Beijing: President Xi Jinping made a rare trip to China’s politically sensitive region of Tibet recently, state media reported, the first such visit by the country’s top leader in more than three decades.
Tibet has alternated over the centuries between independence and control by China, which says it “peacefully liberated” the rugged plateau in 1951 and brought infrastructure and education to the previously underdeveloped region.
In footage released by state broadcaster CCTV, Xi was seen greeting a crowd wearing ethnic costumes and waving Chinese flags as he left his plane, in a red carpet welcome as dancers performed around him.
After a “warm welcome by cadres and masses of all ethnic groups”, Xi went to the Nyang River Bridge to learn about ecological and environmental protection of the Yarlung Tsangpo river and the Nyang River, CCTV said.
Xi has visited Tibet twice, once in 1998 as Fujian province’s party chief and another time in 2011 as vice-president.
The last Chinese president to visit was Jiang Zemin in 1990.
Xi also visited the Nyingchi City Planning Museum and other areas to look into urban development planning, rural revitalization and the construction of urban parks.
He headed to the Nyingchi Railway Station to learn about planning for the Sichuan-Tibet Railway before taking a train to Lhasa.
Since 2008 China has poured investment into the region, making Tibet one of China’s fastest-growing regions economically, according to local statistics. (NDTV)