120 Satellite Towns Built in Tibet

Nearly 120 new towns have been built in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the "roof of the world", during the past few years.

Changdu Town is a typical example of a new town. More than 500 million yuan (US$60.24 million) has been spent on urban engineering projects. Buildings of different styles stand along streets decorated with dazzling lights. Asphalt highways have replaced bumpy earthen roads.

The town is now a commodity collection and distribution center in eastern Tibet. The number of shop owners in Changdu exceeds 4,000, said Silang Nyima, director of Changdu Prefecture Urban Engineering Bureau.

"The town changes everyday," said Sanggar Cering, a Tibetan herdsman who has settled in Changdu.

Tibet had no more than ten cities before the peaceful liberation in early of the 1950s.

To speed up local economic development, the regional government is building four satellite town networks in the region. The population of these new towns is expected to increase from present 440,000 to 780,000 in 2010.

(Xinhua 10/17/2000)

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