(TibetanReview.net, Dec 27) — China spends more state money on the Tibet Autonomous Region than any other province in China. However, the money is being spend strategically, ensuring that much of it goes to ethnic Chinese, who have migrated to Tibet in search of jobs building new roads, office towers, and the high-elevation railway linking the region to the rest of the People’s Republic of China, noted Joshua Kurlantzick after a visit to Tibet’s capital Lhasa, writing in the New Republic (US) Dec 23.
He also writes that though Beijing usually refuses to admit this ethnic strategy publicly, Chinese state officials have actually reported that Lhasa, heart of Tibetan culture, is no longer a majority Tibetan city.
Kurlantzick saw evidence of the Chinese objective and its accomplishmenet everywhere. He notes: “Outside of the Barkhor, the old Tibetan area of town, I found the city looked much like other provincial capitals, with its rows of hotpot restaurants catering to Sichuan migrants and squat office towers housing neon-lit Chinese shopping malls selling mobile phones, jewelry, and other expensive items.”