Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) at Nyingchi’s Mainling Airport on July 21 at the start of a two-day (July 21-23, 2021) visit, without prior public notice. He was accompanied by a high level delegation that included Ding Xuexiang, Head of the CCP CC General Office; Vice Premier, Politburo member and Director of the Office serving the CCP’s Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission headed by Xi Jinping; Politburo member and Chairman of the National Supervisory Commission Yang Xiaodu; Politburo member and Head of the CCP CC's Organisation Department Chen Xi; Minister of the important National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng; and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Zhang Youxia. During the visit, Xi Jinping toured Nyingchi where he visited ecological and environmental protection sites, met some villagers and especially received a detailed briefing on the plans and construction of the Lhasa-Nyingchi and Lhasa-Chengdu Railway. His delegation left for Lhasa by the Fuxing (Bullet) train. In Lhasa, Xi Jinping went to the Potala Palace Square, Drepung Monastery and took a brief walk down Barkhor street before listening to work reports of the TAR Party and TAR Government. During the visit, Xi Jinping also spoke of "blending" the ethnic community with the Han; adapting Tibetan Buddhism to socialism with Chinese characteristics; promoting Mandarin as the primary language in ethnic schools throughout TAR; consolidating the security of Tibet's borders and building the well-off border defence villages etc. He later addressed almost a thousand PLA and PLA Air Force officers at a separate meeting. At this meeting, he thanked them for their service and for protecting the borders. He urged them to follow the Party ideology, and said “They have already passed the difficult challenge of Tibet's harsh climate and environment and protected the country and they have done a good job. However, they need to continue training hard and prepare for future wars”.  

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