Thinking on Long-term Construction of Tibet in Contemporary China

Social Sciences in China, 2019

Vol. 40, No. 1, 2019


Thinking on Long-term Construction of Tibet in Contemporary China



Xu Zhimin

Since the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951, with a view to shaking off Tibet’s poverty and backwardness and making it prosper alongside the rest of China, the central leadership with Mao Zedong at the core, combining Marxist theory on ethnic issues with the particular realities of Tibet, gave up the earlier plan of “shifting the troops garrisoning Tibet every three years to improve their morale,” and began to consider long-term thinking on developing Tibet in which the troops would take root and settle down in Tibet and the border areas. After reform and opening up in 1978, following changes in the international and domestic situation, the CPC Central Committee called on the people to “speed development” and realize leapfrog progress in Tibet and developed the assistance method of “accountability for specific areas, paired-up support and regular rotations.” That has enriched and supplemented our long-term thinking, and is an important method and pathway towards the long-term construction of Tibet. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, General Secretary Xi Jinping has summarized the Party’s Tibet governance strategies over the past six decades, putting forward the idea that work on Tibet must uphold the important principles of “governing Tibet according to law, promoting the prosperity of the Tibetan people and the region on a long-term basis, increasing cohesion and building a solid foundation,” giving a new historical orientation and epochal meaning to long-term thinking on building Tibet. This article tries to trace the history of the long-term thinking on developing Tibet and summarize historical experience, so as to provide a historical basis and reference for work on Tibet in the new period.


Keywords: contemporary China, work on Tibet, long-term construction of Tibet, paired-up support, comprehensive construction of Tibet