China kicks out Tibetan villagers to make way for new airport with little compensation, no alterative livelihood

Shigatse Airport.
Shigatse Airport.

(, Apr19, 2018) – “We will never allow one inch of land in Tibet to be separated from China; we will not see one poor person to be left behind; and we will never develop the economy at the expense of the environment,” Wu Yingjie, Party chief of the Tibet Autonomous Region, was quoted as saying in an interview recently. However what he has said about helping the poor does to seem to apply to residents of a village in Shigatse prefecture’s Lhatse County. The villagers have been kicked out of their ancestral farmland to make way for a new airport with peanuts for compensation and nothing else to live by.

Residents in the prefecture’s Yushang village in Chusha municipality have been farmers for generations and know little else about making a living. And there are no jobs for the erstwhile village farmers on the new project’s construction or after its completion. Chinese construction companies and contractors typically bring their own Chinese workers.

“Chinese authorities are planning to build an airport on [Chusha’s] farmland, and local Tibetans are being compensated at rates less than the land’s market value,” the Tibetan Service of Apr 17 quoted a local resident as saying.

And this disruption and deprivation of Tibetan people of their homes and livelihood is by no means an exception. Chinese projects have already been underway on vast stretches of land lying near Lhatse County, with new buildings being constructed, for more than a decade, the report cited the unnamed source as saying.

The projects include, apart from the new airport, railway stations and other types of infrastructure meant to cater to the tourism industry.


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