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China designates Tibet’s Shigatse and Chamdo as cities

Shigatse, the second city of Tibet.
Shigatse, the second city of Tibet.

(TibetanReview.net, Nov05, 2014) – China’s State Council, or cabinet, has approved a proposal from the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to change the administrative status of Shigatse and Chamdo from prefectures to cities, reported China’s online Tibet news service eng.tibet.cn Nov 4, citing the local party mouthpiece Tibet Daily. Although it was not clear what the decision implies, apart from their names being changed from prefectures to cities, the report suggested that the decision entails administrative restructuring and preferential policies from Beijing.

The report cited Wu Yingjie, standing vice-secretary of the TAR Party Committee, as saying the preferential policies will vigorously promote reform, development and stability and contribute to the well-being of the people in both Shigatse and Chamdo.

The report said the TAR Party Committee had called on both Shigatse and Chamdo local party committees to ensure a smooth transition from prefectures to cities. “First, the prefectural governments should streamline their bureaucracies. Second, they should transform the economic mode of the two cities, increase the need for social management, promote the rule of law, and better allocate resources. Third, they should better plan funding programs and take advantage of the central government’s preferential policies well in advance. Finally, they should well manage their archives and transfer them smoothly to the governments of both cities.”

The decision means that the TAR is now made up of four prefectures, namely, Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu), Ngari (Ali), Lhokha (Shannan) and Nyingtri (Ningchi), and three cities, namely Lhasa (Lasa), Shigatse (Xigaze), and Chamdo (Changdu).

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