China ends mining work in protest-hit Tibetan area

Mining in Gyama Valley, the birth place Tibet's great King, Songtsen Gampo. File photo.
Mining in Gyama Valley, the birth place Tibet’s great King, Songtsen Gampo. File photo.

(, Oct25, 2014) – In a rare instance of success, China has released Tibetans who had protested against environmentally destructive, illegal mining operations at three places in Dzatoe (Chinese: Zaduo) County of Yulshul (Yushu) Prefecture, Qinghai Province, and declared the affected area a protected zone, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Oct 23. Clashes over Aug 15-16 last year between police and Tibetan protesters had left dozens injured while eight were detained.

The move followed local community leaders’ petitioning of the Chinese central government which has now ordered all mining works at Atoe, Dzachen, and Chikdza in Dzatoe to be stopped. The order was reported to have been issued through the provincial authorities.

Map showing Dzatoe county.
Map showing Dzatoe county.

The petitioners were reported to have apprised the central authorities about local corruption which had enabled the mining works being carried out. The area affected by the illegal mining, which had provoked protests by hundreds of local Tibetan villagers, has now been declared a protected area and those detained have been released, the report cited a local source as saying.

Documents produced by the miners claiming central government authorization were found to be fake. Local authorities were reported to have justified allowing the illegal mining works by citing former deputy Premier (now Premier) Li Keqiang’s general order calling for mineral surveys to be conducted.


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