Coercive labour behind China’s promise of training 700,000 more Tibetan farmers, herdsmen?

Potato harvested in Shigatse, Tibet. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

(, Feb08’21) – China said Feb 6 that it will help 700,000 farmers and herdsmen in Tibet Autonomous Region to find jobs in 2021. Perhaps a suggestion of the continuation of a widely reported and condemned militarized vocational training program of coerced and exploitative labour on farmers and nomads relocated from their centuries-old traditional land and way of life?

The jobs are expected to generate an income of more than 5 billion yuan (about 773 million US dollars), China’s official Xinhua news agency Feb 6 cited the department of human resources of the Tibet Autonomous Region government as saying.

This works out to an average income for each worker of less than 7,143 yuan ($1,104) per year. 

The report cited the department as saying more targeted vocational skills training will be offered to local farmers and herdsmen, and over 60,000 people will be employed after training.

The report also said that in order to encourage farmers and herdsmen to find jobs outside the region, the local government planned to raise their travel fee from 1,000 yuan to 2,000 yuan.

Xinhua earlier reported Dec 16 that more than 604,000 farmers and herdsmen in the region had been helped to find jobs this year, citing local authorities.

The report said the jobs had generated total income of more than 4.5 billion yuan (about 688 million US dollars), which meant a per capital income of 7,450 yuan ($1,139) per year.


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