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Integrated development of Himalayas, vital role of border villages emphasized for safeguarding China’s national security

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(TibetanReview.net, Nov29’22) – The Tibetan Plateau poses multi-dimensional risks to China and in order to address it the construction of integrated infrastructure zones should be carried out at cross-border areas, which may include setting up free trade zones, industrial zones and international tourism zones, reported China’s official globaltimes.cn Nov 27, citing a key conference held in Shanghai over the weekend.

Addressing the First Conference on World Geography, with the theme of “Geography and Our Common Future,” Chen Fahu, academician from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of the Geographical Society of China, has called for the promotion of integrated development around the Himalayas by strengthening border trade exchanges and cross-border coordination.

In his keynote lecture entitled “Geo-security Issues Around the Himalayas,” Chen has linked the significance of the Tibetan Plateau (which China calls Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Plateau) where the Himalayas is situated with the national security of China.

He has emphasized that the Tibetan Plateau plays an important role in safeguarding China’s national security; is a reserve base of strategic resources, a barrier for water safety and ecological security; and is an important cultural area for the Chinese nation.

The report said Chen’s team also proposed expanding border trade exchanges at an appropriate time to facilitate the movement of border residents and to boost border trade.

In particular, the team has suggested strengthening cross-border economic cooperation by making use of the vital role played by border villages.

Since the 20th century, geography has been a key to geopolitics and international cooperation when viewed as a basic subject in studying man’s relationship to land, the report said.

The First Conference on World Geography was stated to have been jointly held by the Geographical Society of China, China Institute for Innovation & Development Strategy, East China Normal University (ECNU) and University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The report said experts from China and abroad delivered over 500 keynote lectures and reports on a variety of topics ranging from geography and low-carbon energy security to research innovative tools and methodologies for the advancement of world geography during the two-day conference, which was stated to have been held both online and on-site.

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