Dec 02, 2009

Tibet: Chinese immigrants to Boost Tibet's Urban Population

Sample ImageTibet's Autonomous Region to reach 3.4 million over the next 11 years

Below is an article published by The Tibetan Review:
The permanent population of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) will reach 3.4 million over the next 11 years, with 1.46 million living in urban areas, reported China’s party mouthpiece People’s Daily online Dec 1, citing the region's Construction Department. It was not explained, however, how much of these figures will be due to Chinese immigration.

Significantly, the report said that the TAR’s urbanization rate would rise to 43 percent from 22.61 percent at present. The boom in the region’s urban population has so far been due to the massive influx of Chinese immigrants, a trend set to be accelerated under the ongoing development and modernization drive there.

The TAR covers an area of 1.2 million sq km and had a population of 2.81 million at the end of 2006, according to China’s official census. However, the census did not take into account a huge population of unregistered Chinese immigrants, many of them permanent settlers.

"By 2020, Tibetans will lead a life as well off as people in other parts of the country. But now, as 70 to 80 percent of the Tibetans are farmers and herdsmen, it is hard to achieve the target by relying only on the primary industry," Lu Fangying, deputy director of the TAR’s Construction Department, was quoted as saying.

The suggestion that by 2020 the TAR will be like any other part of China, with its urban population boosted by large scale Chinese immigration, can only fuel resentment and sense of alienation from the local Tibetans.

The above projections are based on the Urban System Plan for Tibet Autonomous Region (2008-2020), drafted by the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, the report, sourced from Xinhua, said.