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China relocates another batch of over 300 Tibetans from north to South Tibet

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(TibetanReview.net, Aug11’22) – A new batch of more than 300 residents have left their hometown in Doima Township of Tsonyi (Chinese: Shuanghu) County in northern Tibet’s Nagchu City. They were being moved nearly 1,000 km southward to their new home in Singpori Township of Gongkar County, Lhokha (Shannan) City, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Aug 8.

Earlier, China relocated more than 300 residents from what has been described as the world’s highest county to Singpori last month.

And before that, the regional government relocated the first batch of 2,900 residents in Tsonyi to Singpori in 2019.

With an average altitude of over 5,000 meters, Tsonyi County covers a total area of 120,000 square km and is part of the Changtang National Nature Reserve, the PRC’’s biggest and highest nature reserve, the report said.

The report claimed that due to the high altitude and harsh environment, the county is not suitable for human habitation. The oxygen in the air is a mere 40 percent of that on the plain. Its winter lasts 10 months each year, with the lowest temperatures reaching minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Aerial photo taken on July 13, 2022 shows trucks carrying furniture preparing to depart from Doima Township of Tsonyi County. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

This claim remains questionable, however, because it was to look for grass for their livestock that in the 1970s a group of herders drove cattle and sheep in a 300-kilometer migration from Shantsa (Xainza) County of Nagchu (Naqu) City to an uninhabited area where the average attitude was 5,000 meters. This move gave birth to Tsonyi County, chinatoday.com.cn earlier reported Nov 3, 2020.

The relocation is taking place ahead of the drafting by the National People’s Congress of China of a new national law on the ecological protection of the Tibetan Plateau.

China is to relocate over 26,300 Tibetan farmers and herdsmen from nearly 100 townships of Tibet Autonomous Region by Aug 11, and over 130,000 in eight years, Xinhua earlier reported Jun 27.

Four townships of the county will complete relocation by early August, and by then, all seven townships of Tsonyi, including the three that moved in 2019, will have completed relocation, said the Aug 8 Xinhua report.

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