said "The local government and the construction organization should cooperate and finish construction with high quality and efficiency.”
Ding Shaoxiang, Yunnan province's Vice-Governor, said that construction of the Lijiang-Shangrila Railway embodied the dreams of the people of Yunnan and he hoped“that the construction can be finished safely and efficiently."
The Lijiang-Shangrila Railway runs 139.66km from Lijiang to Shangrila with an investment of 10.37 billion Yuan (US$1.67billion). Construction is expected to finish within six years. The Lijiang-Shangrila Railway will play an important role in improving transportation in the northwest regions of Yunnan.More importantly, the railway will extend to the north and connect with the railway lines of Lhasa to make up the Yunnan-Tibet Railway.
Biggest Land trading port between Tibet and Nepal to reopen
 July 21, 2014|

The Kyirong (Ch: Gyirong) Port in Tibet’s Shigatse Prefecture with an elevation of 2,700 meters and bordering Nepal, is expected to be expanded and resume trading in October. The Kyirong Port was closed after 2006 due to the shrinking of trade.
(Comment: Kyirong Port is located near where the Lhasa-Shigatse-Kathmandu railway line is likely to pass.) 
Nyingtri Airport expansion project to start next month
July 23, 2014
TAR’s Civil Aviation Administrationannounced recently that expansion of the Nyingtri airport is due to begin next month and that the project was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) with an investment of 279 million Yuan.Expansion includes construction of a new terminal andother additional facilities. 
Zhi Hong, Director of TAR’s Civil Aviation Administration said that Nyingtri Airport’s expansion is one of the key projects of 2014 and will  enable 750,000 passengers to travel by 2020 and transport 3,000 tons of cargoand mail. Once completed, the project will include a new terminal of 10,360 meters, 3000 square meters of space and comprehensive firehouse support, new pump stations, renovation of old terminal buildings and existing fire stations, construction of water and power supply, emergency exits,  rescue facilities etc.
The expansion project will start in August this year and open by the end of next year. Currently, Nyingtri Airport provides a connection to Chongqing, Chengdu and Lhasa through three airlines viz Tibet Airlines, Air China and Sichuan Airlines.
The Civil Aviation Authority and the Nyingtri Regional Government plan to build Nyingtri as the second major aviation passage out of Tibet. Nyingchi is open to Beijing and the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta.
China to upgrade transport infrastructure in Tibet
July 26, 2014
China has decided to promote the development of transport infrastructure in Tibet to make travel on "the roof of the world" much easier.The Ministry of Transport (MOT) said that China intendsto extend highways in the autonomous region to 110,000 kilometers by 2020.By 2020, China plans to complete a primary network of railways with 1,300 kilometers of rails in operationand build more airports in Tibet.
"The development of transport in Tibet is crucial to China's national security and lasting prosperity in the autonomous region," said the MOT guideline.
Sichuan-Tibet Power Network to conclude this year
July 30, 2014
In addition to the Qinghai-Tibet Electricity Network, the Sichuan-Tibet Electricity Network is also a significant transformer and transmission project constructed in Tibet. The Sichuan-Tibet Electricity Network, with a total length of 1,500 kilometers, passes across the Jinsha River, Dachu River as well as dense forest. Four new substations are planned to be built in Paltang, Chamdo, Pangda and Yilung. 6.7 billion Yuan (US$ 1.1 billion) has been invested in the project whichwill be completed by the end of the year. 
Tibet achieves basic coverage of aviation network
 July 30, 2014
The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has constructed an air communication network of 48 air routes and 29 destination cities, both domestic and overseas.
These include Lhasa’s Gonggar Airport, the Bangda Airport in eastern Tibet's Chamdo Prefecture, Mainling Airport in southeastern Tibet's Nyingchi Prefecture, Gunsa Airport in western Tibet's Ngari Prefecture and Peace Airport in southwest Tibet's Shigatse Prefecture. By the end of 2013, TAR’s air communication network basically covered all large and medium sized cities in China.
According to statistics released by the TAR Civil Aviation Administration, civil aviation passenger traffic has increased by 24.4 per cent to touch 2.76 million in 2013, while the number of passengers using Lhasa’s Gonggar Airport reached two million for the first time. 
Over three billion yuan (US$ 48 million) have been invested in Tibet’s civil aviation including construction of the Nyingchi Mainling Airport and Ngari Gunsa Airport.
Reconstruction and extension of the Chamdo Bangda Airport, terminal areas of Lhasa Gonggar Airport and the Nyingchi Airport are scheduled to begin in the next 6 months with an investment of 800 million Yuan (approx. US$ 13million). Air routes have also been opened connecting Tibet with Kathmandu, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Chongqing.

