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Hu praises Tibet development, hails democratic reform
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President Hu Jintao said Friday that the "good situation" in today's Tibet was "hard-earned and should be highly cherished."

Hu said during his visit to an exhibition marking the 50th Anniversary of Democratic Reform in Tibet, at the Cultural Palace of Nationalities in Beijing, that the reform 50 years ago was "the most extensive, profound and progressive social transformation in the history of Tibet."

President Hu Jintao, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits an exhibition marking the 50th Anniversary of Democratic Reform in Tibet, at the Cultural Palace of Nationalities in Beijing, on March 27, 2009.

All the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee visited the exhibition, including top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, and top political advisor Jia Qinglin.

The exhibition, opened on Feb. 24, 2009, showcases archives, cultural relics, photos, videos, and restored landscapes that have recorded the great changes Tibet has gone through since 1959, when serfdom was abolished.

The exhibits show that Tibet has been a part of China since the Yuan Dynasty (1271 to 1368 A.D.). Also exhibited are scenes of serfs being exploited by their owners in the old times and how they were liberated 50 years ago.

The exhibition puts on videos recording the March 14th Riot in Lhasa last year and the major projects the Chinese government has sponsored in the plateau, such as the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and the Tibet Gymnasium. It also includes photos about Tibetan people's lives today.

When visiting the exhibition, Hu stressed that, only by staying in the big family of the motherland under the leadership of the CPC, can the economy and society of Tibet develop by leaps and bounds, and the people of Tibet be the owner of the country together with other Chinese ethnics.

Tibet should speed up economic development and further improve the living standards of people living there, especially the peasants and herdsmen, Hu said.

Hu also said that Tibet should move from being "basically stable" to "peaceful and stable in the long run."

The exhibition, co-organized by the State Council Information Office, the State Ethnic Affairs Commission and the Tibet Autonomous Region, has attracted about 137,000 visitors since its opening.

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