(TibetanReview.net, Jul13, 2014) –The Shigatse Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region will now be known as Shigatse City, becoming the second Prefecture-level city in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) after the capital Lhasa, reported China’s online Tibet news service eng.tibet.cn Jul 12. The report said the decision was approved by China’s State Council, or cabinet, recently, the report added.
It was not clear what the change implied. Tenzin Namgyel, the party secretary of Shigaste and vice director of the Standing Committee of Tibet regional people’s congress, has said an official ceremony would be held between August and September “to mark the new historical opportunity of Shigatse’s development.”
The report said the new City will have the same administrative area as the former Shigatse Prefecture, with the county-level Shigatse city becoming a district and the other 17 counties remaining unchanged. As a result of massive immigration, Shigatse District is already an overwhelmingly Chinese populated area, with Tibetans making up a fringe, marginalized section of the population.
It added that Shigatse had the biggest population, longest borderline, and the most intensive agriculture in the TAR. China said recently that a Lhasa Shigatse railway line completed in March will open for passenger and cargo services in Aug 2014.