Xu Qiliang inspects Xinjiang and Tibet garrisons
July 23, 2014
Xu Qiliang, member of the CCP CC Political Bureau and Vice-Chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), recently inspected troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) garrisoning Xinjiang and Tibet.
Xu Qiliang visited officers and men in thefrontier areasand talked to leaders of the troop units garrisoning Hotan, Nagri (Ch:Ali) and the  Lhasa areas to discuss the development and reform of frontier troop units. He also visited sentries of the Shenxianwan frontier defense company posted at an altitude of 5,380 meters and went to the barracks of the Khurnak Fort frontier defense company and the Banmozhang water squadron.
Xu Qiliang inspected weaponry and equipment and observed training and drills in a training base of a “Red Army” regiment of the Xinjiang Military Area Command (MAC), an infantry brigade of the Tibet Military Command (MC) and the First Detachment of the Tibet Contingent of the People's Armed Police Force (APF).
Sun Jianguo, PLA Deputy Chief of GeneralStaff, Miao Hua, Political Commissar of the Lanzhou MAC, Zhu Fuxi, Political Commissar of the Chengdu MAC, and others joined in the inspection.
China's Security Chief’s Inspection tour to Tibet
July 24, 2014
Politburo member and Secretary of the CCP CC’s Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, Meng Jianzhu, toured TAR from July 17-23, 2014 when he emphasized the need to make efforts to maintain social stability in Tibet, saying it is vital to national security. He asked local officials to have a profound understanding of the long lasting nature of the anti-secession efforts, and always take them as the primary political task. He vowed a harsh crackdown on separatist activities or terror attacks. While visiting Jokhang Temple and other well-known religious sites, Meng Jianzhu called on Buddhist monks to contribute to ethnic unity. 
He was accompanied by TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, TAR People’s Congress Chairman Pema Thinley (Ch:Pema Choling), TAR People’s Government Chairman Lobsang Gyaltsen (Ch: Losang Jamcan) and TAR Party Committee Deputy Secretaries like Wu Yingjie and Deng Xiaogang amongst others.
2014 TAR conscription campaign held in Lhasa
July 25, 2014
TAR’sconscription campaign for 2014 was held in front of the post office in Lhasa. Officials of the Tibet Military Area Command, the Tibet Armed Police Corps and other units came to mobilize and counsel students, explainthis year's conscription policies and encourage students to join the army and contribute to national defense.  Students from different Universities came to visit the campaign. 
Yimei Jun, chief of a regiment in the Tibet MilitaryRegion said “we invited Calligraphers Association of TAR to describe calligraphy to students attending the campaign.”The Conscription campaign also provided free medical checkups at the venue, organized band performances from armies etc. The Lhasa Garrison was responsiblefor giving advice on policymatters andlisting registrations. Persons who registered for conscription have to undergo a physical examination andpolitical assessment. 

Panchen Lama attends prayer meeting in Tashilhunpo Monastery
July 21, 2014
The Chinese appointed 11th Panchen Lama Gyancain Norbu attended a religious prayer meeting at Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, on July 20, and chanted sutras along with more than 500 monks in the Tunsangl in Drastang (monastic college) in the temple.
Tibet to provide temples with water
July 24, 2014
TAR authorities announced on July 30, that China will invest in supplying safe drinking water to all temples around the southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region within 2014. 
The one-time investment of 495 million Yuan (about US$ 79.2 million)  will give 1,466 temples access to drinking water and, according to Chaqxi, an official of the TAR Water Resources Department, benefit almost 50,000 people, including monks, nuns, temple staff and nearby residents.
Most Tibetan Buddhist monasteries were built in mountainous or remote regions and this project will provide water via three means: digging wells, installing high-pressure water pumps, and laying pipelines.
Between 2005-2013, China invested 2.22 billion Yuan to carry safe drinking water and daily water to rural Tibetan residents. By 2013,tap water had reached more than 86 percent of Tibet's rural areas.
Party Cadres placed in Monasteries to implement the 18th CCP ’mass line’ campaign

