Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has marked Serfs’ Emancipation Day with flag-raising ceremonies and official vows to fight separatism.
On Monday, some 3,000 people from all walks of life gathered at Potala Palace Square in the regional capital of Lhasa for a flag raising ceremony.
In 2009, March 28 was designated as the day to mark the freeing of 1 million people, or 90 percent of the region’s population at that time, from the feudal serf system in 1959.
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): CHE ZALA, Secretary of the Communist Party of China’s Lhasa municipal committee
“Fifty-seven years ago, for the well-being of the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, the Chinese central government dissolved the old Tibet government and implemented democratic reform in the region. The reform has freed the shackles of slavery on Tibetans for thousands of years, and ended feudal serfdom lasting hundreds of years. Tibet ushered in a new era characterized by the people of Tibet taking control of their own destinies and being masters of the region.”
SOUNDBITE (TIBETAN): KUNSANG, Lhasa resident
“I have attended the flag-raising ceremony since the first anniversary. A million of serfs are freed from serfdom. Tibetans live a better life in a more favorable environment. The central government pays special attention to Tibet’s development. Our homeland has witnessed great changes. I’m very happy.”
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): DAWA DROMA, Pupil at Lhasa No.1 Primary School
“I am very excited today as the Serfs’ Emancipation Day doesn’t come easy. I will study hard and contribute to my homeland.”
Losang Jamcan, chair of Tibet regional government, said that secessionist activities are doomed to failure. And Tibet can only continue to advance and prosper by following the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the path of socialism.
Tibet’s GDP surpassed 100 billion yuan, or 15 billion U.S. dollars, in 2015, after 23 years of double-digit growth.
Per capita disposable income for its rural residents increased to 1,270 dollars last year, double that of 2010.
The region has also led the country in offering 15-year free education and free health check-ups for rural and urban residents.