(TibetanReview.net, Feb23’23) – China said Feb 22 that its Tibet Autonomous Region would invest 13.7 billion yuan (about $1.99 billion) this year in initiatives aimed at improving the well-being of local residents, especially in the new border defence villages across the Line of Actual Control on the border with India.
Most of the border defence villages have been built in recent years in environmentally forbidding areas by compulsorily relocating Tibetan farmers in so-called Xiaokang (well-off) villages, some of them in areas claimed by India and Bhutan. The villages are meant to help secure Chinese-ruled Tibet’s border with India, with the villagers being employed also in various types of border-defence jobs.
The initiatives include providing livelihood subsidies for border residents, supporting medical professionals in aiding Tibet, and upgrading the oxygen supply facilities in border counties and townships located in areas 3,500 meters above sea level, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Feb 22, citing the regional government.
With an average altitude of more than 4,000 meters, Tibet experiences harsh conditions such as extreme cold and a lack of oxygen. For this reason, improving the well-being of local residents has been a top priority, the regional government has said.
The report said a total of 630 million yuan will be allocated to support the construction of heating projects in county and district public hospitals, and the operation of community-level heating facilities.