Chinese president Xi makes rare visit to Tibet, close to Arunachal

Xi visited the Tibet Autonomous Region for the 70th anniversary of Tibet’s ‘peaceful liberation the first time in the history of the Party and the country’

Xi Jinping
Xi became the first sitting Chinese president since Jiang Zemin to visit Tibet

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the sensitive border town of Nyingchi, which is close to Arunachal Pradesh, on Wednesday. Xi was on his first visit as the Chinese president to the politically sensitive region of Tibet, where he underlined the need for “lasting stability” and “high-quality development” for the region.

Xi also travelled to Tibet’s capital Lhasa by the recently commissioned high-speed bullet train.

In footage released by Chinese broadcaster CCTV, Xi was seen greeting a crowd wearing ethnic costumes and waving the Chinese flag as he disembarked from his plane at the Mainling Airport in Nyingchi.

During his visit, Xi visited the Nyang River Bridge to inspect the ecological preservation in the basin of the Brahmaputra River, which is called Yarlung Zangbo in the Tibetan language.


HE visited the Tibet Autonomous Region for the 70th anniversary of Tibet’s “peaceful liberation the first time in the history of the [Chinese Communist] Party and the country”.

State-run Xinhua news agency reported that during his visit, Xi stressed upon fully implementing the guidelines of the ruling Communist Party for “governing Tibet in a new era and writing a new chapter of lasting stability and high-quality development for the plateau region”.

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Nyingchi, known as the Switzerland of Tibet, is a prefecture-level city in Tibet that is adjacent to the Arunachal Pradesh border. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet, which is firmly rejected by India. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC).

After visiting a city planning hall, a village and a park in Nyingchi, Xi went to Nyingchi railway station and took the train to Lhasa. He inspected the construction along the railway during the ride, the Xinhua report said. Xi went on an inspection tour of Lhasa on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Chinese analysts said Xi’s visit shows Beijing’s emphasis on boosting the economic growth and stability of Tibet as well as improving local residents’ livelihoods in the next round of development.

China has approved plans to build a huge dam over the Brahmaputra river during the current 14th Five-Year Plan, which raised concerns in the states of India and Bangladesh which are situated near the river.

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“China has listed the development of border areas in the next five-year plan, and reducing the gap between western and eastern areas is also an important goal to be achieved marching toward the second centenary goal,” Lou Chunhao, Deputy Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

Chinese leaders periodically visit Tibet. But Xi, who also heads the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and the powerful Central Military Commission, the overall high command of the Chinese military, became the first top leader in recent years to visit Tibet’s border town. He had earlier visited Tibet as Vice President in 2011 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet. The last sitting Chinese President to officially visit Tibet was Jiang Zemin in 1990.
lity development’ for the region.