July 2014


Party Cadres and officials of the Nyingtri Administrative District have been stationed in monasteries and nunneries to implement the CCP’s ‘mass line’ campaign. The officials have been asked to make friends, discuss and exchange views with monks and nuns and help them to standardize and make decisions in the management of the monasteries and nunneries. 
There are 45 Temple Management Committees in Nyingtri (Ch:Linzhi) and these Committees have  given special ‘mass line’ education to monks and nuns on 550 occasions. TheTemple Management Committees have ‘successfully bonded and made friends’ with 492 monks and nuns and met them 710 times so far. Monks and nuns had reportedlybenefitted in 182 decision-making processes. 
The Nyingtri Administrative District plans to strengthen this nexus between officials of the Temple Management Committees and monks and nuns by selecting 92 of the ‘best’ heads of Monasteries and Nunneries to work with the45 Temple Management Committees in the District.
Bhutanese Foreign Minister’s visit 
July 31, 2014
Bhutan’s Foreign Minister, Rigzin Dorji, visited Tibet on July 30 and met the Chairman of the TAR People’s Government Lobsang Gyaltsen.
Lobsang Gyaltsen welcomed Bhutan’s Foreign Minister and briefed him on the socio-economic development of TAR and asserted that Tibet is an ‘inalienable part of China’.
Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Rigzin Dorji replied that modern transportation and infrastructure in Tibet had developed rapidly under the CCP’s leadership and he hoped to see greater prosperity and progress in the future.
Anti-graft team shifts focus to Tibet in second round of sweeps
July 28, 2014
The Central Discipline InspectionCommission (CDIC) has announced that anti-graft authorities have begun their latest round of inspections in Tibet, with a focus on high-ranking cadres and those expecting promotion. Inspectors are expected to stay in Tibet for two months in China’s second round of anti-corruption investigations this year.
Inspection team leader Ye Dongsong said the team would look into any irregularities in conduct, including abuse of power, bribery and “depraved behavior”. He added that cases of officials gaining posts through bribery and promotions of corrupt cadres would be thoroughly investigated.
Apart from Tibet, the anti-graft inspectors will fan out to other provinces including Guangxi, Shanghai, Qinghai, Zhejiang, Hebei, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Sichuan and Jiangsu.
Projects involving mining, natural resources, lands transfer, real estate development, construction and public and special funds would come under close scrutiny.

