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Tibet people real beneficiaries of reform, development
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People of various nationalities living in Tibet have benefited from reform and development, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibet autonomous regional government, on Wednesday.
 Watch the video of the whole press conference

"They are real beneficiaries," he stressed, citing figures of Tibet's development to refute the Dalai Lama's claim that the benefits of Tibet's development has been taken away by the Han nationality and "cultural genocide". [Full coverage]

"Dalai Lama's claims are lies to instigate antagonism between various nationalities and to cheat the international community," he said.

Tibet has registered an annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of over 12 percent for seven consecutive years. In 2007, the region's GDP reached 34.2 billion yuan (about 4.88 billion U.S. dollars) with 12,000 yuan per capita, he said at a news conference.

In the past five years, the central government has subsidized Tibet with 94.7 billion yuan and invested 60.1 billion in infrastructure construction, he said.

The average income of farmers and herdsmen reached 2,788 yuan last year after maintaining a double-digit growth rate for five straight years, he said.

By the end of 2007, 612 townships had been connected by roads, accounting for 89.6 percent of all townships in Tibet Autonomous Region, and all townships had been linked with telephones.

The government also took measures to solve the drinking water difficulties and ensure drinking water safety for 1.02 million farmers and herdsmen.

By now, over 110,000 households with 590,000 farmers and herdsmen have moved into new houses after the government launched a comfortable housing program two years ago.

(Xinhua News Agency April 9, 2008)

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