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Development, Stability Stressed in Party Congress of Tibet
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Economic development and social stability are the top priorities for Tibet in the next five years, according to a congress of the Tibet Regional Autonomous Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"Tibet has maintained an annual economic growth rate of more than 12 percent over the past five years and its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has surpassed US$1,000," said Zhang Qingli, secretary of the CPC Tibetan committee, at the five-day conference which ended on Sunday.

The most important experience of the last five years has been the region's development and stability, said Zhang.

The meeting set goals over the next five years of maintaining annual economic growth at more than 12 percent and making significant progress in the development of new infrastructure for the region.

By 2010, the per capita GDP of Tibet and net income of farmers and herdsmen will equal middle income levels in China, according to the regional congress.

Maintaining social stability and keeping separatist activities in check will also be top priorities, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the regional government.

Qiangba Puncog said the region will crackdown on subversive activities by the followers of the Dalai Lama, who fled China in 1959.

Meanwhile, education on patriotism will be promoted among the region's temples to ensure that religious leaders love their country, he said.

About 600 deputies representing 143,000 CPC members in Tibet attended the congress, the region's seventh. The congress was held in Lhasa, the regional capital, between last Wednesday and Sunday.

(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2006)

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