Member of Central CPPCC of CCP and TAR CPPCCChairman presided eighth meeting
July 30, 2014
Pagblha Gelek Namgyal, Chairman of the tenth TAR PPCC presided over its eighth meeting in Lhasa. All Vice-Chairmen of the TAR PPCC namely, Lobsang Dorjee, SonamRigzin, Gonpo Tashi, Li Suzhi, Tsam Chung, Pema Namgyal, Lobsang Gyurmey, Ngawang, Salung Phunlak, Jin Shi Xun, Tsolog Jampa Khedup, Gao Yang and Secretary General Sonam Phelgyal attended.  
Pagbalha Gelek Namgyal said that the TAR’s PPCC thoroughly studies and implements General Secretary Xi Jinping’s ‘series of important speeches’ and always maintains efforts to achieve stability in Tibet. He assured that the TAR PPCC will follow the instructions given by Meng Jianzhu during his recent inspection tour of Tibet. He urged fellow members to follow and work in unity with the Central CPPCC.
In his closing speech, Gonpo Tashi, Vice-Chairman of the TAR PPCC summarized the organization’s work report of the first half of the year and said that it had alwaysstressed social harmony and stability, promoted leapfrog developmentand comprehensively provided suggestions for deepening and improving the people’s livelihood.
Teleconference held in Shannan Prefecture to implement MengJianzhu’s speeches
 July 30, 2014
A teleconference was held in Shannan (Tib: Lhoka) on July 28 to discuss the implementation of the speeches, especially on stability, given by  Meng Jianzhu, Secretary of the CCP CC’s Commission for Political and Legal Affairs during his inspection tour of Tibet  from July 17 to 23.
Chime Rigzin, Party Secretary of Shannan Prefecture, chaired the meeting, where he stressed the need to conscientiously implement Meng Jianzhu’s speeches, particularly the importance of grasping the work of stability in the region.
The meeting was attended by Pemba PPCC Chairman of Shannan Prefecture, Phurbu Dorjee, Vice-Chairman of PPCC Shannan,  Zhang, Deputy Secretary of Shannan Prefecture, Jigme, Deputy Secretary of Politics and Law Committee of Shannan Prefecture and Party Secretary of Shannan Police Department, Karma Tenpa, Publicity Minister of Shannan Prefectural Committee, Jiang Taiqiang, General Secretary of Shannan Prefectural Committee, Bujian Cai, Deputy Commissioner of Shannan Prefectural Committee, Karma Lobsang, Deputy Secretary of Shannan Prefecture and Deputy Chairman Shannan People’s Congress, Yanhong. Zhang Fuchen and Zhang Yonglin, Deputy Secretaries of Shannan Prefecture and Vice-Commissioners of the Shannan Administrative Office, also attended the meeting.
Eighth Nyingtri Prefectural Meeting
 July 21, 2014
Nyingtri Party Secretary Zhao Shijun chaired the eighth Nyingtri Prefectural Meeting on July 18. The meeting was attended by Deputy Secretaries of Nyingtri Dorjee Tsering, CaiJiahua, Li Haibo, Xie Ying, Zhao Shuming, Nyingtri Prefecture Commissioner and Deputy Secretary Wangdue and Vice-Commissioners Passang, Yang Fangyu, Wang Chun Ding.
The meeting discussed the progress and plans of the ‘mass line’ campaign and reiterated the importance of General Xi Jinping’s ‘series of important speeches’. At the meeting, the Deputy Secretary of the Nyingtri Party Committee and Commissioner of Nyingtri Prefecture, Wangdue, reported on the economic and social situation of the regionand the difficulties and problems facing the region. He concluded by stating that Departments of all levels in Nyingtri Prefecture should vigorously promote investment growth, accelerate the development of competitive industries, continue to deepen reforms and earnestly protect and improve the people's livelihood to create a stable and harmonious society.
Shamar Rinpoche finally cremated in Nepal
July 22, 2014
The Nepali Cabinet finally agreed on July 29 to allow the cremation of the late Shamar Rinpoche in Nepal.
The Nepali Embassy in India had initially granted approval for Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche’s body to be transported to Nepal from India for the cremation on July30, after he died of a heart attack in Germany last month. Lal Babu Pandit, Nepal’s Minister of General Administration, said “We have decided to allow the cremation of Shamar Rinpoche’s body in Nepal as per his last wishes since he contributed so much to Buddhism”.
Though Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs claimed that there had been no diplomatic pressure from China to disallow the cremation in Nepal. They said Nepal hadtaken an independent decision on the matter and, keeping geopolitical reasons aside, let the cremation happen in Kathmandu.Earlier, the Administration of Shamar Rinpoche had said that if Nepal did not allow ferrying of the mortal remains of the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche to Kathmandu, the Tibetan spiritual leader would be cremated in Kalimpong in India on July 31.
1,046 kg red sandalwood confiscated
July 19, 2014
In a major haul, police on Saturday seized 1,046 kg red sandalwood bound for Khasa, Tibet, from Sindhupalchok district. Acting on a tip-off, a security team seized the precious wood from two containers (Na 2 Kha 5868 and Na 2 Kha 315) at Bandeu on the Araniko Highway. The Khasa-bound containers had hidden the load by making ‘false bottoms’.
The drivers of the vehicles—Phurba Tamang, 20, of Tatopani-4 and Chhewang Lama, 28, of Listi-6—were held for investigation. 
Sources say 1 kg red sandalwood is traded between Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000 in the Khasa border town. As per the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the trade in and supply of red sandalwood is illegal in Nepal.
Hardline Sri Lankan monk questions Dalai Lama over plea against violence
July 24, 2014
Miffed by his recent calls to Buddhist majorities in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to end the violence against Muslim minorities, a hardline Buddhist leader in Sri Lanka has hit back at the Dalai Lama. On the sidelines of his Kalachakra empowerment and teachings from Jul 3 to 14 in Ladakh, the Dalai Lama had, in a plea to halt the violence, asked Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka “to imagine an image of Buddha” before committing any crimes against Muslims.
Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, Secretary General of the hardline Sri Lanka group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or “Buddhist Power Force”, accused the world’s best known Buddhist leader of being influenced by Islamic extremists. Hetold reporters on Jul 22, that “We don’t accept the Dalai Lama as a world leader of Buddhists. He is a creation of the West. For them, he is to Buddhists what the Pope is to Catholics, but not for us.”
Incidentally, successive Colombo governments have denied the Dalai Lama a visa to visit pilgrimage sites in the island due to Chinese pressure.
China using fake Twitter accounts for Tibet propaganda purposes
July 24, 2014
According to the London-based Free Tibet campaign group,China has created a large number of fake twitter accounts in mostly western personal names in an attempt to boost its tarnished image. The London-based group reported (Jul 21) that its researchers had uncovered around 100 such fake accounts.
The tweets are said to usually repeat glowing accounts of China’s development policies in Tibet, includingappreciation by Tibetans of the Chinese rule, while others condemn the Dalai Lama. One tweet, reposted 6,555 times, suggested that the Dalai Lama while visiting the West is “just looking for more money.” The fake accounts were said to oftenprovide links to Chinese government Tibet-related sites.



Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | Email Us
Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, A-50, Second Floor, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi-110057
Tel: 011 41017353
Email: office@ccasindia.org