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China props up TAR’s economy with record investment

(TibetanReview.net, Dec 29) — China said it had invested a record 16 billion yuan (S$3.4 billion) in 2008 in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) after it was hit by a Tibetan uprising in Mar’08, reported the Straits Times (Singapore) and the AFP Dec 28, citing China’s official Xinhua news agency Dec 28. This followed a fall in industrial economic growth by 11% in the first half of 2008, with fixed asset investment dropping by 10.3 per cent during the same period, due to the uprising, the local Development and Reform Committee was cited as saying.

The reports said Beijing in Jul’08 ordered special subsidies and incentives for the TAR, with focus on sectors such as tourism and infrastructure development. China then said it had put more money into the region in 2008 than in any year since economic planning began there in 1951. These investments have led to the estimate of the TAR’s GDP growth for this year at 10.1 per cent from last year to 39.2 billion yuan.

Committee official Jin Shixun was cited as saying these investments would continue to increase alongside Beijing’s various national efforts to boost consumption during the economic slowdown. As a result, fixed asset investment is expected to rise 15 percent in 2009, Xinhua was cited as saying.

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