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H.E. Ambassador Mr. Yang Houlan's Speech at the Reception Celebrating Tibetan New Year
(January 25, 2013)

Your Excellency Mr. Lila Mani Paudyal, Chief Secretary of Office of Prime Minister,

Distinguished guests, Dear Tibetan friends,

Good evening!

The Tibetan New Year of water snake is approaching. At this auspicious moment of ringing out the old and ringing in the new, we are gathering here to celebrate the most important traditional festival of the Tibetan people. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Nepal, I would like to extend my warm congratulations and cordial greetings to all the Tibetan friends! I I would like to show my respect to all the patriotic Tibetans who have contributed to the stability and development of Tibet! I also would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the people from all walks of life of Nepal and international community who care about and support the development and progress of Tibet! At the same time, I wish all of you a happy and joyful night, Tashi delek!

Nepal is an important neighbor of China and shares a long border line with Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The past year has witnessed the stable development of China-Nepal relations. Premier Wen Jiabao paid a successful state visit to Nepal, and many Nepalese high officials visited China. The two countries signed a series of cooperative agreements in political, economic, cultural and other fields, bringing the bilateral relations to a new height. The vast Tibetan friends living in Nepal also make a lot of efforts to the continuous development of China-Nepal relations. On behalf of Chinese Embassy in Nepal, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you!

Last year has been an eventful and shifting year for Tibet Autonomous Region. In 2012, thanks to the concern and support of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, the selfishless assistance from the relevant departments in the country and brother provinces, Tibet maintained economic development, social stability, national unity and kept border areas consolidatedly defended. The overall region showed a good situation of social stability and harmony. During the year, the Tibet Autonomous Region persisted in the path of development with Chinese and Tibetan characteristics. Great changes occurred to the urban and rural areas, people's livelihood were improved comprehensively and people obtained more benefits.

Firstly, the region's GDP reached 70.1 billion yuan last year, an increase of 12%, maintaining double-digit growth for 20 consecutive years. Tibet realized the growth above ten billion yuan for 4 consecutive years. The net income of farmers and herdsmen per capita reached 5645 yuan, an increase of 15.1%, maintaining double-digit growth for 10 consecutive years. The fundamental status of agriculture continued to strengthen. Annual financial support to agriculture reached 13.8 billion yuan, increasing 16.5%.

Secondly, the international trade volume reached 3.18 billion dollars, an increase of 169.6%. The increase rate is nearly 160% higher than the national average, ranking first in the country.

Thirdly, Tibet received the total of 10.58 million domestic and foreign tourists last year, bringing in 13.2 billion yuan of tourism income, an increase of 21.7% and 30.3% respectively. Among them, Potala Palace received a total of 1.01 million tourists, accounting for 10% of the total number of the tourists that Tibet received.

Fourthly, the region implemented the national investment of 35.4 billion yuan in the whole year, ensuring the start of the construction of 180 projects. One of the important projects of the 11th Five Year Plan of the nation, the Lhasa-Xigaze Railway, which is the extension of Qinghai-Tibet Railway and being constructed smoothly, with a total investment of 10.8 billion yuan, At the end of 2012, the Lhasa-Xigaze Railway has been laying the track of 82.3 kilometers, namely 27.83% of the total, and all the track is expected to be completed this year. Lhasa city implemented 17 urban development projects such as heating and gas supply, roads and bridges, with the investment of more than 4 billion yuan. As a major livelihood project with the single largest investment since the peaceful liberation of Tibet, Lhasa city heating project was completed 40% of the target. The fifth is that the region completed the housing projects for 408 thousand households of farmers and herdsmen, completed an investment of 24.6 billion yuan. 2.1 million farmers and herdsmen realized “the dream of new house”. The region solved the problem of safety drinking water for 300 thousand farmers and herdsmen, make 165 thousand people accessed to electricity and completed the project of comprehensive improvement of the rural human settlements environmental construction for 1000 administrative villages. The social endowment insurance of farmers and herdsmen was effectively guaranteed. At the end of the year, the new rural social pension insurance rate reached 91%, and the number of insured farmers and herdsmen reached 2 million. In order to solve the problem of social insurance and medical insurance of the monks and nuns, Tibet issued the Interim Measures for the monks and nuns to participate in social insurance in January, 2012. All the monks and nuns registed are included in the basic medical insurance for urban residents. At the same time, the region also issued regulations that all the monks and nuns above 60 years old of age in the monasteries in Tibet can receive the basic pension of 120 yuan per person per month from January, 2012.

Development is the key to solve all the problems in Tibet. Stability is the premise and guarantee to promote the fast development of Tibet. To maintain stability and unity in Tibet, and to realize the prosperity and progress of Tibet, is our common desire and responsibility. I hope that all the patriotic Tibetans continue to concern the progress and development of the motherland, and to make due contributions to safeguarding national unity. The Chinese Embassy in Nepal is the representative office of the Chinese Government in Nepal, as well as the family for all the patriotic Tibetans. In the coming new year, all our staff will continue to adhere to the people-oriented principle, work hard and responsibly, and try our best to serve all the patriotic Tibetans.

At last, I wish all the friends Losar Tashi Delek and happy family reunion!

Thank you!

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