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Xizang makes remarkable strides in green, high-quality development

Source:Xinhua 2024-05-24

People visit the Potala Palace square in Lhasa, southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region, Feb. 11, 2024. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)

BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region has pledged to further leverage its unique advantages to promote high-quality development, according to a press conference held Thursday by the State Council Information Office in Beijing.

Highlighting the region's unprecedented development and considerable change in recent years, Yan Jinhai, chairman of the regional government, attributed Xizang's fruitful high-quality development to its development strategies tailored to local conditions, people-centered development philosophy, the priority to ecological protection and further opening up.

Since 2021, Xizang's regional GDP has grown from 190 billion yuan (about 26.72 billion U.S. dollars) to 240 billion yuan last year. The region's per capita GDP has increased from 52,300 yuan to 60,000 yuan and the growth rate of per capita disposable income for urban and rural residents has consistently been among the highest in the country. "Xizang is forging a new path for high-quality economic development on the plateau," Yan said.

Deemed the "roof of the world" or the world's third pole, Xizang boasts rich tourism resources. It attracted 55.17 million domestic and international tourists in 2023, with total tourism revenue reaching 65.1 billion yuan, up 83.7 percent and 60 percent, respectively, both setting new records, according to Yan. "Tourism has become an industry that enriches the Xizang people."

According to Xu Zhitao, vice chairman of the regional government, Xizang is expected to achieve double-digit growth in the number of tourist trips in 2024.

In its efforts to become a national or even an international model in advancing eco-civilization, the region continues to prioritize eco-environmental conservation and pursues green and sustainable development.

According to Yan, protected areas in Xizang cover 36 percent of the region's total land area. Additionally, more than 50 percent of the region is demarcated within the country's ecological protection red lines.

Xizang is also home to 16.5 percent of China's total water resources, 30 percent of its grasslands, 41 percent of its glaciers, 18.3 percent of its wetlands, and 40 percent of the country's lake area.

"Xizang remains one of the regions with the best ecological environment in the world," said Yan, adding that the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau has achieved overall carbon neutrality.  

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